My husband has dozens of silly nicknames for me - some of which have indecipherable meanings: "Wifey," "Looper," and "Baggie."
And then there's "Honest Donna," which he uses as kind of a pejorative - usually when I've blown a job interview or other opportunity by letting someone know exactly how insecure I am about my abilities.
So this morning, I discovered that my good friend Liz Thompson has challenged me to come clean about myself - to be completely honest and spill ten secrets that I've never confessed before. This is hard, because after six years of pouring my guts out in this space (and often displaying the shallowest, least flattering sides of my personality) -- there isn't much I haven't already revealed.
I like to think of myself as honest... but to be perfectly honest... I tell the truth and nothing but the truth... to a point. I tend to omit the details that might hurt someone's feelings... or put ME in a bad light. Like David Letterman, there are incidents in my past that could be described as "creepy," so I guess it's a good thing I'm not a wealthy talk show host, because why bother blackmailing someone for a collection of supermarket coupons and a Starbucks card?
And let's face it, folks - I may be a talentless hack (and I'm not fishing for reassurances here, I have been called that)... but I'm not stupid. My kid reads this blog. My parents have been known to stop by. Anything I confess here will be available to current clients, prospective employers and PTA moms. So I may be dishing on myself here... but don't expect anything juicy until they publish my posthumous memoir:
1. I bought a lottery ticket this morning. I have no illusions that I will win the $200 million Mega Millions jackpot... but for 24 hours (or longer, if I can resist looking at the draw through the weekend), I can fantasize that I will never have to worry about money again... and since the economy went sour, that fantasy helps me get to sleep at night. And all it cost me was $1.
2. I have owned cats since I had my first long-term apartment in 1982... but until then, I always thought of myself as a dog person. We are now thinking of adding a dog to our family (once our home renovation is done)... but having a heckuva time agreeing on what kind of dog to get (as each family member has a different idea of the perfect canine). The only thing we agree upon is that it won't be a puppy (we will have new carpet and no one has the patience to housebreak a baby)... and it will have to be an animal that has demonstrated it can get along with cats.
3. I think I'm maturing backwards - and unfortunately, not in a Benjamin Button, looking younger way. I was a precocious kid -- more comfortable conversing with adults than other children. They all thought of me as very responsible. But now... When I hear that one of the idols of my youth is having a birthday and that they are 60-something I am shocked at how OLD they are... and then I remember that I'm 53. And I'm still trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.
4. My mom immigrated to this country from Cuba. I have dozens of relatives in Miami who speak nothing but Spanish. I took Spanish for three years in high school and one year in college. I am still unable to speak the language. This does not bode well for my daughter, who is taking it now in middle school - although thankfully, she is not yet at the juncture where I cannot help her with her homework. (I am hoping that her studies serve as something of a refresher course for me.)
5. I am the least spiritual person on the planet - yet greatly admire my friends of faith. As a young person, I really did try to open my mind and heart to religion and spiritual beliefs... but my nature is too rooted in the tangible here and now. I am Jewish by default... it's the religion I was raised with and after evaluating other options (and simply not getting them), I decided to stay with what was comfortable. But I enjoy attending the worship services of others. I may not be a believer, but I find the surroundings and the prayers and hymns quite peaceful.
A Muslim friend I once had said she enjoyed visiting other people's churches and synagogues, too. "I need all the prayers I can get," she said. "It doesn't matter where they come from - they all go to the same place." That has really stuck with me.
6. At the same time, I tend to go ballistic when someone tries to convert me. I'm not very nice to the missionaries who knock on my door and ask to leave me religious pamphlets - I point to my mezzuzah and tell them I already have a religion, thank you very much. I was a lot more tolerant when I was younger. Now... I'm getting cranky in my old age. Immature and cranky. Not a great combination.
7. I love roller coasters, although in recent years, I've become wary of trying new ones. This alarms me, because I feel the best way to battle old age is to keep yourself open to new experiences. On our last visit to the Disneyland Resort, I had to force myself to go on the California Screamin' roller coaster... and I was really happy to have enjoyed it. But I'm still afraid of trying out the extreme coasters at Magic Mountain. I guess I need to conquer that fear, too.
8. I think I have an addictive personality - but I'm also afraid of losing control. I think that's why I never became a habitual drinker... but do battle overeating. It also may explain my latte compulsion.
9. But speaking of drinking... as I've gotten older, I've discovered that I can't drink as much as I used to. My body has also stopped giving me some of the little warning signs that would signal when it's time to stop. This has led to some embarrassing incidents at parties. Invite me at your own risk.
10. I complain about getting tagged for memes all the time, but I secretly enjoy them, for both the exercise and the attention (Awww, Liz... you really do still love me...)
OK. My turn to tag (and oh yeah, LIz - thanks for already getting to some of my favorite people first...).
You guys know the drill. You can take me up on this or not - I won't be insulted.
1. Karoli - Because she started out as a fellow blogging reader and is now one of my best blogging friends. And she's brilliant. And maybe she'd welcome a distraction from health care reform and her own insurance battles.
2. Tammy - Because we've been online friends for ten years (before either of us had a blog).
3. Sher - One of the first people who ever commented on this blog. And because her confessions will be a lot funnier than mine.
5. Michelle - Because I miss her. And I can't wait to see what a White Trash Mom would be keeping from us.
6. Glennia - Because wherever she goes, she brings the awesome.
7. Joanne - When we get together, we marvel at all we have in common... so, I'm curious...