1. I was a tomboy as a girl. Partly, it was circumstantial. I went to Catholic grade school and high school out of town, and all but one of my friends was a car ride away. There were only boys in my immediate neighborhood. So I always played with my 5 brothers and their friends. I could play a decent game of baseball, basketball, ping pong, knock hockey, climb trees, arm wrestle, roller skate, ice skate, bike and swim.
2. I adore competing intellectually with men. Being the oldest with five brothers who eventually surpassed me in height (but never in intellect) was the dominant influence in my life. I loved debating with guys in debate club. Because I talked myself into Fordham the year before they formally accepted women, I was often the only girl in my political science class.
3. I am the only left-hander in my family of procreation and my family of marriage. My father was a left-hander who switched. I expect to have some left-handed grandkids since two of my sons-in-law are left handed. But I have always used a right-handed mouse. I bat left, but throw right. My brothers had their own gloves, but I didn’t.
4. I have been extremely near-sighted since I was 9. Vainly, I refused to wear glasses outside of the classroom. People must have thought I was an awful snob. Without my glasses, the world is an impressionistic blur. Such a world protects me from excessive housework.
5. I was a fanatic Brooklyn Dodger fan. My obsession started in 1955 when I was 10, when the Dodgers finally beat the Yankees in the World Series. My mom and I were Dodger fans; my dad and all my brothers were Yankee fans. I memorized the baseball rule book. My brothers used to challenge their friends to ask me anything about baseball, and I was rarely stumped. The Dodgers beat the Yankees four straight during my freshman year at college. When I go thome at Thanksgiving, they refused to acknowledge it had happened.
6. For 6 years my best friend Anne and I spent the entire summer making crafts in summer school, then sold them door to door in September to raise funds for her aunt, who took care of lepers in the Fiji Islands. We took this project very seriously and planned it all year. We both had to overcome our phobia about ringing on people’s doorsteps.
7. The first chapter book I read was the Wizard of Oz. I was obsessed with Oz, often pretending I was Ozma of Oz or Glinda the Good. I read every single Oz book. I also read every single Nancy Drew mystery. Anne and I used to walk two miles to the closest Salvation Army thrift shop because they sold Nancy Drew’s for 10 cents each.
8. In Manhattan I lived on the 19th, 20th, and 25th floors, with great views either of Central Park or the Hudson River.
9. My English husband, whom I met online in 1995, is 16 years younger. The country difference is infinitely more challenging than the age difference.
10. I can do without candy, cake, cookies, donuts, pie, but life wouldn’t seem living without ice cream, particularly Breyer’s Peach and Cherry Vanilla. If someone told me I would live 3
years longer if I never ate ice cream again, I would have to think long and hard.
11. My family only got a TV when I was 14. For 5 years, when my 3 older children were young, we didn’t have a TV. My first husband used to tease me that when I died, I should donate my brain to science as the 20th century women least affected by TV. That has changed in the last 10 years. My youngest daughter and I spent 4 years by ourselves. Being her good mother meant watching TV with her. From then on, I have been hooked. I never watch TV when I am alone. Our regular shows include Heroes, Mad Men, Battlestar Galatica, House, Lost, and Survivor.
12. My husband and I are Buffy, Angel, and Firefly fanatics and are eagerly awaiting Josh Wheedon’s new show, Dollhouse starting this Friday. It is a miracle that our transatlantic romance survived being in different Buffy and Angel seasons.
13. Since I was 12, I have read romance novels. When I discovered Jane Austen had only written 6 novels, I settled for Georgette Heyer. I particularly like Regency Romances, set in the Napoleonic era.romances, In the last 7 years, since I married my true love, I read more mysteries than romances.
14 I have a terrible sense of direction, which I never suspected all the years I lived in Manhattan. I badly need a compass in my car. I am fortunate you bumped into water if you go too far north or south on Long Islamd.
15. All my life I have had cats. Our 20-year old cat died a few months ago; now we have a 15-year-old prima donna named Fibi. Fibi makes me appreciate the old joke: “dogs have owners; cats have staff.”
16. I was raised Roman Catholic, attending Catholic grade school, high school, college, and library school. From 18 to 28 I considered myself an atheist. My first daughter’s birth made me a believer. I have added religions ever since. I have tried being a Methodist, a Quaker, a Unitarian, and Episcopalian.
17. I am now an Episcopalian. The service is very similar, but there is no pope, they ordain women and gays, their priests can marry, divorced people are accepted. A women is the presiding bishop of the US Episcopal Church. The music and ritual are often far superior to anything I experienced in Catholicism.
18. My husband has sung in many English cathedral choirs. When we try a new church, Andy is usually asked to join the choir at the first coffee hour.
19. From 5 to 22, I wore curlers almost every night, unsuccessfully trying to make my thick, straight hair curl. People have complimented me more on my silver hair in the last five years than they ever did on my brown hair, natural or dyed.
20. I hated my school uniforms, but now think they are an excellent idea.
21. I often wear a miraculous medal of Mary that I inherited from my father and grandmother. I tell people it represents God as a woman. I find the rosary a superb calming, meditation practice.
22.I have read thousands and thousands of books. I read very fast and can enjoy the book just as much the second time because I have totally immersed myself in the book and then forgotten much of it. Fortunately adults don’t have to take reading comprehension tests, and libraries don’t penalize you for taking the same book out twice.
23. My oldest daughter was named after the heroine of a Mary Stewart novel I found on the radiator next to the toilet in my mother’s bathroom. My second daughter was named after a Jane Austen heroine. I picked my fourth daughter’s name after my confirmation name. My third daughter’s name was picked because we want to call her by a nickname. She made clear that was not acceptable immediately after she learned to talk.
24 I am terrified that any of my daughters will read my blog and formally denounce and renounce me.
25. Food and books are the substances I abuse. Maybe three times a week I have a bottle of English cider. I hate beer.