People told them how cute they were as a family. Dad had a line number for TSgt and lost it when he went to Reserve duty. Mom wove regularly and sold smocked and quilted children's goods with her sister at craft fairs.
Was there anything unusual about your birth?
I was the first child born in the town since 1946, when its hospital closed. Got half a page in the Worcester Evening Telegram a few weeks after I was born; it's on the Rutland page in the 20 Aug 1980 issue if you want to read it.
Did you have siblings at that time? How old were they?
My older sister, Amy, then 18 months old.
What is your earliest memory about your house?
The room I was born in was wallpapered from the chair rail up on the two interior walls in old National Geographic maps. I always feel safe when I wake up and see maps all over the wall.
What is your happiest childhood memory?
A tie between going to the Framingham library and Sherburne Dairy. The library had multiple floors and a huge children's room, which I worshiped with the belief it was the Best Children's Room Ever, and riding in the wagon to the dairy reinforced how much I enjoy the feeling of going out for ice cream.
What event in your childhood had the most impact on your life as an adult?
Going from private to public school. It forced me to learn how to smile and act nice even though I wanted to throttle every one of them. (Ask my mother about "I'll kill you all if I have to.")
What is your first memory about school?
Finding my kindergarten cubby filled with someone else's stuff and the teacher telling me I couldn't read so just put my stuff in a cubby where the names start with the same first letters as mine. She got very flustered when I told her that I was not Michael Gaudette.
Who was your favorite teacher?
Mrs. Raybolt, my second-grade teacher at Oxford Academy. I wanted to marry her.
What was your favorite subject in school?
Art, followed closely by reading and history. I *owned* the school Geography Bees, although they rigged it so a 6th grader would represent the school. After I moved to Colorado, I finally went to state-level competition and word somehow got back to my old school that I finished the state qualifying test in 15 minutes (it has an hour time limit).
What do you wish you would have learned more about in school?
Anything, after third grade. OA spoiled me so bad that when I started at a public school, I found out I wouldn't see my math textbook (students bought their own at OA) for another three years and I had to spent my math time with kids who hadn't even gotten to adding fractions. Until I got to D'Evelyn, I was a little ball of rage at having to read under my desk to stay out of trouble with the teachers.
What schoolmate had the most impact on your life? In what way?
Cathy, because she shrugged off all the teasing (Blackstone people will remember her for starting sentences with "My neurologist says...") and followed her dream of becoming a nurse. She reminds me to ignore the negative things people say.
Who was your first best friend? How did they influence your life?
Jennifer Freeland and she started my love of musicals. She had the Les Miserables soundtrack and we tried to sing just like Cosette.
What is your first memory about high school?
The murals (now mostly gone) around the building.
What did you learn about yourself in high school?
That I hated every guidance counselor I dealt with except for Ceci Nowack. That it's fun to be subversive. That shelving books is deeply comforting to me. And that if I can't be beautiful, I'm happy being useful because most people don't even know how to sew.
What was the first moment you felt truly grown up?
I don't want to feel grown up. I want to feel like me.
What was the first moment you felt independent?
I'm still getting there.
How old were you when you began to drive?
My sister tried to teach me to drive a stick at 15, which was a wash when she jumped out while I was backing into the driveway and nearly took out one of the fence posts with her open door. Drove infrequently from 16-18 and haven't since. Vogon would like me to, but meh. It makes me too anxious and brings out the same rage I get when I play the GTA series.
Who gave you your first kiss?
Dan Rice. Haven't kissed a smoker since.
Who was your first love?
Ramona, from the Beverly Quimby books.
What were your first experiences with sex like?
Who was the first person you wanted to marry?
My second-grade teacher.
What is your best memory as a teenager with your friends?
Wandering around in Alderfer and finding a rock that looked like it had a perfect pair of tiny humanoid footprints in it.
What was the best party you went to when you were a teenager?
What party? I was so far out of the social circles the only gatherings I went to were occasional sleepovers with iconoplast or Mandy and Scouting events.
What was your first job?
Babysitting. I apparently got the most horrible children of my parents' fellow church members, since my sister got the good (and multiple) ones. I'll never forget the five-year-old whose mother let him throw Matchbox cars and one narrowly missed her head, cracking the window behind her.
How much was your first paycheck and what did you do with it?
Not much and I probably spent it on books.
What were your thoughts about college when you were in high school?
I was apparently college material, but I wasn't going to be able to afford it unless I played the race card.
What schooling did you go to after high school?
A year of college at a small all-girls' Southern college I usually refer to as The Future VMI Wives' Finishing School and Drunk Tank (shortened to the Drunk Tank, since that's what my dorm smelled like). I was working more than I had class hours. I remember loving my education and biology professors and my English instructor telling me that I cannot write. Also got a raging case of bronchitis partway into spring semester and had to drop most of those classes. I was glad to escape the South.
What did you think you would do with your life after you graduated high school?
Get a job to fund spending my free time climbing and weaving.
What did you think about marriage and kids when you graduated from high school?
I figured I'd eventually marry, but I was childfree until I got pregnant with Laurel.
What did you do on your 21st birthday?
Nothing. My sister took me out for drinks at some comedy club in downtown Denver a few weeks later, where I had my first non-wine alcoholic drink (a "dreamsicle" martini, which tasted like ass) and had a peach cream pie shake and a bacon junior cheeseburger from Sonic on the way home since we forgot to make sure I wasn't drinking on an empty stomach beforehand.
What other important relationships did you have after high school?
Bill, which taught me to stay away from alcoholics (his parents were very heavy drinkers), a rekindled friendship with saarlander, which was a relief since he's the other half of my brain, and more renewed friendships with Da Guys.
Which one of your parents are you most like?
My mom, according to my friends.
How have you surprised yourself?
Having a kid. Moving cross-country six times in as many years without losing much. Finding I had more emotional strength than I thought. Doing things on a whim instead of planning things until there was no chance of anything happening.
What have you done that you never thought you would do?
Leaving a relationship that wasn't working instead of letting it destroy itself. Be happy.
What was the greatest challenge of your life so far?
Raising a kid -- and she's not even to kindergarten yet.
Who do you wish you could see again?
saarlander, D'Evelyn gamers I've lost contact with, my grandmother.
Who was the lost love of your life?
I'll let you know when I find out.
What word would you most like people to associate with you?
Callipygian! *dissolves into giggles* Querencia. It's my favorite word for now.
In retrospect, who was the biggest influence on your life? Was the influence positive or negative?
Laurel, and mostly positive.
What is great about your life right now?
I'm safe, well-fed, and living with people who share my vision. I don't worry constantly about money. I'm told I'm loved and beautiful regularly. My daughter's finally using the potty, if not consistently yet. I'm happy where I am.
What could be better about your life?
I could fix my teeth. I could be more social. I could be more decisive. I could...
What things are you doing to make your life better right now?
I try to get time away from the kidlet to remind myself I am someone other than simply, "Mommy! Now!". I read everything I can get my hands on. I do meaningful work. And I snuggle a lot.
What is your family like now?
I think the official term would be "semi-blended", with animals. Vogon, me, Vogon's nerdsprout and my little burrito, a cat for companionship and a blue prawn for entertainment.
What do you think the future holds for you?
All the happiness I can find. A lot of cloth and Taco Bueno chicken potato burritos. A healthy amount of time alone. And a boatload of relief after I get things settled.