Authentic You Interview
The following interview was published by Karen Walrond on her fabulous Chookooloonks blog as part of her “Authentic You Interview Series.”
1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? 68 degree weather, dappled shade, an Adirondack chair, a big pile of sand for the kids to dig in, a breeze, a hot cup of coffee with lots of sugar and full-fat milk, and someone I love in a chair next to me ready to talk and talk and talk.
2. What is your greatest fear? Honestly? Losing one of my kids in some big public place. I’m not naming any names, but there is one small, three-year-old person in our family who does not understand the need for parents.
3. Which living person do you most admire? My mother. And mothers in general.
4. What trait do you most deplore in yourself? Self-criticism.
5. What trait do you most deplore in others? Meanness.
6. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Neatness.
7. What or who is the greatest love of your life? I’m not sure how to quantify love. All my loves are different. All overlapping into the crazy collage that makes up my days. I’m grateful for all of them. Every single one.
8. Which talent would you most like to have? I one time went into a piano store with a friend who was a brilliant pianist. He could sit at the piano for days, forgetting to eat until he passed out. We looked kind of scruffy that day and the salespeople were prickly and snooty with us. But then he started playing, and the whole tenor of the room shifted. People gathered around, came out of their offices, held their breath, gaped. I was like, “Yeah, I’m with him.”
I’d love to be able to do that. That, or tap dance like Gene Kelly. Or juggle.
9. What is your current state of mind? A stew. Bubbling and simmering with all the things that matter to me floating around in big pot. Every now and then, someone comes along and stirs it up.
10. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Rising above my middle school years.
11. What is your most treasured possession? My wedding ring.
12. What is your superpower? The ability to hear imaginary people talking in my head.
13. Who is your favourite hero of fiction? Horton the Elephant. Or Eloise. Or Jane Eyre. Or Yossarian. Or Holden Caufield. Or any of the Dashwood girls. Or Frank Bascombe. Or Cannie Shapiro. Or Molly the Pirate Girl’s badass mother.
14. Who are your heroes in real life? People who work to make things better.
15. What is your motto? I don’t actually have a motto, but I’ll make this one up on the spot: “You can’t tell from looking.”
16. What do you most value in your friends? First: Niceness. Nice goes a long way with me. After that, I love people who are smart about themselves and honest about their struggles. And I’m always drawn to people who think I’m funny. If they’re funny, too, and we can make each other laugh–that’s about as good as it gets.
17. Which word or phrase do you most overuse? “Don’t grab my boobs.” Spoken many, many times a day to my toddler boy, who would give every single truck he owns to still be nursing.
18. What is your greatest extravagance? Takeout. We order way too much takeout. Partly because I’m terrible at planning ahead and always losing track of time, and partly because there is so much great food in Houston that very few things I make can even compare… Why on earth would I make hamburgers and rice when we have Tom Kha Gai, Satay, and Pad Thai waiting 100 feet from our front door?
19. What is the quality you most like in a woman? Kindness.
20. What is the quality you most like in a man? Wit.
21. On what occasion do you feel the most authentic? When I am with the people who’ve known me forever and love me anyway, even still.
Photography by Karen Walrond, Chookooloonks.