A few weeks ago, I asked Carissa of SAHMmy Says to interview me. It's taken me awhile to answer the five questions she promptly and imaginatively shot back at me, but I'm ready now. She gives good interview, that one does.
1. You refer to a nefarious Firm and a mismatched career in financial services. When and why did you choose to stay home with Bean?
Oh, I guess nefarious may be a bit strong for The Firm (although it is a million dollar word, Carissa, and I wish I'd thought of it first!). I had a really quick, educational and rewarding career up until the last 18 months or so, even though yes, it wasn't exactly what I'd been cut out to do, or at least I don't think so. Bad corporate decisions in the wake of the bursting of the tech bubble and the market slump after 9/11 led to a lousy couple of years. I think things look better now for The Firm, honestly. Many of the notoriously bad decision-makers have been ousted since Al and I left, so to a degree my faith has been restored. Not completely, ever, but somewhat.
I've pretty much known my whole life that if I were ever so blessed as to become a Mama, I would do it full time (plus, apparently!). When Al and I got married and subsequently pregnant a month later, I knew it was only a matter of months before I left The Firm. I really wanted to keep working until Bee was born, really, but the stress-o-meter just kep' gettin' dialed up and up and UP, and I felt like my first and probably only pregnancy was slipping by in a haze of negativity and backstabbing and angst over a job that I didn't even plan on doing too much longer anyway. I'd been there 11 years and I wanted to go out on my own terms, happily, confidently and with as little bitterness as possible. So I left in June, about 4 months before the Baby Beanie was due to arrive upon the scene. And I haven't looked back a single time, although I confess I do miss earning a paycheck of my own. It's extremely difficult for me to feel like a full partner in this marriage when I'm not contributing financially (directly, I mean), (as I knew it would be and as Al and listened to me stew and fret and vascillate over ad nauseum many long months before I retired, the poor man) but I'm trying (still... sigh) to readjust my thinking in that area.
2. Best Southern comfort you've found in the Midwest?
Hmmm. Does my own cooking count? But not because I'm such a terrific cook, although I'm not terrible, either. Simply because well... This ain't the South, folks, and they don't much DO Southern up here. But comfort food? Oh my granny, yes. If you consider some of the most mouthwateringly fantastic REAL pizza you've ever sunk your teeth into comforting. Which hoooooooooo-doggies, I sure do. We had pizza in the South, but y'all? It was just plain ol' chain store cardboard. That pizza down there isn't fit to lick the boots of Chicago pizza. That's no exaggeration, and there's simply no comparison. Crust to sauce to cheese, sheer perfection, and total superiority to any other pizza I've ever had, including in Italy, which... Plah! You call this pizza? And there are a couple other comfort items up here you don't see much of down South, too. Amazing crispy golden potato pancakes served with applesauce and sour cream, Wisconson Beer Cheese soup (Heaven in a bowl, I tell you!), Italian beef sandwiches (not a huge favorite of mine, but only because I'm kinda off meat these days), Italian sausages and brats, fresh sweet corn, and Friday night fish fries all come to mind when I think comfort food up here. I lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin just out of college and then moved back home to Georgia, and would you believe I actually felt homesick for some of the Midwestern diner comfort food faves after I'd left? I surely did. In fact, when I made the trek up here from Atlanta to look at homes with Al in December of 2005, we found a rustic little diner in the converted jail house of one of the neighboring villages (the one I still go to almost every summer Tuesday for the farmers' market) and had potato pancakes and beer cheese soup for lunch, and they truly WERE comfort food. That simple, delicious lunch with Al, just the two of us looking out over the quaint little village square that was buried under about 10 inches of fresh white snow, settled my heart for the move. You might say I fell in love with this prairie the first time that day, as I savored the familiar tastes of those two Midwestern comfort foods. And I still fall in love again with this place just about daily.
3. "Abandon hope, all ye who enter here!"--Dante Alighieri. Where's here?
This question stops me dead in my tracks every time I read it. I've been pondering an answer since Carissa sent me the original email two weeks ago. The only place I've ever been that feels hopeless to me is Priscilla Maude Sybil's brain. That chick is pathetic.
But there was also this "salon" (ahem) in my home town... Norma's, I believe it was called, and isn't that the perfect name for a small-town salon? Anyway. Girl, you got your hair cut there ONE time and you never went back. My mom took my sister Jackie there one time right after we'd moved to town (hadn't been warned yet, I guess) and it turned out so bad she wore an orange and white striped old-man golf hat for 2 or months afterwards until it'd grown out some. You know my mom has lived in that town for thirty years now and she STILL complains there's no one in the city limits who knows a thing about cutting hair. Abandon hope, all ye who enter hair, I guess.
4. Elijah has come down from heaven in his chariot of fire. You've been a good girl, so he lets you choose 3 celebrities to take back with him, never again to bother us mortals. Whom do you send?
Heavens. I don't know much about celebrities these days. Lemme think. Nope, I can't do it that way. BUT, I would ask Elijah to please BRING BACK with him in his chariot (since he's comin' back anyway, see?) Audrey Hepburn, because... oh, the class and elegance. And Lucille Ball, because oh, the laughter and the beauty. And... Martin Luther King, Jr., because, well. I don't think he was done yet. And I think he'd have some great thoughts on the political/religious/racial issues of our time. Strange mix. Audrey, Lucy and MLK. But that's how my little brain works and it's my interview, right?
5. What's the perfectionistic habit you'd be most embarrassed about were your friends to catch you in the act?
I don't know if you'd count this as a perfectionist habit but I am addicted to weighing myself. BUT. In order for it to "count," I have to be stark naked, with no jewelry, bone dry hair, no makeup, and most importantly, I have to wait until I'm sure that the bod is as empty as it can be, if you know what I mean. Which means that I have some interesting, um... scheduling techniques... when it comes to my daily scale-time.
Now it's my turn to interview some of YOU. The first 3 people who comment and request it will get five interview questions from me for your own blogging fun!