Do not read while drinking grape juice.

A local blogger I admire tagged me and I’m feeling a bit like the freshman that gets called over to the senior lunch table. If I were, actually, a freshman walking over to the senior lunch table, what would happen next is that I would trip and shower the coolest of the group in grape juice, which I don’t even drink but happened to have it because the lunch lady with the droopy eye put it on my tray and I didn’t have the heart to put it back and hurt her feelings. Then all the seniors would laugh at my accident and the fact that I was drinking grape juice, and never know that if only they had just given me a chance, I could have been the one to jump the car when it stalls next Saturday night and save the day by having everyone home by curfew. If only.

The rules.

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Six random things.

1. I have a tough time following directions. It’s not that I can’t follow directions, or willingly choose to ignore directions, it’s just that when the directions don’t make sense (which is often the case) I find another, more sensible way. What are directions, anyway, but advice? Sometimes it has to be looked at from other angels, right? Because of my issues with directions, I typically ask for forgiveness, not permission, for things. While this has gotten me in heaps of trouble from time to time, I think that it is one of my best qualities.

2. I slept with a security blanket called “Me-Me” until my son, Will, was born. Although there were several Me-Me’s through the years, around age 8 the quilted Strawberry Shortcake blanket made by my neighbor became the “main” Me-Me. When we evacuated for Katrina, I left MeMe in a drawer in my bedroom. What finally made me break down in tears on Day 3, breaking through the shock and denial, was the realization that MeMe was there and I had no idea if I would hold MeMe again. (MeMe, by the way, is gender-neutral, neither male nor female. As a child, I felt very strongly about this and remember taking a swing at a kid who insisted that MeMe was a girl because it was pink.)

3. I kept my name when I got married. That means that my name is exactly the same as what it was before I was married. That means I am not a “Mrs.” It means there is no hyphen. There is no additional name on the end of my name. It means that the name on my birth certificate is the same one I have now, after 8 years of marriage, and it’s the same one I’ll have 50 years from now. It means that my last name is different than my kids’, who have Paul’s last name (they have my last name for their middle names). While those are the facts, I’m okay with almost everyone — including my closest and oldest friends — consistently getting this incorrect. It was my (and Paul’s) choice and is what works for us, but I don’t have the need to shove it down other people’s throats or make my choice superior to what anyone else decides to do. It’s just a name.

4. The trait that I find most deplorable in people — more than ignorance, arrogance, or pretension — is when people complain but do nothing to be part of a solution. I’m all for sarcasm and wit, and will admit to feeling apathetic at my low points, but I find those who — no matter how intelligently — bitch and moan about things (life, work, politics, kids, schools, health, whatever) and don’t show the initiative to try something different to change the situation, to be closed-minded, resistant people who are a bore to be around.

5. I decided to have children early in my career because I wanted my parents around for as much of my childrens’ lives as possible, because the earlier a woman gives birth the better the outcomes for both mother and child, and because I think it’s ridiculous that women in academics have to ‘delay’ having children inorder to be seen as ‘serious’. But now that I have children, I must admit that it has slowed me down (not necessarily a bad thing) and because of how it has impacted my particular circumstances, I know it has limited my intended international health career. I have no idea what I will do or what will happen after I graduate.

6. The first time Paul and I locked eyes, as he walked up to the booth where I was selling tickets to a play, I felt a shock run through me. We had dinner the following night, went hiking at Mountain Lake (where the movie ‘Dirty Dancing’ was filmed) the day after that, and have been together since then. Until I met Paul, I thought love at first sight was a ridiculous, foolish notion, based on lust, not true companionship. With this, as with other things I’m always learning, I was happy to be wrong.

Now I’m suppose to tag 6 others, which gets me all freshman-lunchroom anxious. Maybe if I admitted in one of my 6 random things that I was a total nerd that it would clear up any misconceptions I have regarding whether anyone will actually respond. (In other words, I expect no one.) But I’ll work with optimism and with the spirit of getting to know people whose blogs I’ve recently found and am enjoying. Here’s my list:

Su, because she has a 5-year old son, plays the piano, and is very likely someone who can correctly pronounce my last name in one try. (And also because I find her writing inspiring.)

Jen, because she rocks an incredible job, is moving to a paradise where everything will be different and so much will be same, and because there is so much that can be done.

Magpie, because “filch” still wins out as my current favorite word.

…and I can’t think of anyone else because it’s Will’s 5th Birthday and my brain is occupied with intense ponderings over the passage of time and how I could possibly have a 5 year old and be just 23 years old? (If you’re reading this — please feel the love, and take the tag if the mood strikes.)