I was browsing blogs over the weekend and came across several with lists entitled "100 Things About Me." At first I thought that was kind of a narcissistic idea - but then when I really thought about it, I realized the appeal. I mean, my favorite thing about blogging (reading and writing my own) is identifying and connecting with people. Feeling like I know someone, even when I've never met them. And what better way to get to know someone than a list of things, in their own words? I actually enjoy reading other people's lists. So if you're the same way, keep reading. And if you feel so compelled, write one of your own - I'll read it!
100 Things About Rita
1. I don't like my first name. Never have. When Curtis and I first got married and moved to Texas, I considered going by my middle name (Jane) but decided it was equally boring. I don't hate Rita enough to, like, change it ... but, meh.
2. I have a definite lazy streak, but it's almost dangerous for me to indulge it because I would literally end up unwashed and in my pajamas for days on end until it teeters on the brink of depressed. So I can't be completely lazy very often.
3. Conversely, I can also be one of the most energetic people you've ever met. It just depends on my motivation. (And the weather. The weather totally affects my energy level.)
4. I am a very keen judge of character.
5. I used to be merely indifferent toward my biological father, from whom I've been estranged since I was around ten ... but because of his actions in the past couple of years, I think I actually hate him now. And I hate that I hate him. Not because I want to love him, or him to love me, but because indifference felt so much less toxic.
6. I love, like LOOOOVE, a clean house.
7. I've got mad cooking skillz (well, the majority of the time) and adore being in the kitchen, whipping up a decadent meal for my loved ones.
8. There was never a time, even when I was a little girl, when I didn't want to be a writer. It's literally in my genes; I come from a long line of writers. None of them are famous, but that doesn't stop me from dreaming about it. I know I have a novel in here somewhere.
9. I am super-good at picking up languages but have never learned enough of anything to be completely bilingual.
10. I can spell my ass off, but put a math problem in front of me and I go all blank-eyed and drooling.
11. I have a knack for innately knowing how people are feeling and what they need emotionally, and providing it. It's like a weird sixth sense.
12. I love The Sims 3, and could seriously play it all day long if I had the opportunity. (Which I don't ... boooooo.)
13. I simultaneously love, and am petrified by, zombies.
14. I have no living grandparents, and have felt strangely orphaned since my grandma died in 2009.
15. My mom and I have a very close relationship; I count her among my best friends. She's always been one of my biggest supporters, not to mention my biggest source of inspiration.
16. I love being a "boy mom," but I'm secretly afraid my boys will grow up and not be close to me in the way that daughters are to their mothers.
17. At the same time, though, I'm scared of any of them becoming grown-up "mama's boys." That is definitely an unattractive quality in a man.
18. I hate fish. All kinds of fish. Bleccch. (Eating them, I mean - I actually love them in aquariums and such.)
19. I am a total sucker for needy animals, which is why we have two dogs (Josie and Destiny), three cats (Thurman, Ava, and Meeko) and a fish (Bluey).
20. I think #19 is partially due to the fact that my mother is not such an animal person, and always refused to let me bring home strays as a kid.
21. I wear contacts, and sometimes, glasses. This is because when I was in like fifth grade, I decided I wanted glasses but had no idea they made non-prescription "fashion" lenses. So I faked failing my eye test to get real ones. Lo and behold, my eyesight actually weakened to accommodate my new lenses, and now I can't see. I ruined my own perfect eyesight. What a dumbass.
22. I was boy-crazy from an early age. The first time I ever got in trouble at school was in Kindergarten, for chasing my crush around the playground, tackling him, and kissing him. ... Against his will.
23. I can play the piano very well ... by ear. But I can't read notes for the life of me, even though I took piano lessons as a kid. I used to just ask the teacher to play the piece first, then I'd remember it and play it myself without ever reading the notes.
24. I have never had a professional massage, and have absolutely no desire to. The mere thought creeps me out the door. I will, however, take a professional manicure any day!
25. I'm very aware of how my house smells, and if I could, I'd have the windows wide-open and scented candles burning 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I despise stinky, stale-smelling houses.
26. Regarding #25: it's very difficult to keep a fresh-smelling house when you have five animals (six if you count the fish) and three grubby little boys. But I try.
27. In my lifetime, I have lived in seventeen different houses/apartments.
28. I got evicted from my very first apartment because I couldn't pay my rent.
29. My parents were not yellers. I was disciplined as a child, but never yelled at. I grew up to be a yeller, though, and my tendency to resort to that bugs the crap out of me. It's just that, well, sometimes it feels like there's no other way to be heard over the noise level in here.
30. I love flowers and gardening, and I wish I had more time and money to devote to that hobby. Every year I ambitiously buy packets of seeds, and every year they end up sitting in my junk drawer, un-planted.
31. I eat when I'm bored. Or sad. Or happy. Or tired. Or ....
32. I could drink gallons of sweet tea. Like real, Southern-style sweet tea.
33. I do not know CPR, and it makes me feel guilty, seeing as I'm the primary caregiver for my kids and thus the one who would most likely be there in an emergency. It's on my bucket list to learn.
34. Curtis and I have been together since I was seventeen, married since I was nineteen. We've had probably more than our share of dramatic ups and downs, but I'm really proud of the way we've weathered the really nasty stuff (and trust me - there have been some hard knocks). I can honestly say he's my best friend, and that I really and truly am madly and ridiculously in love with the dude, probably more now than ever. Even though he knows how to push my buttons.
35. There was a time when I thought I'd never be a mother. We struggled through five harrowing years of "unexplained" infertility, during which I had eleven IUIs (intrauterine inseminations), countless rounds of fertility drugs, both pill form (Clomid) and injectables (Gonal-F), and exploratory surgery to locate any problems with my plumbing (there were apparently none). But after Colin? Trouble conceiving has been a complete non-issue. So weird.
36. Because of my infertile years, I'm still insanely jealous of pregnant women ... even when I am pregnant.
37. I grew up attending church regularly, but I'm not religious. I believe in God, or something close, but not exactly the God who's outlined in the Bible.
38. I used to think there might not be a God, but then there were too many amazing "coincidences" in my life for me to think that any more.
39. I believe that you can gain something from all life events - even the horrible, nightmarish ones - and that they all have a purpose in the grand scheme of things.
40. I hope I'm not around to see the end of the world.
41. I love driving by myself on a warm sunny day, with the windows rolled down and the music cranked loud.
42. I despise sports - all sports - and think it must be some sort of cosmic joke that I have sons who will inevitably play/watch/enjoy sports at one time or another.
43. Every year, I live for bing cherry season. (Which, by the way, is far too short.) I could eat my weight in bing cherries. I don't think that's an exaggeration.
44. I love farmer's markets.
45. I have always wanted to live in a teeny-tiny, cozy little cottage-type house. But obviously at this point, with four kids and all these animals, that ain't happenin'.
46. I am not all that generous, and don't like to share (especially my food). This is a bad example for my kids, so I try to share with them ... grudgingly ... once in a while.
47. I dread the days when my kids are old enough to want friends to come over regularly, because as much as I love my own, I have trouble tolerating other people's kids.
48. Sometimes I feel like a crotchety old lady (see #46 and #47). I feel like the older I get, the more easily irritated I am. By the time I'm seventy I'm probably going to be intolerable!
49. I was somewhat of a whiz-kid in school. I was in the gifted program from Kindergarten all the way through graduation, scored a 24 on my ACT test in the seventh grade, and got a full college scholarship to an honors dorm that I SWEAR I didn't even apply for.
50. I majored in Psychology in college. I wanted to be a sex therapist - and I would've made a good one.
51. Then I tossed my education aside to get married and follow Curtis around the world with his Air Force career.
52. I still don't have my degree, and that's okay with me. I probably wouldn't use it anyway.
53. I have been to Germany, France, and Mexico. That is totally not enough places.
54. I have struggled for most of my adult life with Social Anxiety Disorder. Although most of the time I can control it without medication, it still sometimes rears its ugly head, and I tend to get hermit-y. People who don't know this about me are often completely surprised because I don't strike them as "the type."
55. Because of this (I'm pretty sure), I'm not a very good friend as far as calling or dropping by for a visit. I'll Facebook or email or text you until my fingers fall off, but if you ask me to actually talk, I get weird. I have lost friends over this.
56. I have never, in my adult life, had a bedroom set - not a headboard for my bed, or a side table, or even a dresser. I want one oh so badly.
57. I hate the taste of mint. Especially with chocolate.
58. But chocolate and peanut butter? Hell yes.
59. My favorite smells include lilac, clean laundry, puppy breath, babies, spring breezes, rain, bread baking, lemon, pencils, and gasoline.
60. I love houseplants and have no fewer than eleven or twelve of them at any given time.
61. I would rather get a practical gift, like a new vacuum cleaner, than something frivolous like jewelry.
62. I ADORE the squishy, heart-exploding feeling I get when I watch my boys with their daddy. Nothing in the world feels better.
63. I still get excited butterflies in my stomach when I hear Curtis's car pull into the garage, even after fourteen years of being together.
64. I would love to be a vegetarian, for ethical reasons, but I just looooove meat.
65. I don't like coffee, but I wish I did. It smells divine, but the taste? Yuck.
66. I grew up in a very small rural-Missouri town with no stoplights, where the population of cattle far outnumbers the population of people (which probably explains my love of meat), and it isn't unusual to get stuck behind a tractor on the road. There were just over 30 people in my graduating class.
67. I lived in Las Vegas for three years; that's where Colin was born. It was an awesome experience and I loved it, but I'm glad I'm not raising my kids there.
68. I shattered my two front teeth when I was a kid (by running into a fence ... hehe), and have had fake ones ever since.
69. I love toilet humor, and I think farts are funny. It's a good thing, too, since I am surrounded by all of that on a regular basis.
70. When we lived in Germany, I came to really appreciate wine - but I only like sweet wines. Moscato is my favorite.
71. My great-grandmother, my grandmother, and my mother (all on the same side) have all had cancer. This frightens me, as it doesn't seem to be skipping any generations. Luckily, though, they've all survived it.
72. I sincerely love and appreciate the women who regularly come to my Zumba classes. I feel like we're all a bunch of friends, and I always feel weird when my "regulars" are missing.
73. As much as I love to cook, I would be more than happy to eat at a restaurant for every single meal. I adore dining out.
74. Curtis and I didn't have a honeymoon. I did spend a few days at an all-inclusive resort in Cancun, but it was a girls' trip with my three besties. Someday, I want to go on the honeymoon I never had.
75. I haven't worn underwear since I was a senior in high school. Maybe because my brother used to give me wedgies incessantly - he's even ripped a few pairs.
76. I'm not against tattoos; I have two of them and would like another one. I am, however, against getting one before you're twenty. I got both of mine as a teenager, and they're both kinda stupid. These days I'd get something much more meaningful.
77. I honestly and deeply despise cattiness, backstabbing, immaturity, and drama, unless it's on reality TV. I have no place for that kind of B.S. in my real life, so if you're one of those kind of chicks, we will likely never be friends. I equally despise it when people say they don't like that stuff, then spread some sort of rumor in the next breath. My favorite quote: "There's so much good in the worst of us, and so much bad in the best of us, that it ill-behooves any of us, to talk about the rest of us." I'm not sure who said that, but they're brilliant.
78. I really, reeeeeally hope my future daughters-in-law like me. And I hope I like them. Because as of right now, I can't imagine any girl who would be good enough for my sons, which makes me nervous.
79. I wouldn't mind if any of my boys turned out to be gay. I definitely wouldn't love or respect them any less. (Curtis feels the same way, which is just another reason I love him so.) I would just worry for them, that they'd have a harder time in life because of other people's closed-mindedness.
80. I retain virtually-useless factoids like a sponge, and I love it when they actually come in handy - like the other day when I let a friend know that the tannic acid in a tea bag can help stop bleeding after a tooth extraction. I'm a veritable treasure trove of strange tidbits like this.
81. I say things like "veritable treasure trove" and then get embarrassed when people make fun of me for my vocabulary. It happens all the time. Once at Curtis's office Christmas dinner, I asked someone to pass me the "decanter of water," and the entire table laughed.
82. At the same time, my sons all have large vocabularies themselves, and I'm totally proud of that fact.
83. I have an insane sweet tooth, and I wish I didn't. I need, like really need, sweets on a regular basis. I'm sure it's just a sugar addiction and that I could break it if I tried hard enough, but I just love my sugar ...
84. I am vomit-phobic. I hate throwing up myself, and I especially hate to witness anyone else doing it - even if I can only hear them.
85. When I was younger, I used to dream about being a paid date - sort of like a Japanese geisha or a Greek hetaera. A courtesan. Not a prostitute, just a companion who was paid (well) to be pretty and lively and entertaining at social events. I still think it'd be fun, but I mean ... I'm married and on the verge of old, so that ship has pretty much sailed. (PS - isn't that weird, considering my social anxiety disorder? I've never quite figured that one out.)
86. I do not take kindly to unsolicited parenting advice from people who don't have kids. I'm sure I doled out enough of it in my pre-child days, and now I realize I was totally wrong. I don't care how many child-rearing books you read or how many child development classes you've taken: if you've never raised your own kids, you just. Don't. Know.
87. I am ridiculously competitive and a bit of a sore loser at times, so it's probably a good thing I don't like sports.
88. I love to make people laugh. Humor is my coping mechanism - every time I've been in labor, my nurses have enjoyed hanging out in my room. Which is unfortunate for me because even though I'm in pain and just want to be babied, people think I'm feeling okay because I'm joking about everything.
89. I have never liked to work for someone else, which is why I've almost always been my own boss (i.e., a writer). I just get a yucky feeling knowing that I have to ask someone's permission to take my kid to the doctor, or to rest if I don't feel good ... or for someone to dictate when I can eat lunch, take breaks, etc. I've been extremely lucky to be in a position of working for myself.
90. My first "real" job outside of babysitting was waitressing at a little place called the C&R Kountry Kafe (which always bugged me - I mean, just spell it with a damn C). I hate hate hated it. The busboys stole our tips on a regular basis.
91. Speaking of things that bug me, I can't stand laziness in writing. Like "doughnut" versus "donut," for example ... how much harder is it to add the "ugh?" Or the way people write on the web: "ppl" for people, "u" for you, and so on. Blah! People don't realize how moronic it makes them appear. I'm sorry, but I can never take you too seriously if you can't take the time to type out an entire word.
92. I'm not sure if astrology is "real," per se, but I do know that I'm a very typical Virgo - and none of the descriptions of the other signs fit me nearly as well.
93. I experimented with many different drugs in my younger years, and I consider myself very fortunate to have escaped addiction and all the ugliness that comes with it (even though I'm pretty sure I lost more than a few brain cells, damn it). I'm petrified that my kids will do the same experimentation, but not escape the trap ... it's a thought that can keep me awake at night.
94. I don't think "drug" is a good way to describe marijuana, and I'm pro-legalization. (But no, that doesn't mean I'm a stoner.)
95. I bite my cuticles, but think nail-biting is icky.
96. I can't stand long toenails, on myself or anyone else. I also can't stand sandals on most men (unless their feet are immaculately groomed, which is pretty rare for a dude).
97. I'm not all that into purses and shoes, and it sometimes makes me feel like I'm not "womanly" enough.
98. The only "real" jewelry I own is my wedding ring. Everything else is not only fake, but Walmart-caliber fake. I don't mind, although I would like to have a pair (or three) of genuine diamond studs for my ears someday.
99. I can't wait for my boys to be teenagers, although I completely dread the grocery bill. Feeding four teenage boys is going to require a second mortgage.
100. I've never had a cavity ... or a speeding ticket. Hopefully I didn't just jinx myself by saying that ...