You Asked, I Answered, Part II

See? I told you I didn’t forget about the second half of the questions. It just took me forever to write this long, long post and find/scan the photos. Let’s get right to it, shall we?

Karen asked: Maybe this is in your archives, but how did you meet your husband?

Aaron and I met in 1998, right after I had graduated from college. At the time, I spent weekends in the summer and fall working at the Ohio Renaissance Festival. Sounds geeky, I know, and it was. I was a lady of the Queen’s court, which meant I had the privilege of wearing a couch. Seriously – 30+ pounds of upholstery velvet, jewelry, hoop skirt…and did I mention that many early fall days in Ohio reach 90 degrees?

Anyway, Aaron was hired that year, and placed in the Queen’s court as a guard. That’s how we met. Near the end of rehearsals in August, I had been “dismissed” by another performer that I was interested in. He and I were a bit of an item, but I refused to sleep with him right away, and he didn’t feel like waiting around. That night, I was a little pissed off, and Aaron and other friends invited me to come out to dinner with them and rant. And it was that night that Aaron and I realized we were interested in each other. (So, thanks for being an asshole, Justin! Aaron and I appreciate it!)

Let’s keep going with questions about my past. Kgirl asked: so, did you really have a perm in seventh grade?

Oh yes, I did – three in fact. I had stick straight hair, and the first perm fell out in 24 hours. So I sat through another, and it fell out two days later. So for the third try, my stylist decided to cut my hair a little shorter, so there wouldn’t be so much weight on the curls. Now, we all know that when you curl hair, it gets shorter. And since she cut a few inches off my hair, it got even shorter with the perm. Essentially, I looked like little orphan Annie, with tight curls sprouting straight out from my head. It was hideous. I tried to find a picture of this, but apparently I burned every picture from that year. By eighth grade, it had grown out enough to be somewhat acceptable, thank goodness. Here is how it looked after a year of growth:

This was really the only picture I could find.

And kgirl had one other question: if there is one trait of yours that you hope your girls DON’T inherit, what is it?

I would hope they don’t inherit my complete naiveté. When I was younger, I believed almost anything that people told me. I always thought the best of people, even after they had wronged me. That led to a lot of disappointment and hurt. While I don’t want them to be complete cynics, I do want them to be critical thinkers who won’t believe everything they’re told. It’s taken me a long time to realize I can’t trust everyone, and I’d want to spare them the hurt I went through.

Next up is Vanda, who has a question and a followup question: How old were you when you got your first boy kiss? What was his name and how old was he?

It was the summer after my freshman year of high school, and I was 14. His name was Tim, and he was my first boyfriend. He was a year older than me. We had been “dating” (I use quotes there because really, we were too young to go on a date) for a couple of weeks already. It was time for me to go home that day, and he walked me to the end of the street. His little sister was tagging along behind us, saying “Kiss her already! Do it!” It was the fastest peck on the lips in the history of kissing. I was recently told that he has a wonderful boyfriend now. I’m not surprised.

Let’s move on now to Sarah, who also has two questions: What is the most embarrassing concert you have ever been to?

Um, New Kids on the Block. Twice. ‘Nuff said. I’m even more embarrassed to admit that I’m curious about their reunion tour.

Where were you when you lost your virginity?

At my home when I was 16, in my living room. It was…awkward. And not that exciting, to be honest.

And once again, you can hear the collective sound of my family clicking away from this post as fast as possible. Didn’t learn your lesson last time, did you? OK, let’s get back to the music topic. I’ve already admitted my love for NKOTB, so it can’t be worse than that, right?

Mamma Loves asked, Is there a song that brings your mind back to your first true love? What song is it?

Well, true love is such a tough thing to define. I mean, my boyfriend from the above question and I had “our song” but I wouldn’t call him a “true love”. The song was A Whole New World from Aladdin. I think that was one of the first movies we saw together, and I guess I still think of him when I hear that song, which makes showing that movie to Cordy a little weird. The song that always makes me remember my wedding is Come What May from Moulin Rouge. Aaron and I used that for our first dance. Love that song.

Continuing the music theme, Motherbumper asked, Who was your favorite band/musician going into Junior High and who was your favorite leaving High School? Tells a lot about the formative years.

Well, I’ve already admitted to my New Kids obsession, which lasted through most of junior high. I really can’t remember my absolute favorite from high school. Some of the bands/musicians I remember liking: Bryan Adams, Madonna, the Cranberries, Boyz II Men, U2 and Red Hot Chile Peppers. I’ll also admit to liking Mariah Carey and Meatloaf. What does that say about me? I guess I have a very wide range of taste in music.

Next up is Anne, who wondered, Speaking of high school… were you in a certain clique? (preppies, head-bangers, punks, geeks, etc.) Love or hate high school?

I was a geek. Plain and simple. But in my school, geeks really weren’t their own clique. Many of the smart kids were also athletes, and I wasn’t. So I wasn’t really a part of any group – I wanted to be a preppie kid, but couldn’t afford the right clothes and really didn’t like spending hours on my hair and makeup. As for if I liked high school, I will share with you the thought that flashed in my head as I crossed the stage to accept my high school diploma: “Its all over now, and I’m outta here!” Getting out of high school was one of the best things to ever happen to me. The teachers were great, but I don’t miss the insane, closed-minded social networks of high school.

I don’t know about you, but I need a little break from memory lane. Let’s take some questions about the here and now. Karen Sugarpants wanted to know: What do you do for YOU? You’re such a busy mom, I wonder what you do for yourself?

Well…not a lot. I mean, I have a little time in the evening to watch TV, and I loves me some American Idol right now. I’m also a big fan of House, Bones, and Torchwood. I also like to knit and sew when I find the time. (If I can commit to it, Mira will have an adorable knit dress for summer.) I also have a once a month moms night out group that I do dinner with. But what do I like to do the most for me? Sleep and shop.

Next up, Mommy Says asked: If I had one question, I’d ask what was the biggest dream you’ve had, that has not come true for you?

When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. But I’m scared of flying, so that really doesn’t work, does it? I’m pretty lucky in that I have most of the things I want in life: a house, two beautiful (if occasionally annoying) daughters, a husband who really understands me, and a supportive family. Sure, I dream of someday having enough money to never worry about it on a weekly basis, but I think that day will come eventually.

Fishygirl asked: Are you risk averse or an adrenaline junkie? What’s the riskiest thing you’ve ever done in your life?

I’m somewhere in-between, leaning more towards the risk averse side. I used to lean more towards adrenaline junkie, but having kids has mellowed me out and made me realize I need to take care of myself to be there for them. My riskiest thing I’ve ever done is a toss-up. I’ve gone white-water rafting down a river that has claimed several lives. I’ve hitchhiked in the Scottish highlands, but that’s considered pretty safe there.

I’d say the riskiest thing I’ve ever done was willingly joined in on a mob scene in London. It was the Euro 96 Football (soccer) tournament, and England had just played Scotland for the first time in many years. Scotland lost, and the Scottish fans took over Trafalgar Square. When I heard that they had shut down the Tube service and were sending police to the area, I decided this could be interesting, grabbed my camera, and ran for it. I got there just as the police surrounded the area, trapping me inside the square with the rowdy fans. I got clipped by a billy club at one point, and took a lot of pictures of drunk Scotsmen. Good times. A little dangerous, with the beer bottles being flung at the police and all, but very interesting.

Police (before suiting up in riot gear) in front of me
Drunken Scotsmen behind me, before the party turned ugly

Moving right along, Toni asked: What is your favorite post you’ve EVER written? And favorite one you’ve ever read on someone else’s blog?

My favorite post for sheer laughter has to be my Friday Night Smackdown post. I still enjoy reading that one. My favorite serious post is the day I was told Cordy is autistic. It’s still painful to read, but the part I love is the amazing support from all of the comments I received. It reaffirmed that mommyblogging really is about the community we’ve formed, first and foremost.

As for favorite post ever from someone else’s blog…are you kidding? I have so many that there’s no way I could pick just one! My Bloglines currently has 182 posts that I’ve saved so I could read again. I can tell you that today’s favorite post for me is Queen of Spain’s The Business of Mommyblogging.

Cindy, who is getting married soon, then asked two questions: What was your favourite part about your wedding? If you had it to do over again, what would you avoid doing at your wedding or what would you change about your wedding?

My favorite part of my wedding had to be mid-way through the reception, when someone had requested the song Let’s Do The Time Warp Again (from The Rocky Horror Picture Show), and half of the room jumped up and ran out to the dance floor to join in. I remember looking at everyone out there and thinking, “Yep, these are our friends.” Our wedding and reception were the perfect blend of everything lovely (gorgeous dress, elegant cake, pretty decorations) with lots of fun, too.

As for what I would change? Nothing. I loved the entire event. Wait, I can think of something: if we could do it over, I would have made sure someone remembered to grab the marriage certificate from the chapel. We thought it was put into a box with the other items from the ceremony, but it never reappeared. Oops.

And finally! To wrap this up, jerseygirl89 had two questions for me: What is your all-time favorite smell?

Vanilla. Had you asked me in fifth grade, I would have replied rubber cement. See how your tastes mature when you get older?

Can you remember a favorite outfit from junior high? If so, what was it?

I really can’t remember a favorite outfit, but I’m pretty sure it WASN’T this:

Ta-da! You asked, I answered. Thanks for all the questions everyone!

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  1. The hubs just came up to tell me that the NKOTB reunion is confirmed. That’s so scary!!!

  2. Momma to LG says:

    Did you hear NKOTB is going to be on The Today Show concert series!!!!

  3. You and I had the same perm. Yeah. Scary stuff.

  4. That last picture is so late 80s that I can hardly stand it.

    My favorite part is those drawers in the back that hold VHS tapes.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Hi there! I have been reading your blog for a while now and just wanted to say that I LOVE it! I am technologically challenged and don’t even know how I would set up my own blog, but I really love yours. The things you write are very real, thoughtful, and funny. I especially like hearing about all the progress your daughter has made. My son has some “issues” that we are working on figuring out. Autism has been brought up. The journey you have been on with your daughter has given me some hope. I hope you don’t mind if I continue to “lurk” on your blog!


  6. pinks & blues girls says:

    Love the old pictures. And the one accompanying the story of how you and your husband met is so sweet.

    Funny story – I was in Whole Foods the other day and a guy behind the meat counter was singing, “Step by Step” by NKOTB at this top of his lungs. When I got home I heard that they were doing a reunion, and I started to think, “Hmm, maybe I just heard one of the backup singers practicing for the tour!”

    Jane, Pinks & Blues

  7. pinks & blues girls says:

    Love the old pictures. And the one accompanying the story of how you and your husband met is so sweet.

    Funny story – I was in Whole Foods the other day and a guy behind the meat counter was singing, “Step by Step” by NKOTB at this top of his lungs. When I got home I heard that they were doing a reunion, and I started to think, “Hmm, maybe I just heard one of the backup singers practicing for the tour!”

    Jane, Pinks & Blues

  8. Holy, cow… that was a couch! Thanks for answering my question. :-)

  9. I love the picture of you and Aaron! I’ve seen it before on here, but it makes for such a good story!

  10. Major Bedhead says:

    Oooh. I would have loved to have taken part in a RenFaire. I was just a wannabe.

    I don’t think I’ve ever read that Smackdown post. Very funny stuff.

    I think I had that same t-shirt. The 80s were great for mortifying fashion.

  11. I love reading all of this!

    And the RenFaire picture is awesome. Y’all look so dramatic!

  12. I would like it noted that I was a good little peasant and didn’t answer Karen’s question before you did. *smiles and jingles her hat*

  13. OK — I’m so curious, I have to ask….. When you worked for the Renaissance Festival, was it in Waynesville?

  14. Yes, it was the one near Waynesville.

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