All the cool kids are doing it. At least the cool twitter kids. It’s a “Seven Thing You Don’t Know About Me” meme and because most of the people I met through twitter don’t know anything about me except I like to tell dick jokes, this should be easy, right? Except when you start writing something like this, it become obvious what a painfully uninteresting person you are (I mean me, not you), so you just try to find the quirkiest things about yourself because “I like coffee” is not something unique, new or interesting. Quirks and character flaws are much better material to work with. (and thanks to empire betty for the tag)
1. I don’t drink alcohol. I used to drink alcohol. From the time I was 13 up until about three years ago. Alcohol was the great equalizer for me. I had always been painfully shy, socially retarded and misanthropic. Well, maybe I didn’t hate people so much as I hated socializing with them. It got worse as I got older and I found myself either avoiding social situations or drinking beforehand to make them tolerable. As one of my favorite songs goes “I’m not that social, just a good drinker.”
Some time around 2005 my drinking escalated to a point where I thought I might be developing a problem. When you find yourself doing shots of tequila during your lunch hour and returning to work polluted, it’s generally not a good sign. Especially more than once a week. Toward the end of that year I was drinking a lot at home, and I went from creating the illusion of having after dinnner martinis to just saying fuck it all and drinking gin straight from the bottle. Gin is, to me, the ultimate “I hate my life” drink. And I did. Once I made some necessary changes to un-hate my life, I stopped needing to drink to escape it so much and eventually I put the bottle down completely. I could probably drink socially now, but I don’t, because to do so would, in my mind, be disrespectful to Todd’s seven years of sobriety.
2. I used to be afraid of everything, and had crippling anxiety. I had a fear of bridges, heights, water, open spaces, closed spaces, crowds, meeting new people, traveling, airplanes, being alone, the dark, going anywhere alone, being far from home….it got to the point where I was near agoraphobic and would leave the house only to go to work, the grocery store or drive my kids wherever they had to go. I missed a lot of work because of my anxieties. I suffered from horrendous panic attacks, at one point having ten or more a day. I went on meds for all this (a combination of Paxil and Wellbutrin), and even though they made me sort of anxiety free, they turned me into a robotic, unfeeling shell and I went off them cold turkey, which I recommend to no one. I took some steps to regain control of my life, including getting rid of the person who was trying to control me. Shortly after that, I met a wonderful guy who, instead of playing into my fears, helped me face them and take charge of them. Since then, I have stood at the top of mountain in Squaw Valley and looked down without fainting. I have gone on a boat ride and stood right on the front deck without having an anxiety attack. I have driven over bridges without closing my eyes, slept in total darkness without fear, traveled across the country twice and learned how to love socializing. I have not missed a family event in two years, which is an amazing feat for me. I have spent entire days in New York City mingling with crowds that once upon a time would have given me a heart attack. I’m still not great at meeting new people, but that will come. Baby steps.
3. I spend my days and nights medicated, legally, non prescription. I’ve had sleeping issues since I was a kid. I have never slept through a full night unless I went to bed drunk, and that’s more like a coma, not a sleep. I’ve just never been a good sleeper. I sleep light, I hear everything. A person turning a light switch in the house next door would wake me. Which in turn makes me tired during the day. So I drink a lot of coffee. And occasionally, during the day, when I feel that last ounce of caffeinated energy about to leave my body and I still have hours of work ahead of me, I’ll take an Excedrin because whatever is in that stuff gives me an instant energy boost, enough to last me through the rest of the workday. So I spend my day on a caffeine high, then to wind down at night, I take Excedrin PM because without that, I don’t sleep. It will help me fall asleep fast instead of tossing and turning. I’ll still wake up at 2 or 3 and lay there for a bit while my brain does its “I don’t know how to shut up” thing, but at least I got those couple of hours of solid sleep in. Yes, I know this is a viscous cycle, but it works – mostly – for me and it’s what gets me through my days and nights.
4. Speaking of sleep. I have the most awesome dream life. Or the worst, depending on your view. My dreams tend to be long, detailed and fill with plots, sub-plots and intricate twists and turns. They play out like movies. Sometimes I’m not even in the dream, I just watch it unfold. Sometimes I play the part of director and step in to tell various characters what to do. Most of the people in my dreams are strangers; friends, family and relatives show up quite often, but it turns out that the main players in my most convoluted dreams are people I don’t know. I dream of the dead quite often, the same four or five relatives make cyclical appearances. They don’t say much, it’s as if they are dropping in to check on things or let me know they’re around.
Many people have recurring dreams; I have recurring places and people. There’s a whole world to my dreams that I’m sure I could layout like some video game map if I put my mind to it. These places have shown up often enough in my life that I can navigate them as if they were real. There’s the hotel, where I know enough not to take the stairs up to the third floor landing because some awful thing awaits me there. There’s a cruise ship, where I can make my way to the concierge and the room that takes me to a portal to my aunt’s house. There’s the high school, which is a conglomeration of all the schools I’ve gone to; I can tell you where the portraits hang on the wall, where the gym and the nurse’s office are, where the teachers park, where my math class is. There’s a college, which is really just a row of cabin-like houses and an enormous parking lot. I lost my car in the lot in one dream, upon finding it I made a mental note of it and now whenever I dream about the college, I know where to find my car.
I have experienced sleep paralysis and hypnagogic hallucinations and whatever other dream afflictions there are. I would blame all the drugs I took in high school, but this wicked dream life has been going on since I was eleven.
5. Despite my insistence on being an independent woman, I sometimes long for the days of old, when a woman stayed home and cleaned the house (wearing pearls and high heels) and prepared the meals and had tea socials, and when her man came home from a hard day’s work, she’d have dinner on the table and a martini ready and they’d sit around and talk about the children, who spent their free time at the malt shop or doing innocent children type things, and the most ambition a girl had to have was to marry a swell guy like Wally Cleaver or maybe learn how to sew. These longing moments are pretty fleeting when I realize that I’d have to get through life without the internet and I’d have to wear a dress every day.
6. I was with Anna Nicole Smith when she found out her husband died. I spent about a full week with her, and about a month later almost kicked her ass at a funeral. True story.
7. I love 70′s era muscle cars. I want nothing more than to buy a ‘70 Chevelle SS or a ’72 Baraccuda and rebuild the engine and make it all shiny and new. Make no mistake, I know very little about what lives inside the guts of a car. I couldn’t tell a hemi from a semi. But give me a car that looks like, say, a ’74 Dodge Charger and I’ll be making moves on it within seconds. I don’t need to know what it’s made of. I just need to know that it goes fast, roars loud and looks like the equivalent of a Victoria’s Secret model in boy shorts and a black lace bra. These cars are my porn. You know how some guys feel when they see a picture of some big breasted chick with her legs in the air and a “take me” look on her face? You know how some women feel when they see a pair of Manolo Blahnik shoes on sale at Neiman Marcus? That’s how I feel when I see a ’70 Chevelle or a ‘69 GTO. No, I don’t want to fuck it, but I just might rub up against it in a sexual fashion, given the chance. Oh hell, if it had a dick, I’d fuck it.
And one bonus thing, because it’s something people ask me about all the time: I met Todd on Fark. TotalFark, to be precise. Telling non-internet people (yes, they do exist) that you met your boyfriend online is weird. Telling internet savvy people you met him on Fark gets you even stranger looks. We became friendly way before we started dating, bonding over a mutual love of the band Clutch. We realized we were a match made in heaven when I laughed at his juvenile jokes.
Ok, this is the part where I have to tag people. For those I tag that don’t have a blog, I’d be happy to post your seven things here, so there’s no excuse!
@frageelay She did hers!
@sween He did his!
(yea, i know that’s eight)