“With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.”
Today’s my birthday and so I thought I’d drop a few random facts to coordinate with the number of times I’ve been around the sun. Just for kicks! If you’re a long time reader, you may already know most of these and if you’re new you may learn more than you ever wished to. Either way, hope there’s at least one surprise in here:
1. My eye color changes slightly with my mood and Jeff jokes (accurately) that he can tell how angry I am by how bright green my eyes are. Funner fact, I share this trait with my mother and sister. The women of my family come with a warning beacon!
2. I cannot wash dishes for the life of me. Something about the sensation of grimy water triggers a gag reflex in me that I have never been able to overcome and it’s clearly partially psychological because even wearing gloves doesn’t prevent the feeling. I’d rather clean a bathroom top to bottom twice than clean dishes by hand.
3. One of my favorite snacks of all time is the most basic of basic: cheese and crackers. Bliss.
4. Meanwhile my favorite candy is probably sour gummy peaches. I remember going to the movies with my dad as a kid and always bee-lining for the pick-and-mix to buy a scoop or two of these goodies and now in the last year of my early 30s, precisely nothing has changed.
5. My most consistent emotional habit has been being way too influenced by what I’m currently watching, reading, or listening to. A book can absolutely wreck my mood for a week if I’m not careful.
6. I hate having to wash and blowdry my hair. Men and women who enjoy this grooming task baffle me. If I had endless wealth I would absolutely waste a portion of it on professional blowouts so I didn’t have to do it myself.
7. I took piano lessons for 12 years and was an absolute brat about it for most of that time. I didn’t awaken to the underlying parental wisdom until my late teens and subsequently paid for my own lessons whilst in university. Mom was right…
8. (If you’re new around here) I was raised Mormon and very publicly left the faith about five years ago. However I remain deeply interested in and invested in the Mormon community and other intersections of faith, culture, and community building.
9. In the interest of total honesty, I just counted them and I own 26 lipstick or lip products. Believe it or not, this is a dramatic downgrade from previous years. It’s my favorite addiction.
10. Growing up my parents were strict about what constituted appropriate “sabbath day” activities, including TV and movies. My enduring love for PBS 100% springs from the fact that Sunday night nature documentaries and performances felt like such a treat. (Editors note: my parents massively relaxed this rule with their subsequent three children, which I am bitter about to this day.)
11. One of the traits I’m least proud of is how naturally lazy I am. I talk and focus on motivation so much because given half a chance my preference is to be horizontal and lying in a sunbeam like a cat.
12. One of the biggest items on my bucket list is making it to all seven continents: only Africa, South America, and Antarctica to go.
13. Baths are my favorite way to end the day, no matter the weather. It can be high summer and I will still want to soak in hot water to wind down before going to bed.
14. My deep, abiding, and well-documented love of lipstick notwithstanding, if I had to run out the door with only one thing “done” to my face it would be mascara. I’m dark haired but my eyelashes are weirdly and obnoxiously pale so without it, I look like an extremely unwell person.
15. I have seen the classic A&E miniseries version of Pride and Prejudice literally hundreds of times. My mom and I used to watch it together on weekends (see Fact 10) and for a few years we just planned on “P&P Sundays” as we called them. The count, therefore, is exceptionally high. I regret nothing.
16. As a toddler I called bananas “beenas,” which is now something of a family joke.
17. Other family jokes and catchphrases over the years the maxim include, “No bayoneting at the table!” Once exclaimed by a vexed parent, but still sound etiquette advice, I feel.
18. The only video games I have ever gotten into, and it is a loose definition, are Sid Meier’s Civilization and Pokemon.
19. If there is one documentary I would make everyone watch to better understand America and Americans, it’s Ken Burn’s Prohibition. I’m dead serious about this.
20. Likewise if there is one book I would make everyone ready to understand British class and wealth attitudes, it would be Snobs by Julian Fellowes. But don’t try to use it as field guide, I warn you!
21. Favorite artist: Botticelli. Nevertheless…
22. Favorite works of art: Nike of Samothrace for statuary, tie between Botticell’s Birth of Venus and Almond Blossoms by Vincent Van Gogh for painting. Sheep May Softly Graze, by J. S. Bach for pieces of music. I refuse to choose between novels, but I will defend the original Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in its original radio broadcast form to my death as a work of high art.
23. I am just under five feet tall, my husband is over six feet, and yet I require three quarters of our bed space to sleep at night. Thems the rules.
24. We got married one month past my 23rd birthday and I still joke about being a childbride.
25. I blogged anonymously for years because once upon a time (how quaint!) there was this weird idea about anonymity on the internet which seems to have fallen mostly by the wayside. Except for the troll farms.
26. While I may be a makeup and beauty junkie I have not dyed my hair since high school and I have never once worn fake tan or lashes.
27. My favorite color in the world is green. I initially chose it out of spite as a wee tot when a classroom exercise divided children up by eye color and I was the only one with green eyes. Some teasing ensued to which I declared that I didn’t mind standing by myself because my favorite color was green, so there! This story definitely reveals something about my psyche but I’m not sure what it is.
28. I bake when I’m angry or stressed.
29. One of the things that I like least about myself is how much I rely on other people’s praise and good opinion. I’d like to be more badass and say that I don’t care what people think about me…but in my heart of hearts I do.
30. One of the things that I like best about myself is my ability to sustain and enjoy friendships that literally span decades. It’s an investment of love and delight that has paid back more in interest than I could have ever imagined.
31. I got one of those “useless” liberal arts degrees that ends in the word “studies” and mostly made up of coursework in medieval history. It has nothing to do with how my career has subsequently turned out, and if I had to do it all over again, I’d pick the same degree.
32. Until I went to university, I never lived anywhere longer than three years growing up and to this day have a hard time staying in one place (whether that’s a job, an apartment, or a country) longer than that.
33. I have looked forward to my 30s since I was a kid and thus far, the decade is not disappointing me.