Eleven years ago today, I wrote my first book review. My first blog was born. I’ve changed blogs several times since then, but have carried those reviews along with me ever since, and I still celebrate Feb 15th as my blogoversary. I thought I’d so something a little different to celebrate today, and offer 11 facts-about-the-blogger to celebrate 11 years of blogging.
1. I’m an extrovert reader with situational social anxiety. I love people. I love meeting new people and seeing old friends and just being out among people. However, I do not like new situations and new places. I don’t like noise chaos (especially created by children/babies) or changing-plans chaos. I like things organized, planned, and routine (I am obsessed with spreadsheets, y’all), and I definitely need time to decompress alone when I get knocked off center. So yes, I have social anxiety any time it comes to going to places I don’t know, or going into situations where I’m not sure of the dress or etiquette (or even the parking situation), but I absolutely love being around people and getting to know new people/places/things in the right (ie safe) setting.
2. I didn’t read much as a teenager. Unfortunately, my parents and librarians could only introduce me to formulaic genre fiction, often too young or too old for me, and at school I only got classics that were inappropriate for teenage audiences. (Inappropriate meaning they weren’t really relatable to teens, thus didn’t make for engaging reads.) For many years, I mourned the fact that there weren’t books out there that worked for me. It took until I was in my 20s to connect with books again, and until my 30s before I connected with modern fiction (instead of classics).
3. I never finished college, and frankly, I have no desire to go back to school. I was good at school, but it bored me to tears 90% of the time. This probably has a lot to do with where I went to school and the fact that I’ve never yet decided what I want to do in life beyond raising my family and writing. I know I need to go back to school and get a real career in a few years, but I dread this. Literally dread. I have recurring nightmares about going back to school. I love learning, but I really dislike the traditional school setting.
4. Speaking of raising a family, I spent my entire childhood and adolescence dreaming about getting married and having children. But after I had kids, I discovered that I don’t actually like kids or being a parent. Go figure. Plus I have a very complicated relationship with being a stay-at-home-mom, which I never wanted to be. It’s important to me to have someone home with the kids, but I grew up taking care of my younger siblings while my parents worked to keep us fed, so I feel like I’ve been taking care of children since I was ten years old and have never done anything else with my life.
5. I cannot wait to be in my 40s. Probably this has a lot to do with the fact that my children will all be in college by the time I’m 44, but it’s also because I’ve never dreaded that magical number 40 like other people. I’ve felt 40 years old my entire life, and it’s going to be awesome to actually be 40 when I feel 40 for once. Just two weeks to go! And then, who knows? Maybe after I pass the 40-year mark, I’ll start feeling younger than my actual age rather than older. Maybe I’ll feel 40 when I’m 60! Might happen. I felt 40 when I was 20, after all.
6. Y’all already know I’m a crazy cat lady. However, I only became one very, very recently. I grew up with way too many pets. By “way too many,” I mean we once had thirteen pets in a 1000-square-foot house, in addition to five humans. (They weren’t all cats – we had cats, dogs, birds, fish, guinea pigs, a rabbit, and a hedgehog.) By the time I left home, I never wanted another pet in my life. When 2009 came along, we ended up getting two cats because Jason wanted a cat badly. (He won’t admit this now, but it’s true. It wasn’t something I would have done for myself.) For a few years, I didn’t even like having a cat (the second kitty passed away after six months from cancer). But then I came to love cats, and now five of them live with me…
7. I have what’s known as a super-taster gene, passed down from my dad’s side of the family. Taste is my best sense (or at least it was before the distorted sense issue of the last year, but I’m still hopeful that can be resolved!). I can taste how many days away milk will expire. If iceberg lettuce has ever touched my food, I can taste it. And if a taste is too strong, it’s like a sensory overload and I won’t be able to taste anything at all. Example: my grandmother once gave my cousins and me some dill pickles that she’d accidentally pickled for 15 years. While everyone else was doubled over with the sourness of them, I couldn’t taste them. It was like eating solid water. Coffee was the same. Until a few years ago, it just tasted like hot water.
8. I didn’t begin drinking alcohol or coffee until I was 34 years old. Up until that point, coffee didn’t taste like anything and alcohol tasted strongly of rot (not in a good way). I think all my work with food (expanding what I could eat through force) in 2011 and 2012 made a change in the way my super-taster tastebuds functioned, or perhaps they just dulled with age. Either way, I could suddenly taste coffee, and wine no longer tasted like death. Now whether or not taking up these two habits was a good thing is debatable…
9. I dislike nearly all fruits and vegetables, and what I do like, I only like under specific conditions. With fruits, it’s mostly a sensory thing (plus they’re often way too sweet). I have a hereditary neurological condition (sensory processing disorder) that could have been corrected with occupational therapy in toddlerhood if I’d been diagnosed, but doctors didn’t even know the disorder existed at the time. (My middle son has it, and he had the occupational therapy, whew!) The texture of fruits is unbearable. With vegetables, it’s the taste thing. Like I said above, everything tastes much stronger, and the bitter flavor of most vegetables is overwhelming. Iceberg lettuce is one of the strongest, nastiest flavors I’ve ever encountered, and many people say it has no taste! Because of these strong dislikes, I rarely ate any produce growing up, and even less in adulthood. I only started putting major effort into eating more in 2011, when I started small (one serving per day, six days a week) and
worked forced my way up.
10. I enjoy doing laundry. I don’t know why. Most chores I don’t particularly like, and I downright loathe cooking (which is why Jason does it). Laundry doesn’t bother me, though. I do it twice a week no matter what and I don’t let anyone do it for me. Now, I don’t fold anyone’s clothes except my own (my teen boys are well old enough to do their own!) but even when I did, I didn’t mind. However, I only found this zen in laundry after I stopped sorting loads before washing. Growing up, I had to sort the entire family’s laundry into whites, darks, reds, jeans, purples, towels, delicates, etc. About a year after I began staying home with the boys, I said to hell with it and just started throwing everything in together. And you know what? It doesn’t make a damn bit of difference to the clothes. Life just became a whole lot less complicated. Also, I love my dryer. We didn’t have one growing up, and line-dried clothes are the worst things ever. I don’t even like indoor-drying clothes that can’t go in the dryer. Dryers are the best.
11. I’ve had a “cow-pillow” since I was a senior in high school. I was never a fan of cows and I didn’t use any kind of chest/stomach/body pillow back then, but my boyfriend at the time liked both. I found this ridiculous cow-print handkerchief and made it into a pillow for him. The foam I stuffed it with smelled AWFUL though, so for a week before I gave it to him, I used it as a body pillow to try to negate the smell. (That didn’t really work, notably.) After using it for a week, I was hooked. I bought another cow-print handkerchief and made my own pillow. Only then, I left my pillow in a hotel in France while studying abroad when I was 20. Later that summer, I was in Ohio for my dad’s wedding and found the exact same cow-print handkerchief in a five-and-dime store. !!! I made myself a new one. A few years later, I bought a pack of 24 identical cow-print handkerchiefs off ebay. Now, I make myself a new cow-pillow every couple years as the previous ones get old and smelly and lumpy and flat. I even made one for Laurence once at his request. I shall never be without my cow-pillow!!
So there you go. Eleven facts about the blogger, some I’ve discussed here before and others that are new. Hope you are all enjoying your day. Thanks for reading all these years!!