The other night, my friend Jess (she of the "partners in crime" designation) posted a meme on Facebook.
(Meme: Noun. A cultural idea or element of social behavior which is transmitted through society in a manner similar to the biological transmission of genes. Pronounced "meem.")
This particular meme was a list of fifty facts about Jess. Since I was "tagged" in the post, my participation was encouraged, so I've been struggling to come up with fifty things I don't mind saying publicly about myself. This is harder than it sounds. In fact, it's variably difficult because there are some things I don't mind saying in a Facebook post (which is locked to my friends) but that I would object to posting here in my blog (which is open to the world for scrutiny and criticism).
This brings up a whole other slew of questions. Is the person I'm willing to be in a public arena, like my blog, all that much different from the person I am in more private settings? And why is there a difference?
Embarrassment, I suppose, is the starting point. The people who are friends with me on Facebook are, as I mention on the FAQ page, people who I'm either related to via blood or marriage, or they've known me for a really long time. So they're pretty well acquainted with my quirks, foibles, talents, and lack thereof. It's one thing to say to people who know me that "I can't leave the house without making sure I have nine red marbles and two black ones in my pocket." It's quite another thing to say it here, where I'm being read by people who have never met me and would doubtless wonder why I'm walking around with marbles in my pocket.
I don't do that, incidentally. It was just an example. Trust me, I lost my marbles a long time ago.
Another reason is simple privacy. Generally speaking, my internet persona really is me. I can refer you to a number of friends I've made online who have since met me in person, and about the only thing they might tell you is different is that in person, I'm a bit more huggable and my laugh is slightly obnoxious. This is who I honestly am. But we all have our secret selves, don't we? Almost nobody knows us as well as they think they do. I'm pretty sure the only person from whom I have virtually no secrets is my husband, and that's partly because we live in a small house and there's no room for hiding any.
It's not only my own privacy I'd want to consider, either. Being too open online can create problems for other people who have taken me into their confidence in one sense or another. I always want to respect other people's boundaries, and sometimes that means reining myself in somewhat.
So it's been a puzzle. But I think I found a good balance -- here's a list of not fifty, but twenty slightly curious, possibly interesting, and mostly un-embarrassing facts about me that don't involve anyone who might not wish to be involved. Enjoy! And if you're reading, consider yourself "tagged" and feel free to respond with your own facts.
1) I don't like coffee. I'm that weird writer who goes to a coffeeshop to write and doesn't drink coffee.
2) However, looking out at the additional nine inches of snow that was dumped on us yesterday, I can't help thinking that some hot chocolate would be nice right about now.
3) I think that deciding to start my blog is one of the better ideas I've had in a while.
4) Someone once said that I must be powered by "caffeine and imagination." I do not deny this.
5) I was born in the Chinese year of the dragon. This tends to surprise no one.
6) I have the same middle name as my mother. It's Kay.
7) I have a tendency to name things. If it's an inanimate object and I have some kind of emotional attachment to it, odds are strong that it will get a name. My car is Tom Sawyer, my laptop is Epona, and my new camera is Zeus (because it's an Olympus).
8) But I have never given anything a more appropriate name than when I dubbed my cat Random. Because he is.
9) The last time I had short hair was when I was twelve years old. Never again.
10) I am very much looking forward to attending Genericon next month with my friend Cat. (I even got business cards with the blog's address to give to all the new friends I hope to meet.)
11) If something ever permanently prevented me from writing/telling stories, I would go mad. There are people in my head and they need to come out somehow.
12) Reading back over that last fact makes me wonder if I sound as crazy as I think I might.
13) I have a paralyzing fear of heights. When we went to the Grand Canyon, it took all of my willpower to get off the bus. I have this irrational conviction that I will either develop an unstoppable urge to jump or that a spontaneous vacuum will develop and drag me down.
14) My fear of heights is exceeded only by my claustrophobia. I can't even think about being in a small space or I'll start to freak out. I saw a movie about a girl who was kidnapped and held in a box buried in the ground, and I almost hyperventilated imagining myself in the same scenario. I think it's mostly the idea of suffocating that terrifies me.
15) I get teased a lot for my love of video games, but the truth is that one of the (many) reasons I love them so much is because they remind me of my grandparents.
16) I have a Buddha figure in my living room. It was a gift from my stepdad's brother Gowri.
17) I have a sort of morbid fascination with tombstone art. There are some really extraordinary gravestones in our local cemeteries from the 19th century.
18) I have only one real celebrity crush. Most of you would not recognize the name if I said it, so I won't. I will, however, say that I just learned he's getting a Facebook account and will be accepting friend requests from his fans, so this can only end badly. (And before you ask, yes, my husband is aware of this. He seems to find it amusing.)
19) My favorite picture in the world is here in my living room. I'm about three years old, asleep in my grandfather's arms.
20) I am so much happier as an adult than I was as a child.
Your turn. :)