On his post Friday Night Clam Bake – #20: Philosophical Musings about Nudity and Unregulated Morality, the ever-hilarious Brian Lageose posed a series of questions designed to reveal things which probably should not, upon sober reflection, ever see the light of day. Unfortunately for her, my daughter came to celebrate my birthday, and I wanted to make sure she experienced the highlights of my life on a little Scottish Island. But this weekend, the highlights were limited by nonstop torrential downpours, so I had to make do with generous samples of local produce. Specifically Arran Gin, Arran Distillery, and Arran Beer. Obviously, I can’t be held responsible for the following answers.
1. Do you happily eat the licorice jellybeans, or do you hurl them aside in wretched disgust?
I eat the licorice ones first.
I admire them. They’re not there to win the swimsuit competition, or even the Miss Congeniality award. The black jellybean demands notice on its own terms as a complex, not-quite-sweet, spicy individual. It’s the confectionery equivalent of the reunion where the family member they never talk about—the sexy physicist who plays classic jazz on the side—is trapped in a roomful of Kardashians.
(Plus…orange jellybeans. Ewww.)
2. If you had to choose a vegetable for the title of your autobiography, which one would it be?
3. Whilst reading the last few pages of an engrossing novel where you still don’t know the answer to “the big question”, are you able to calmly do so, or do you have to fight to keep your eyes from flitting to the final paragraph prematurely?
Kindle: nobody will ever know if you cheat. And let’s face it, life is too short to waste time on book-tease.
4. Can you remember the name of the first book you read that didn’t have any illustrations?
Eight Cousins by Louisa May Alcott. I was jealous of Rose because she only had boys in her family, and all seven boy cousins did what she told them. I already had four sisters (later seven) and it wouldn’t have occurred to any of them to do what I said…
5. What literary character best represents the dreams that you are made of?
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. You totally pig out your whole life, go into a coma, and wake up a beautiful butterfly. Sounds about right to me…
6. What was your favorite piece of clothing (or accessory) that you wore in high school? Did you steal said item?
My mother bought me a pair of jeans when I was fourteen. When I was fifteen, I turned them inside out and sewed new seams turning them into skintight leg-gloves. When I was sixteen, they started to get holes, so I embroidered around each hole, closing it up with decorations of flowers and suns and moons and whatever I felt like that day. When I was eighteen, there was almost no visible denim left, and I was embroidering over the earlier frayed embroidery. When I was nineteen, my roommate threw them into the incinerator of our building. (She claimed it was a mercy killing.) I still miss those jeans…
7. Do you know where your last high school yearbook is right at this moment?
Why, do you have it? Are you going to demand hush money?
8. Let’s assume that you have done something that you shouldn’t have. No one knows you have done it and no one ever will unless you say something. If you don’t confess, your innocent best friend is sentenced to a year in prison but then wins the lottery on the day of release from said prison and becomes a millionaire. (Friend never learns of your duplicity.) If you do confess, you get ten years in prison and no lottery win. Your choice?
Wait… I’m still reeling from the implied assumption that there is someone out there who has NOT done something they shouldn’t have. For the rest of the planet, don’t-ask/don’t-tell is a done deed. (Bummer about my best friend though. I do hope the millions will buy a good therapist. And that she’ll let me write her sensational jail tell-all bio…)
9. Do you have anything in your home that actually belongs to a former employer?
Yes, but I reminded them about that whole war to eliminate slavery thing, and we just agreed that I’d get to keep my soul. And that stapler…
10. Did you ever have to finally decide? (You knew I would throw in a song reference at some point.)
Yes. (See #9)
11. Name the first song that comes to mind where you know every single word of the lyrics.
Let It Go from Frozen. (I’ve spent a LOT of time on granny-duty lately.)
12. Can you remember the name of everyone who has ever seen you naked as an adult? We’ll toss aside professional/medical experiences, as we’ve all had to throw our legs wide in clinical situations, but this one becomes harder to answer in the affirmative the more you think about it.
I’ve given birth four times. This means, as far as I can tell, that each time everyone in a four-state radius came through the delivery room and “checked” on how I was dilating. There wasn’t (as far as I know) a sign-in sheet.
13. Through some bit of circumstance, you suddenly find yourself on a nude beach. Which of the following would be your reaction: A) Run screaming in abject horror. B) Hang around a bit to see what’s what whilst remaining chastely covered. C) When in Rome… D) Wave to all of your friends because everybody knows your name.
Again, see #12. There might have been screaming and abject horror…
14. Given the magical chance to start your life over at a certain point, would you rather go back to your high-school graduation, knowing everything that you know now, or go back ten years, knowing only what you knew then?
Easy-peasy. I’d go back to HS, and buy shares of Microsoft, Netflix, and Apple. And knowing what I now know, I’d avoid the 80’s entirely…
15. You discover that a life-changing sum of money has been mysteriously deposited in your checking account. Upon speaking with a banking representative, you learn that the source wishes to remain anonymous and you will have to reimburse the donor if the name is ever revealed. Do you keep the money?
I’m sorry. That’s a rhetorical question, right?
16. Would you rather watch admittedly crappy movies with your loved ones in a living room, where it is guaranteed that the miscreants will constantly interrupt the viewing, or peruse cinematic masterpieces by yourself with no interference?
Depends on who has control of the remote—the obsessive power-crazed control freakin despot, or my Hub/family/friends?
17. Name the movie title that best encapsulates a poor decision in your life.
Mama Mia, Here We Go Again. (I did mention the FOUR kids, right?) Does it count if it was also the BEST decision ever?
18. Would you rather write a single book that is hailed as a masterpiece long after you are gone or multiple critically-panned bestsellers whilst you are still on this plane?
19. Do you secretly write poetry that you have never shared?
No. Unless you’re named Emily Dickinson, sharing your secret poetry should be punishable by being mercilessly locked in a room full of street mimes.
20. Do you regret things that you never dared?
I used to say if you get the chance to try something you’ve always wanted to do and you don’t do it, it will be the sign you’re getting old. That explains a lot of things in my past like skydiving and early encounters with law enforcement. What I now realize is that getting old beats the hell out of the alternative.
21. Is there anyone who knows every single thing about you? Do you?
Yes. My dog, Peri. However she’s signed an iron-clad Nondisclosure Agreement in return for a lifetime supply of ostrich tendon chewies (basically doggie-crack as far as I can tell), so I think I’m good.