I was tagged by MamaPhan to do a 10 Honest Things about me meme. Now, I am pretty damned honest, pretty much blabbing everything that ever happened, ever, so I had to think about this for a while to come up with anything new. Anyway, here goes:
1. I am barefoot 99% of the time. As soon as I get in my office, or my house, or anyone’s house for that matter, my shoes come off. If I am sitting in a restaurant or a movie, I will kick off my shoes (though in the movies I will keep my feet off the disgusting floor). In the warmer months, I pretty much wear sandals and flip flops – as close to barefoot as I can be, and I like stuff I can kick off easily. In fall, I wear no-sole moccasins, which are pretty much like wearing only socks (ugly hippie socks, of course). It’s only I the winter that I wear actual shoes, but that makes me sad, so I am not thinking about it right now. Right now – barefoot. Sadly, all the barefooting I do pretty much guarantees I will never be a foot model. My feet are calloused and permanently dirty-looking.
2. I know that smell is supposed to be the most evocative sense, but for me the sense of hearing is – more specifically, music. While certain smells evoke emotional responses for me (I once got a sample perfume in a “free gift” that smelled like my grandma – not her perfume, but her makeup/cold cream/something – and I kept it for years. And the smell of marijuana immediately sends me back to what was the both best and worst time in my life), it’s music that really does it. Certain songs can elicit very strong memories for me. They can make me feel heartbreak and sorrow and happiness. But even more – they can almost transport me in time.
Jackson Browne’s Late for the Sky – the whole album in fact – can turn my mood from happy to melancholy in an instant. I love it, but when I hear it, I am back in a 1982 Mazda trying to break away from someone I love. I hear Centerfold, and I’m sitting under a tree outside the school, wishing desperately that Timmy would like me, not knowing that in 2 short years, he and I would have a moment that Relax would always bring me back to. Stagger Lee makes me smile, because it makes me feel the love of a lost friend. But the song that hits me the hardest is Wish You Were Here. Hearing it is like a gut punch. Suddenly, I’m back in a dorm room, doing the absolutely right and absolutely wrong thing and not being able to stop myself. I can see the face that still haunts me – the face I both long to see again and almost hope I never see again because I don’t know what my reaction would be. No smell can do that to me.
3. And while I am on the topic of music, my favorite band is the Grateful Dead. But I have this weird thing where I find myself listening to them constantly in the summer and fall, but much less in the winter and spring. I can’t explain it, but I just “feel” it more in the summer and fall.
4. I may be the only person alive who feels sympathy for Kate Gosselin, but I do. I know she is a bitch and all but I have to admit, a) I’m a bitch, b) If I had 8 kids, I’d be an even bigger bitch, c) She may be a control freak, but with 8 kids (and 6 the same age), you have to control things or you will slip into chaos in 10 seconds – just imagine the mess if she let the kids leave even one toy each out of place – out of control, d) Jon is a douchebag – he seems to be a perpetual frat-boy – he doesn’t seem to take much responsibility, he doesn’t seem to have his priorities particularly in order, and I don’t care how much of a bitch Kate is, he is responsible for his own actions, and needs to man up instead of whining about shit. Also – big fat skeevy cheater.
5. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s a huge part of me, so I am saying it again. I love being alone. I like having the house to myself, I love traveling alone, I love seeing moves alone and going to restaurants alone. But most of all, I love being in crowds of people alone. So I’m not alone, exactly, but no one is with me. I love it. I assume it’s a side effect of being an only child – you get accustomed to being alone a lot.
6. I think that being an only child is a double-edged sword. On the good side – I didn’t have to share my parents (or even one set of grandparents, aunts, etc) with anyone. I got to do a lot more than my friends with siblings. Once I was old enough, I got to take a friend on every single vacation. It helped me learn to be more self-sufficient. I am not afraid to be alone (see #5). I am (mostly) confident and strong. On the bad side – it basically comes down to one thing – missing the bond of siblings. Even as a child, I envied my friends with siblings a little, but it didn’t really hit me until I was an adult. I am close to my cousins and aunts and sisters-in-law, but I know that I will never be as close to them as they are to each other, and I am very envious of that. And as my parents age, one thing really hits me hard – that I am alone in my responsibility for them. If my mom or dad (or even my aunt) get sick, or need care, or (ew – I hate to even think it much less say it) when they die – it’s me who is responsible. I have family and friends to support and help me, but it’s not the same. It’s not the same as having someone there who knows exactly how I feel. Someone to share the sorrow and the burden and the responsibility. It scares me shitless and I’d trade all those years of privileges and taking friends on vacation for it to be different.
7. While I am young at heart, I like old-people things. Like Johnny Carson. I used to watch The Tonight Show with my Grammy and my Nana, and I loved it. I still think he was one of the funniest, wittiest people ever. If I ever had the extra money, I would buy the complete boxed set and watch it over and over. Johnny Carson was one of only three celebrity deaths that made me cry. The other two were Paul Newman and Jerry Garcia.
8. I am a Civil War history buff. I read lots of books on the Civil War, I visit battlefields, I watch documentaries. I have never been much of a history buff, but the Civil War just touches me in a way that no other historical event (except for the holocaust) does. I read about it, and learn about, and feel it. I can’t get enough. I get teary reading Walt Whitman, and hearing the music of the time, and watching reenactments, and even after reading The Gettysburg Address and the beautiful letter written by Major Sullivan Ballou to his wife a million times, they still takes my breath away. Ken Burns’ documentary is another dvd set I really, really need.
9. I have a weird memory. My short term memory sucks, but my long-term is freakish. Mt first memory is from when I was less than a year old. I am constantly bringing things up to friends and family and they are shocked that I remember them because they happened when I was so young. It drives me crazy that I will talk about some old toy (Suzy homemaker oven, Shaker-Makers, etc) or place or book or person and no one but me will remember it. I can barely remember last night, but I can remember everything from 1974. I blame college for the short-term failure.
10. You know the John Denver song, Rocky Mountain High? The lyrics He was born in the summer of his 27th year. Comin’ home to a place he’d never been before. strike a chord with me. I traveled a lot as a child, but never really to the mountains (beyond our tiny little mountains around here), the first time mr b and I took a trip to the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, it truly felt like coming home. I never wanted to leave. Being in the midst of that beauty (as well as the rich history and music) was like taking a deep breath for the first time. I feel the most peace when I am there. I could drive the Blue Ridge Parkway for days and days. And I know that there are bigger, more breathtaking mountains out there, there is something about all the blue and green beauty that both lifts me up and grounds me.