curiosity and such
For some Godawful reason, I’ve been waking up at 4 am every day this week. Today, it was because it was so hot in my bedroom. I think our thermostat is either broken, or the temperature difference between my bedroom and the living room is way off the charts. In any case, the AC works just fine in the hallway on our floor, and the thermostat says it’s only 70.
I decided to get up, go on a quick walk, and then take a bath. And then I checked FB and etc. Modern Love posted this link on FB.
So, there’s a study out there that says that answering questions can foster intimacy between people–even strangers. Well, I sure as Hell know that. And I like questions, so–Hell–why not?
- Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
Honestly, I think I’d like to have dinner with my dead parents–as I am now. There are so many things I wish I could share with them that I just can’t share anymore. Either that, or maybe a super awkward get together with all the great loves of my life. Just to clear the air and make peace, finally. It would be interesting to see who they became and to share who I am now. Also to see if I’d still like them as humans.
- Would you like to be famous? In what way?
Oh, God no. Well, maybe after I’m dead and only for doing things that helped a lot of people. While I’m alive, I definitely prefer obscurity.
Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
Not anymore. I’m on the phone all day, every day, so I’d lose my mind if I did that now and would never get anything done. I’m pretty comfortable with phone conversations. They may even be my comfort zone now. I get too impatient writing to people, and I’m way more shy in person. As a kid, I totally did that though. Scripted the whole damn conversation based on what I thought they’d say. Ha.
What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
Right now, I can think of nothing better than a drive along the ocean with a picnic somewhere along the coast and some quality time with my camera. With someone or not. It wouldn’t matter.
When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
I actually sing to my cat, Fogg, all the time. I usually sing, “You are My Sunshine” to her, which melds into “This Land is Your Land” because I’m a weirdo. Or I make up songs to sing to her. It was probably yesterday.
If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
There’s actually a good chance I will live that long. My Mama’s parents were both over 90 when they died. I would want the body of a 30 year old just because age includes so much physical suffering. Watching my mother die taught me how devastating that actually is.
Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
No clue. I don’t think I want to know either.
Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
I have no current partners, so I’ll answer this from my last “partner.” (Does three crazy dates count?). 1) Ability to understand suffering. 2) Impatience. 3) Keen interest in helping people.
For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
The suffering my parents endured in their lives that taught them the dysfunctional things they taught me.
Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
Born and raised in Denver. Difficult childhood steeped in poverty and addiction. College at a Jesuit school. Grad school. A failed attempt at a teaching career. A successful attempt at a career I never anticipated that I hated for years and then learned to appreciate. Striving. More school. Complete idiocy in love. Wholehearted living. Vulnerability. Death. Cats. A good life.
If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?
Well, tomorrow is my birthday–so it would be a birthday present. And you can choose to embrace qualities. I think the biggest thing would be self-care. It’s still such a hurdle for me, but I’m getting better at it.
- If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
I don’t need a crystal ball. I already know who I am. I know my life. And the future? I’d rather live it than try to predict it.
- Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
Finding love. An honest, sweet, imperfect love that actually sticks around for more than a heartbeat. Oh, I’ve tried. And I’ve decided to kind of stop trying and accept what needs to be.
- What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
Surviving all the things life decided I needed.
- What do you value most in a friendship?
Loyalty. I like so many things about so many people. But I don’t like people who disappear on me. Even for just months at a time. Part of who I am doesn’t accept that.
- What is your most treasured memory?
I wouldn’t say I have a “most treasured” memory–which is funny because I hate when people say they don’t have favorites. But I truly don’t. I have many memories that are precious to me–but none more than any other, really.
- What is your most terrible memory?
The day my Mama died. Always, forever, my worst day. Every other day is a gift in comparison, after that.
- If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
No. I think I’m on a good path, doing as much as I can do to live honestly and lovingly. Though maybe I would have danced more.
- What does friendship mean to you?
Challenge and comfort.
- What roles do love and affection play in your life?
Right now, not as much as I’d like. They remind me I’m human, I suppose.
- Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
Again, I’ll use my last “partner.” 1) Extreme intelligence. 2) Worldly and well-traveled. 3) Serious. 4) Loves helping people. 5) Charismatic.
- How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
My family is not close or warm. We’ve made a few strides this year, but it’s difficult and strained. I don’t know that most people have happy childhoods. I think many of us don’t. I would say mine was a mix of incredible highs and devastating lows. I wouldn’t change it, though.
- How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?
It’s complicated. You know, my Mama and I were best friends for most of my life. Later in life, we had struggles. She had a hard time letting me be an adult and take chances. She was always very overprotective. As a child and as an adult, I took care of her too–so it was an odd relationship. As I’ve gotten healthier, I’ve seen her more for who she was. I’ve come to see past the Wonder Woman facade I had of her to see that she was often not the mother I needed her to be…that she was deeply flawed and scared of living. I dunno. Since she’s died, I’ve learned that you can continue having relationships with your parents–or maybe just with the ideas of who they were to you. I still respect her immensely–love and miss her immensely–but I truly see her now. I wish I had seen her back then.
- Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling…”
We are all fragile and hearty souls who make mistakes too often and still continue to be deserving of love and forgiveness.
We know pretty much nothing, but also everything, all at once.
We can heal our crap and heal others, too.
- Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share..”
All my everything and nothing.
- If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
I’m not strong, though I often pretend to be. I’d rather laugh, but I don’t mind crying. I’ll lean on you a lot, but I also need you to lean on me. A lot.
- Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
Well, we’ll go with that last “partner.” I think you’re not nearly as fucked up as you think you are. But you’re your own worst enemy. You embrace the truth, but you also hide inside it. I still see you and who you are doesn’t require an apology. Your actions probably do, but I still see your innocence.
- Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
Oh, God. So many. I guess the most recent “embarrassment” was realizing someone I had a lot of feelings for cared deeply for me, but not as much as he did for someone else–and that it was probably my fault. And then, when they broke up–and he came back–realizing that the feelings I had for him existed for only a very brief moment in time…and I’ve moved on. Is that embarrassing? I guess…a little, right? Because you don’t want to be the fickle love girl. But, honestly, I often am.
- When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
In front of another person? Probably when Fogg was very sick, at the vet’s–when I was basically giving them permission to let her die if the procedure went badly. By myself? Recently–in the last two weeks…just out of sheer overwhelm.
- Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
Since I have no partner, I’ll use that last partner again and the thing I liked about him right away. He was a whirlwind. Just absolutely larger than life.
- What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
Absolutely nothing. But it has to be yours.
- If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
Actually nothing. Well, the only thing would be I would have wished I’d told my roommate how to inject Fogg’s insulin when he was here last time. He didn’t want to know until it was necessary. He’s like that.
- Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
The doll cradle my Daddy made for me. I don’t know. It’s just proof that he loved me. I know he did. But that was always how I knew.
- Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
Right now, no one. Everyone I was ever close to in my family has died. Maybe one of my cousins.
- Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
The biggest personal problem I have right now is making sure there are 3-4 parking spaces on our very crowded street on moving pod delivery day. It might be a shitshow. Hopefully, it’ll go okay. How am I feeling? Nervous, but embracing a possible plan b.