Let Me Tell You A Little Bit About Myself
September 17th, 2010

When I started this blog my intention was to explore ideas, to force myself to think about things more critically, and to challenge myself to be more observant of the world around me.  In pursuing that goal I have written a great deal about my response to various topics and experiences, but not very much about myself as a person. 

So, because today is my birthday, I thought it an opportune moment to give you a glimpse into some other, less cerebral, aspects of me.  I love reading these kinds of lists about other people, so I hope you will find this list interesting, and not utterly self-absorbed.  If you find it utterly self-absorbed please feel free to stop reading now and come back on Monday.  I take no offense. 

  1. A lifetime reader of fiction, I have dedicated this entire year (with one exception) to reading nonfiction.
  2. I will devote next year to reading literary classics that I’ve never read before.
  3. From the time I graduated college until I got married I lived alone.  I loved it.  I wouldn’t trade my family for anything, but there are days when I truly miss the peace of living alone.
  4. During my pregnancy I loved not knowing whether IEP was a boy or girl, but I get secretly annoyed when other people don’t find out. 
  5. I love just about anything written by Aaron Sorkin.
  6. My current favorite comfort food meal is a thick slice of rustic Italian bread toasted and topped with a big ladle-full of tomato sauce and a poached egg.  Just heaven.
  7. Every Christmas I buy a tin of Williams-Sonoma’s Peppermint Bark and never finish it.
  8. Sundays are my best days.  I start the day with a 4.5 mile run.  Then we go to church.  Then I volunteer at the hospital for three hours.  Then IEP and I go run errands and get ready for the week.  By the end of the day I feel like I’m the best possible version of myself. 
  9. My favorite authors are Barbara Kingsolver, John Steinbeck, and Malcolm Gladwell. 
  10. When I was 26 I traveled to China for business and was taken out for Peking Duck.  I was served an entire dish of duck tongues (thankfully flavored heavily with garlic) and had to eat them lest I insult my host.  They were chewy and slippery and awful, just as you’d expect duck tongues to be.
  11. Growing up I always thought I wanted to have two kids, but after marrying my husband (oldest of six) I’ve come to also want a large(ish) family. 
  12. My favorite book is Gone with the Wind.  Despite what people may think, it was not the genesis of chick lit.  It is a massive American saga that just happens to have a female protagonist.  I am a bit militant about this point, but don’t talk about it often because very few of my contemporaries have actually read it I just end up sounding like a shrew. 
  13. During the 13 months that I nursed IEP I out-ate my husband every single day.  When I finally weaned IEP I was sad not to nurse anymore, but mostly sad not to be able to eat 3,000 calories a day. 
  14. I was president of my sorority in college.  It was not a particularly good experience and given the option to do it again I would decline it.
  15. If I could make any physical changes to myself I would make my hair thicker and my left foot the same size as my right foot.  (The left is slightly larger.)
  16. I am freakishly ticklish.
  17. I dream of living in New York, but fear that if/when that ever happens it won’t live up to my expectations.
  18. I deplore condescension and false humility.
  19. My dogs shed constantly.  I have to sweep my house three or four times a week.
  20. I sometimes worry that I come across as too serious on this blog.
  21. I love going to movies alone.  Except that I have to be very strategic about soda consumption because you can’t leave your purse/coat on your seat if you need to go to the bathroom. 
  22. I try to exercise four days a week.  I am successful about 75% of the time. 
  23. In 2006 GAP and I went to Italy for two weeks.  It was the best vacation either of us has ever taken. 
  24. I don’t bite my nails but I do bite my cuticles.  I’ve tried to stop since junior high.  I have failed every time.
  25. You could not begin to count the freckles on my face.  There must be hundreds.  I never outgrew them.  I actually hardly even notice them, but I know I’d be heartbroken if they ever faded away.
  26. I hate the way Terry Gross on NPR says, “Fresh Air” as though the title of her show were divinely inspired.  But I love the show. 
  27. I have iPhone envy.  My company-issued cell phone is a BlackBerry with the text messaging functionality disabled.  I hate it.  I could get my own personal iPhone, but I’m convinced that carrying two phones would be more annoying than carrying one crappy phone.  So I just live with the BlackBerry and try to curb my complaining. 
  28. I love playing the game with people where they have to identify the five books and five movies they would take to a desert island.  I think you can actually learn quite a bit about people that way.
  29. If I could have any superpower it would be time travel.  I wish I could hopscotch around different eras and see what life was like in those times.  (Perhaps strangely, I’m only curious about the past.  I have no interest in glimpsing the future.)
  30. I don’t drink beer.  I just don’t like the way it tastes.  Spicy, big-bodied red wines, on the other hand…
  31. In the world of fast food I think that Burger King has the best burgers, McDonald’s has the best fries, and Wendy’s has the best shakes.  Once during maternity leave I was craving junk food and attempted to create the perfect fast food meal by driving to an intersection that had all three restaurants.  I bought the respective “best” item from each place and drove home to eat them all together.  It did not live up to my expectations, but now I never have to go to that trouble again because I know it’s not really worth it. 
  32. I love our nanny more than I ever dreamed I could.  She has become an integral part of our family and I’m so thankful to have her helping raise our son. 
  33. Is the number of years old I am today.

17 Responses to “Let Me Tell You A Little Bit About Myself”

  1. Lindsey Says:

    I love this! And I think we may be the same person. Lived alone, check. Aaron Sorkin, check. BK burgers, McK fries? Check! Nanny a part of my family? check.

    PS I want to know the one exception to your non-fiction year?

  2. Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities Says:

    Happy happy birthday!!! (And 33 is my absolute favorite number. Larry Bird. Obvi.)


  3. Gale Says:

    Lindsey – “Life After Yes” of course!!

  4. TheKitchenWitch Says:

    Happy birthday! I, too, really loved living alone. I was shocked by how much I liked it. I also think it took a lot of discipline to just read non-fiction for a whole year–wow!

  5. Gale Says:

    Kitch – Thanks. I’m not through the year of nonfiction yet. It was one of my 2010 resolutions. So I have a few more months to go. But I’ve been both surprised and delighted at how much I’ve enjoyed it.

  6. Jeanna Says:

    Happy Birthday Gale! Loved reading your list.

  7. Chandrika Bhat Says:

    Happy Birthday Gale!

    That were really interesting 33 things about you. Liked it!


  8. Kristen @ Motherese Says:

    Happy birthday, Gale! I enjoyed reading your list and seeing all of the things we have in common.

    My birthday is coming up in a few months, but I’ve enjoyed being 33 for the past 9 months. May it be a great year for you too!

  9. Anne@lifeinpencil.com Says:

    Happy b-day sis:) I would add the following items…
    -Gale is the most fiercely loyal and protective sis imaginable. I pity the fool who messes with me.
    -As a child, Gale never liked to play “pretend” games. This was a total bummer, but she made up for it in other ways.
    -Gale is hilarious. Seriously. All she has to do is say a few key phrases, and I dissolve into giggles.

    Love, Me

  10. Jenny Says:

    Happy birthday to you, Gale!
    It doesn’t seem like we should both be turning 33 this week! I can remember our birthdays when we were in the single digits! Time literally flies….
    I hope you have the happiest of days and that year 33 is your best yet!
    Oh, and btw, I loved your above entry!

  11. Gale Says:

    Jenny – Thanks so much for your comment here. Yes, it seems not that long ago that we were having joint birthday parties at the roller skating rink. Those were the days!! Glad you enjoyed my post today. And have a wonderful birthday weekend.

  12. Shawna Says:

    Happy Birthday! I too, love the list game in #28, and a whole year of reading non fiction. With no cheating? Oh, don’t know if I could do it. I read non-fiction too (Also, LOVE Malcolm Gladwell) at what I consider a pretty decent rate, about 1 in 4 books. Hmmmm, a whole year. Good for you. Would love to know what you’ve read and which you liked best!

  13. Cathy @ All I Want To Say Says:

    I love #8 – can so relate.

  14. Laura Says:

    Happy Birthday!

    P.S. Love Gone with the Wind too! But I’ve never heard that it is genesis chick lit…..that’s crazy!

  15. Gale Says:

    Laura – I don’t know that it’s an official reputation. I just know that a lot of people assume that it’s strictly a “woman’s” novel, which (you know because you’ve read it) couldn’t be further from the truth.

  16. Eva @ Eva Evolving Says:

    I LOVE this – oh my! Thank you for sharing these tidbits, and another photo. I feel like I know you so much better. You’re definitely funnier than you let on. Three fast food restaurants for the perfect meal? Hilarious!

    Happy, happy belated birthday. I wish you many great adventures and surprises in the coming year!

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