Tuesday, September 14, 2004

One hundred things about me

One hundred things about me:

1. I am blessed to have my husband in my life.
2. We’ve had our ups and downs. We have been through a lot together—a heck of a lot.
3. He has helped to heal my heart.
4. I was born and raised in Boston. I love it, but will never ever live there again.
5. I don’t have a strong Boston accent.
6. I am one of six kids—it explains a lot.
7. We grew up in a house with one bathroom.
8. I’m the shortest one in my family, and I’m 5’ 6”.
9. My older sister is a year, a month, a week, and a day older than I am.
10. A younger sister is a year, a month, a week, and a day younger than I am. (No, it was not planned.)
11. We grew up poor.
12. When you grow up in a big family, you are used to chaos and noise. It took me years to get used to a quiet house.
13. My sister and I used to steal underwear and socks from Woolworths because we didn’t have any.
14. We got caught.
15. I am overweight, and it is beginning to take its toll on my health.
16. Being fat sucks. Being sick because of it makes everything harder.
17. After five IVF cycles, the premature delivery of twins, the death of one of them, and a five year break, I got pregnant the old-fashioned way at the age of forty.
18. Our daughter spent over 130 days in the NICU.
19. I’m still angry at the medical establishment.
20. I have two living children. When people ask me how many children we have, I have to bite my tongue.
21. My children are challenging and wonderful.
22. Raising children is more boring drudgery than I expected.
23. And more joyful.
24. I am pro-choice. After giving birth at 25-weeks, I have reconsidered my thoughts on late-term abortion.
25. I have three frozen embryos that I think about every day. They deserve a chance to grow, just not in me.
26. I pumped breast milk for over a year for my kids. It was tough.
27. I believe in strict gun control.
28. I don’t believe in the death penalty.
29. I have a knack for leadership. Some say it is because I was a bossy big sister, and others say it’s that I was born a Capricorn. I don’t believe in birth order or astrology.
30. I was never much of a party person.
31. I have a very low tolerance for alcohol.
32. My husband is kind but stingy. I am generous but mean. I don’t know which is worse.
33. I can be incredibly brave, yet dreadfully shy. Usually I am perceived as being one or the other.
34. I don’t suffer fools gladly. I have no tolerance for weak, stupid people.
35. As a student, I didn’t buckle down enough. I had too many responsibilities and couldn’t get the work done. Still, my nickname was Study Sudy.
36. It took me a long time to get over high school.
37. I still regret not going to a better college, but it was all I could afford.
38. Everything I owned used to fit in my Gremlin. Now I need a semi.
39. I should have pursued a graduate degree, but I was limited to the vision I set for myself at the time.
40. I blame my parents for too much. Now, as I am parenting, I’m beginning to forgive them. And now, I’m busy blaming my husband.
41. My parents are still married and both still alive.
42. Women live pretty long in my family, but the men aren’t so lucky.
43. My mom was born in Lithuania during WWII. Her family fled the Russians to live out the war in Germany. They survived a lot of hardship as displaced persons in Germany, and later as immigrants settling in South Boston.
44. My dad was born in Boston. The house he grew up in did not have central heat, a bath tub or hot water until the 1970s. His mother was raised by nuns…apparently not very nice ones.
45. I am an atheist, really a secular humanist, and have been since I was twelve.
46. Although I am a progressive Democrat, I am a very patriotic person.
47. I’m not very typical American.
48. I’ve never been to a football game.
49. I hate militaristic parades and fireworks.
50. I’ve never been to Disneyworld.
51. My husband and I were housemates in college. We lived together platonically for a year before we got together as a couple two years later.
52. We grew up less than ten miles apart, but we came from other worlds.
53. My husband is Jewish. I always wanted a Jewish husband.
54. I used to enjoy celebrating a secular Christmas and Easter.
55. I like traditions and celebrations. Now, we enjoy peace and quiet while everyone else goes nutty shopping, cooking and decorating.
56. Our kids are sort of being raised Jews, without the archaic, anachronistic and sexist stuff.
57. I think the tradition that says you have to have a Jewish mother to be a Jew is valid.
58. I was the first in my family to graduate from college. Nobody went to my graduation.
59. Growing up, I went from crayons to perfume. My first date at fifteen was with a 28 year-old man. My first relationship was with a man older than my father.
60. I’ve been working since I was fourteen. For my first job, I earned the minimum wage of $2.35 per hour.
61. I’ve had over twenty jobs that I can remember.
62. Several times, I’ve had more than one job at a time. Most of them I left for school or something better.
63. And, at least twice, I’ve been asked to leave.
64. In late 1991, I worked in the World Trade Center in NYC. Even though, I’ve been back to NY several times, I have not been able to stomach a visit to ground zero.
65. I hope everyone I knew got out.
66. I once worked for a small company owned by two brothers. They were both in their sixties, and one was on oxygen. One day, they shocked us all by having a fist fight in the office.
67. My career was promising at one point, when I let it slip away.
68. At times I’m very lonely. I mourn the old friendships that have withered away.
69. I am a pack rat.
70. I love to read and have over 800 books.
71. We moved from a run-down, 110 year-old house in a slum, to a three year-old house in a suburban development. We’ve had a big culture shock.
72. I don’t yet get the South, or even the new South.
73. I can’t believe I joined a book club, the PTA, and a knitting group.
74. We’re not close to my husband’s family. And, my family is drifting from me.
75. I asked my mother to be with me when my son was born. She refused.
76. I married my sister to her husband. (An unusual Massachusetts law lets anyone with the governor’s permission to be a justice of the peace for a day.)
77. I gave the eulogy at my grandmother’s funeral, while I was pregnant with my son.
78. My kids and I desperately want a cat. Even a dog would do, but my husband is allergic to cats, and doesn’t want more responsibility.
79. We argue about it at least once a month.
80. We have Sam, a little hamster. He doesn’t cut it.
81. We’ve been married over fifteen years, and I still don’t understand him.
82. We were married by a rent-a-reverend from the yellow pages.
83. We went through a dog-and-pony show wedding for the friends and family eight months later.
84. A couple days before my wedding, a good friend told me not to get married. I haven’t spoken to her since.
85. We had a very simple wedding with a lot of help from friends and family.
86. I later sold my wedding dress to help pay the rent.
87. I enjoy international travel, but don’t get to go as much as I would like.
88. After college, I wanted to join the Peace Corps and see the world. I didn’t make it very far.
89. My husband doesn’t like to travel, or go on vacation.
90. I love to garden and knit. They don’t really fit with my feminist principles, but I’m stuck with them for life.
91. I’m not great, prolific, or creative at either one. I read about them more than I do them.
92. My grandmother taught me how to crochet and to sew by hand.
93. My aunt and uncle taught me to enjoy gardening.
94. Our daughter looks a lot like my husband. Our son looks a lot like me.
95. I don’t like sports.
96. I do like to swim and go to the beach.
97. I usually get a sun burn.
98. I’ve had surgery eight times.
99. I can hold a grudge for a long time.
100. I have secrets that I don’t tell anyone.