10 March 2008

Real Simple Questions

Real Simple magazine showcases a "typical" reader each month. I was emailed their questionnaire and thought I'd share it with you. It's a little long, so bear with me.

My life would be simpler if...
I had a clone that would do all the dirty work, like pulling weeds, cleaning the toilet, dusting.

How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
20-25 min. from out of bed to finish. No kidding. I lay out clothes the night before (mine and the kids'). My husband gets the children dressed and fed while I'm in the shower. We've pretty much got it nailed down.

If you suddenly came into $1,000 in spare cash, what would you do with it?
Save it for our family vacation. Or a new laptop since mine bit the dust last year.

What's the quality you least like about yourself?
I tend to keep myself to myself. It took me a long while to be able to open up to my husband and be able to ask for help when I needed it.

What's the quality you least like in others?

What are you most proud of?
That my kids are turning out to be pretty neat little people. They are both kind, caring, smart, fun individuals. Frank and I are doing something right.

What was your mother right about?
Good Lord, just about everything, which I'm realizing more and more as I raise my daughter. My mother claims she's just like me.

Current obsession?
I have to keep a lid on my love of ceramic pitchers, vases, and Beatles cookie jars. I also like aluminum pitchers (from the 50's). My grandmother had a purple one and I would love to have one in that color.

What makes you laugh?
My children. I love listening to their conversations.

What did you want to be when you were little?
I wanted to be like my dad - a veterinarian.

Bath or shower?
A bath is nice if it's hot, not lukewarm, but I have a tendency to get bored in the tub. Ten minutes go by and I'm thinking, "Is it ok for me to get out?" A shower usually makes me feel great, though.

When do you feel most beautiful?
When my husband says, "You're so pretty" or "You're so beautiful." He's the best.

What scares you?
The fact that I could loose my children to sudden illness or an accident or some random person taking them. When Evan was born I didn't go through the "baby blues." Instead, I was completely paranoid that someone would take him. He slept in a port-a-crib in our room and I had Frank bring it downstairs before he left for work those first few weeks. I would wheel it into the bathroom while I would shower, not so I could hear him if he cried, but so I could keep an eye on him. Like somebody would break into my house and take him. That was my crazy new mom moment.

Simplest pleasure?
A really, really good piece of chocolate. And reading a good comic book.

Guiltiest pleasure?
Many pieces of really, really good chocolate. And my book club that meets Saturday mornings at a local coffee shop.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
One day I wore high heels to school (this was in high school). In algebra class, the last class of the day, I took off my shoes for a minute. The boy sitting if front of me (on whom I had a huge crush) said, "What smells like stinky feet?" I turned beet red and put my shoes on. Mortifying.

What's the one thing about your younger self that you'd like to reclaim?
Other than my figure, not much else. I was pretty irresponsible in my late teens and early 20's. I like who I am now.

What's your favorite item in your wardrobe and why?
I don't really have any one favorite, but I do have some special items hanging in my closet. I have one of my dad's lab coats (that still smells like him) and one of his ties.

How often do you weigh yourself?
Just about every day.

Who was the naughtiest kid in your elementary school and what did he or she do?
I can't recall any one specifically naughty kid. There was Gary, the tough kid, who we were all afraid of, but who turned out to be a pretty nice guy. And Marvin, the weird, dirty kid that nobody wanted to play with (though I did on occasion) who, in third grade, threw up in his desk.

If I had a free hour, I would....
Read. I love to read. There's a stack of books on my nightstand and piles next to my nightstand.

How do you get yourself out of a funk?
I listen to music. Nothing makes me feel better than great music.

What is your motto?
My motto is the golden rule - treat others the way you want to be treated.

My first kiss was...
in 8th grade and happened and my friend Kathy's birthday party. It wasn't very memorable other than the boy I kissed wore a lot of aftershave.

What's your favorite feature?
My eyes. They are the same color as my great-grandmother's and change from brown to green, depending on the light and what I'm wearing.

Before I die, I'd like to...
learn to ski, go ice skating again, and travel, travel, travel.

What are you really good at?
Listening. I don't try to offer solutions to anyone's problems unless they ask. I'd rather just be there to listen, which is usually more helpful.

Favorite junk food?
Reece's peanut butter cups. MMMMM....

Most useless invention?
I have this wooden lemon juicer I got as a wedding shower gift and every time I've tried to use it, I end up with seeds in the juice. I'd rather just use my hands.

Would your rather be a little smarter or little sexier?
I think I'm fairly smart, so I think I'd like to feel a little sexier. I think my hubby would appreciate that, too.

Beauty product you couldn't live without?
I love C.O. Bigelow's "My favorite lip balm". I wear it every night. It has a great texture - not gloppy or sticky and does wonders for chapped lips. I'm also partial to Burt's Bees tinted lip balms. I think there are 3 or 4 in my purse.

Red or white wine?
My mom, sister and I are all partial to rieslings. My husband is allergic to wine but can tolerate ice wine. Our favorite is from a winery in Ontario that we visited, Inniskillen.

How many pairs of jeans are in your closet?
Far too many. They are the staple of the stay-at-home mom's wardrobe.

How many pairs of shoes do you own?
My weakness. I own way, wayyyyy too many pairs of shoes. And no matter how many pairs I have, I always fall back on my Lands' End slip-ons in the winter and my Birkenstock flip-flops in the summer.

What's your favorite place in the world?
Home. I also love Liverpool, England. I spent a few days there once and I would love to go back. The whole of Ireland ranks up there, too, especially the town of Dingle and Galway city (where my family's originally from).

What's your favorite possession?
I have all of my dad's old photographs and slides and there are a lot from his side of the family, some dating back to the 1800's. Those are my treasures.

If you had an "I'd rather be_______" bumper sticker on your car. What would it say?

I wouldn't be caught dead...
wearing stirrup pants. I hear they're making a comeback. Why?

What was the first concert you ever went to, and what do you remember most about it?
The first concert I attended was the Osmond family. I was obsessed with Donny and Marie and for my birthday the year I turned 8 my mom took me to see them at the Illinois State Fair. I don't remember anything about the concert itself except that a lady a few rows down from us got a paper airplane stuck in her bouffant hair-do.

If you could change careers now without any consequences or financial loss, what would you switch to?
I would resume my career in the classroom without hesitation. I loved every minute I spent with my students.

Who was your favorite teacher and why?
I was very fortunate to have many exceptional teachers but a few that stood out were my first grade teacher Miss Awalt, fourth grade teacher Miss Heimburger, fifth and sixth grade homeroom/language arts/social studies teacher Mrs. Lottman, eigth grade English and drama teacher Mrs. Page, high school teachers Mrs. Wickline and Mr. Cochrane. They took an interest in me and that made me feel that I could do anything I set my mind to.

Biggest waste of time?
A bad movie - not one intentionally bad, but one that takes itself way too seriously and is not executed well.

High Road or Low Road?
I prefer to take the high road, but the low road is awfully tempting sometimes.

What's the best song ever?
Any Beatles song. And Dee-Lite's "Groove Is In The Heart." Just try to be in a bad mood while that song's playing.

What's the item most likely to break your budget?
Probably a trip to Border's bookstore. I have a notebook that I write down all the books I want to read. About 13 pages are full, so I'd be in deep if I took it to a bookstore.

How often do you check your bank balance?
Not often enough.

What is the superhuman power you'd most want to have?
My husband and I have discussed this before. I'd like to have super telekinesis. I could be writing this, folding the laundry, changing Barbie clothes, building Lego things, and cooking dinner all at the same time!

Craziest fashion trend or hairstyle you've worn?
I was a teenager in the 80's. That should tell you plenty. Yikes.

What celebrity crushes did you have as a teenager?
Simon LeBon of Duran Duran, Adam Ant, Sting, Paul McCartney, Howard Jones, Bono of U2, Elvis Costello, Michael J. Fox, Robin Williams

What is something that no one knows about you?
My sister and I had serious, albeit short-lived, crushes on Scott Baio when he was on "Happy Days" and "Joanie Loves Chachi". We would kiss the picture we cut out of Tiger Beat each night. It's kind of embarrassing.

If you could change places with anyone, living or dead, for one day, who would it be?
Dr. Stephen Hawking. He's an amazing person and to be in his brain for a day would be incredible.

What's the perfect age?
I have no idea, but I'm liking 38. I guess the perfect age is the one you feel the most comfortable.

What's the nicest thing that anyone has ever said to you?
"Mommy, you're the best mommy in the whole wide world."

What amount of money would make you feel you were set for life?
A couple of million ought to do it. We have school to pay for yet. And Flynn's already talking about her wedding (she's 4).

What's your idea of the perfect meal?
All of the items on the menu would be ones no longer available to me: steak grilled by my dad and his key-lime pie, spaghetti cooked by my grandmother, my great-grandmother's bread.

What's the one thing you refuse to eat?
Liver and onions. Bleah.

Favorite movie moment?
There are so, so many I can't choose. Since my last birthday, my favorite movie moment has been the scene in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" where King Arthur meets the peasants played by Michael Palin and Terry Jones. Michael Palin's peasant says, "I'm 37. I'm not old!"

What's the one thing you'll never understand?
How to multiply or divide fractions. It boggles my mind.

How many books have you read in the last year?
Around 90, not counting children's books.

What's your favorite book?
I have lots of favorites: the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Hobbit, the Narnia books, Lamb by Christopher Moore, The Diary of Anne Frank. And I will read absolutely anything by the following: Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, and Christopher Moore. They are amazing writers that have an incredible gift for words.

How many hours of television do you watch per week?
Not many, maybe 5.

How many cups of coffee do you drink a day?
Maybe 1. I do drink 1-2 cups of tea a day.

How often do you exercise?
Between 3-6 times a week.

How many phone calls do you make a day?
Maybe 1-3.

How much time do you spend on the Internet?
Maybe 1 hr. a day.

Morning person or night owl?
I'm certainly a morning person. I'd much rather get up at 4:30 a.m. than go to bed at 4:30 a.m..

How many hours of sleep do you get?
Between 6-8.

What's the messiest spot in your home?
The entire back half of the first floor of my house. It's where we cook, eat, play, do homework, live.

What's your main source of news?
NPR. I listen in the car and while I'm in the shower. And I check a couple of news site online.

How often do you see a doctor for check-ups?
Once a year. 2 years ago I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease, a fairly common thyroid disorder, so now I see my gp once a year to check the 'ole thyroid.

How many times a week do you cook?
5-6. I prefer to cook, but weekends are fair game for take-out.

How much candy do you eat in a week?
I allow myself 1-2 pieces a day.

How often do you entertain?
Maybe 5 times a year.

What surprises you most about your adult life?
That it's so much fun. When I was a kid, I thought being a grown-up would be dead boring. Boy, was I wrong. My adult life is incredibly rich and I'm blessed with a wonderful family and good friends.


Mom said...

I bow to you oh reading goddess! I was quite impressed with myself for hitting 70 last year (just 2007) but 90! Wow, that is just amazing :)

Katherine said...

That's funny, but towards the end of my pregnancy with the tree-hugger I kept reading these stories in the news about women having their babies cut out of them. I wouldn't allow a birth announcement, balloons, or any indication we had her because I was still such an emotional wreck. My husband still thinks to this day that I went searching for those stories, but I swear they just jumped out at me. Hormones man, gotta love 'em.

Leeanthro said...

I hope they choose you. I've often wondered where they get the women that they profile.