1. I once used my My Sims2 game as a form of career therapy. It was cheaper than the real thing and surprisingly gratifying. NOTE: This happened only once. I swear. (Once for about a year.)
Story: I was working for three creeps who made a game of hiring then firing people. It was their sport. I was the interviewer who presented my findings to the creeps; they gave the go-ahead for me to hire. They also like me to fire people “just because” and gave little-to-no feedback nor reason to let someone go. *That* I had to fabricate all by myself.
My comrades in the office had been aware of this pattern for months. Disgusted and somewhat alarmed at the level of callousness at which our bosses operated, we kept our heads down and our eyes averted. It was an awful place to work; low morale and fiercely competitive. At home, tired of being frustrated and scared, I created these three creeps as characters in My Sims2 and put them all in one huge tricked-out custom My Sims2 house with every virtual amenity – including hookers, an indoor hot tub, and a wet bar and swing set in the expansive living room. Why not? They were living exotic and large in my real world.
… but not for long …
After a few days of establishing the three creeps and getting them settled, I quietly began removing things from their house. Like furniture. (If you’re not a Sims player, the ‘people’ get royally ticked off when they can’t sit or nap or sleep or find places to have sex.) After a few rounds of taking-away and putting-back essentials, I learned that lack of sleep leads to insanity.) A few days later the windows disappeared. (This was less bothersome to the three virtual creeps, but still irritating to cause them minor distress.)
Over the next few evenings, I reconfigured walls to decrease the house space and, eventually, they were narrowed down to a single room. (Very irritated response and behaviors from the pretend creepy guys.) And, sadly, the bathrooms had to go (no pun intended), one by one. This move brought about lots of My Sims babble-cursing and fist-waving at the screen. They were clearly angry. It was then, oddly enough, I learned that characters will eventually have “accidents” if there are no facilities. And they did have accidents.
On another day, the females were removed. (Need I say exactly why this deletion was frustrating?) And finally the back, then side, and eventually, front door. No escape. *Lots* of babble-cursing and fist-shaking at the screen. Every now and then I’d return the front door or put a toilet back in the house – then take it away just as a character was approaching. This went on for a while. OK it was more like a month but who can remember? It was many years ago. I was upset but quietly, healthily (I thought) finding my peace. What do you want.
Eventually, the three virtual creepy boss characters met with odd and unexpected virtual demises but not before the following happened because of the defaults of the game (read –I had nothing to do with the following – it just happened). Keep in mind my three creepy bosses were all male, as were the three virtual creeps. Manly, vagina-poking, female-marrying, wife-cheater males.
Delirious, starved and desperate for both food and sex, Number 1 began ‘wooing’ the other two; when his sexual advances were rebuffed several times he went nuts and sat in a corner rocking back and forth, talking gibberish to large Pink Bunny who appears when characters lose their minds. (The Pink Bunny was fantastic.)
Number 2 literally died of boredom: *POOF!* the grim reaper appeared, swung his sickle and 2 became a headstone right there on the floor of the small, windowless, pee-stained living room. (NOTE: I had no idea at the time characters could actually die in this game – I was a novice; this was a real eye-opener and I was upset that I’d possibly ‘killed’ one of my bosses. I got over it when…)
Number 3 had a nervous breakdown while mourning his would-be lover, #2 the headstone; he also took to swinging on the swing set remaining in the living room while talking to his own man-sized Pink ‘Crazy’ Bunny; he tried “wooing” the first guy AND the Bunny but got nowhere and ended in a stupor sucking his thumb in the corner.
I was weirdly satisfied with this outcome. And went to work every single next morning, after gaming and tormenting my virtual bosses for hours the night before.
You should know I’m not proud of this. But it’s random enough for the “About Me” list, right?
2. I believe in good, old-fashioned love stories, courting and happily-ever after. I also enjoy certain aspects of porn and have written a well-followed adult Tumblr for several years under a pseudonym. No, I am not telling you that nom de plume.
3. Preparing Thanksgiving and hosting parties, and entertaining in general – I’m good at that.
4. Personal ads are chock full of bad spelling, poor grammar, bad/outdated profile photos and unhappy married people claiming to be single. The poor grammar and bad spelling bother me most.
5. Halloween is my favorite holiday. When I lived in a “normal” neighborhood, I sat on our front porch dressed as a fortuneteller or a witch, and spooked the kids who came up the steps for candy. I warned them to stay away from the neighbor across the street as they were known to eat children for snacks – on crackers, with spray cheese from a can; this seemed like a good reason to give a lot of extra candy.
6. I have a Masters degree in Art Education K-12 and a BFA in Theater, but I’d really like to return to doing regular sketch comedy and improv. I gave that up when I got pregnant. That was 1997. It’s time to go back, I think.
7. In the course of taking jobs I had no business taking, my philosophy was to “act as if.” This thinking led to success in nearly every job. Such jobs included: bartending; waitressing; make-up artist; futures trader’s head floor clerk; acting (Off-Broadway and regional theaters); retail sales and window merchandising; singing in a paid band; executive secretary; Playboy bunny (less than two weeks); newsletter writer; magazine photographer and editor’s assistant; costume fabricator; web designer, and parent. My philosophy did *not* work, however, in the following jobs: airplane pilot, triage nurse, veterinarian, sperm donor.
8. I love taking pictures. If you’re missing any, they’re probably here.
9. I would like to write a book, but have been afraid to begin writing. So, I’ve thought a book and it’s great. Bestseller. Excellent characters. Wildly fantastic story. You should see the sequel.
10. Love going to the movies and have never walked out on a single one, except when they’re over.
11. My drink of choice is an extra dirty gin martini with both onion and olive juices. They’re even better with bleu cheese-stuffed olives, ice cold and straight up. However, I’ll settle for sauvignon blanc.
12. I am a very good prank phone caller. Once, when my Mom was supposed to attend a Tupperware party – but didn’t want to go, and told the hostess she was going to be out of town (which she wasn’t) – I called her from a friend’s house and said I was Rhonda Feinberg (fictitious character; my apologies to any real Rhonda), “the Regional Home Party Manager” and that I wanted to discuss with her why she wouldn’t be attending the party. My mom is not particularly good at being rude to people [on the phone] so I had “Ronda” be extra pushy. When I felt she’d had enough, I said to her, “Well, Trude (she hates that name) – can I call you Trude? OK. Well, Trude – what would you say if I told you I was your eldest daughter…?”
I had no idea my Mom knew how to swear like that.
13. A few years back, I was very active in my church, volunteered a lot of time there, and wrote the monthly newsletter, among other things. I was in the choir, and became a lay minister, too. But that did NOT make me a church lady; it made me a diverse person. Because when I’m not volunteering my time, or in charge of anything public or important, I’m fixing martini’s or wine, making crank calls and watching porn like the rest of you.
14. I can impersonate Julia Child.
15. Performing Shakespeare for three summers in a row saved my life, though I played at least one character who drowned in a creek. This is the second time theater is mentioned in this list. I should take note.
16. A few years ago, I had a profile on an online dating site and was speaking with a man 10 years older than myself. Although he was nice, successful, he reminded me of a cross between Wilford Brimley and death, and while he seemed fine, I felt that 55 is a nice speed limit (but too old for a capable/promising date). One date, a dinner, was enough. Especially when he said he needed a nap after the appetizer.
17. I took a year from traditional work to work as a freelance writer for a year, three years ago. Some of the articles I published were/are: “Adios, Bellhop”, “The Mechanics of Angels”, “The Fully-Overgrown Boy (or, the Immature Man)”, and “Strictly Platonic” – a true tale of posting an ad on Craig’s List for a one-time, platonic date to a business party. (Postscript: He called me about three months later, asking me to reciprocate and be his date for a Masonic thing he had to attend. I had parenting responsibilities and chose those over the date. He never called back, and he was not as close to death as Mr. Death Brimley in number 19.) Thankfully, I kept all the options open, which is how I wound up here, in Virginia.
18. In the shower and the car, at top volume, with great feeling, I sing. Sometimes I know all the words. Particularly, I like the sideways glances from other drivers who aren’t singing who might be wondering about my sanity behind the wheel.
19. Fall is my favorite time of year. I tolerate summer and secretly envy those who adore “beach weather” and perspiring for fun. But – and this is a key exception – I love summer because it’s the only time anyone ever asks me to go sailing or fishing.
20. I would easily give my life to save my child, and probably your child’s, too.
21. I like to iron, sweep, and vacuum. I find it meditative, mindless yet practical… (at other people’s houses. I’m not great at doing this around my own home.)
22. After nearly 20-years’ search, I found my birth mother; a year or so later, my birth father. They did not marry and live on opposite coasts. My birth mom. first mom, was receptive and welcoming, as were the family members from her side. Several months later, I found a brother from my birth father’s side; I’d not known of him nor he of me. A few years later, his/our half sister appeared. She doubts I say I am who I am (because our mutual father says I’m a liar. Nice.) Still, it was nice to finally know I had a real start. It continues to bungle me up now and then, particularly when it comes to feeling whether or not I fit in with all of them…or not. And, while I finally felt accounted for, I am still wondering what it will be like to feel whole, in that way we wonder.