So...I continue my self-analysis with No. 15.
15. I shoplifted once or twice and I was very slick about it - the first time I was 12 or so and I was perusing the bookshelves in our local supermarket, paying particular attention to a Sydney Sheldon book that looked to provide me with additional sex education (which I desperately needed). I had a purse. I bent. I looked at the book, glanced around, saw I was alone for the moment and shoved the thing quickly into my bag. I stayed there. Picked up another book, pretended to read. Put it back...continued to peruse. My mother passed by and motioned to me that it was time to go. Success! The third time was in Sears. I never did it again. Unless the things stolen by my kids count. You know, those things you discover after you get home?
16. I love to make quilts, even though I haven’t done one in a while. There's something wonderfully mathematical about the process that draws me in – cutting the cloth into various shapes, sewing them together into a kaleidoscope-like picture, ultimately piecing the material into something useful and pretty. Quilting is a wonderful blend of practicality, geometry and creativity. M doesn’t have one, but both boys do.
17. I tried throwing pots one summer in college, but my hands were too soft to take it. I gave it up after a week.
18. I can’t speak Spanish worth a damn despite my having grown up around it. I can understand quite a bit – I can even sit and watch Spanish soap opera and follow along. The last one I watched was with my mother in her last weeks of recognition, before I even knew there was anything wrong with her. It was about an unattractive woman who transforms into a beauty and trumps all the people who were mean to her.
19. I play video games – sometimes a shooter, sometimes an RPG (role-playing game), sometimes an adventure where you have to “find things.” I started with Mario Brothers as a distraction from law school, stopping for a very long while in between the end of law school and J turning 8, when I re-discovered it again. One time, while on a walk with the family around our neighborhood, we ran into a neighbor, a parent of a child my kids played with, and the parent said to me, “I hear that you’re super good at PlayStation.” After laughing for the appropriate amount of time to convey sufficient aww shucks to show modesty and denial, I made sure to remember that moment because it meant that one of my boys bragged about me to their friends. That probably won’t happen again until after I’m dead.
20. I wasn’t kissed for the first time until I was 17.
21. I lost my virginity at age 18 - I was wracked with guilt and would swear I'd never do it again each and every time for the duration of our relationship.
22. I always fall in love with the man who loves me.
23. I didn’t marry the love of my life.
24. I can’t sing at all, but I did have fantasies of being a rock and roll singer when I saw Annie Lennox in concert, and Berlin. I had a boyfriend once who insisted I sing for him. I did. We broke up later. I sang for all my children when they were babies - the best kind of singing - making up songs - J would sometimes hold my cheeks and say, "Don't sing, Mommy."
25. I passed the bar exam the first time I took it.
26. Photography is my other hobby.
27. I need recipes to cook anything other than scrambled or hard-boiled eggs which is very different from my mother who could whip anything from whatever was in the cabinet. I miss her food terribly especially this flank steak dish we called, “Ranchero Steak” in which she browned tortillas next to the heavily seasoned steak. My sister and I cannot duplicate that dish. We plan on trying soon.
28. My mother, my sister and I watched the marriage of Princess Diana to Prince Charles while in my mother’s room, sitting on her bed.
29. My mother, my sister, my friend and her daughter, and I stayed up all night watching the funeral of Princess Diana, sitting on the floor of my mother’s townhouse living room. We never laughed so hard in our lives, we cried as if we knew the Princess personally.
30. When my first son was born, I thought he was the most beautiful child that had ever been born – I truly believed that in the moment I met him. When my second son was born, I didn’t think that. I had to later agree with my husband who had called out from the other side of the operating room (I had a c-section because A was a transverse lie), "He looks just like my dad!" At the time, D's father was 85.
31. Turning 40 was much harder than turning 30. At 41, I’m still waiting for my new-found wisdom to pour over me like rain, the way the rain looked in Indiana (a place I’ve been to, including Chicago and South Bend and some other small towns) one summer when a storm descended and it was hot rain and J, four-years old at the time, stomped in Batman and Robin galoshes under the eaves, getting soaked from the waterfall of water, happy, happy…joyous.