Thursday, February 23, 2012

Toilet Paper, Stalkers and "A Knight's Tale"

Oh gosh, remember MySpace? There were a lot of things to like about this social networking Neanderthal, but some features were totally annoying:

  • The constantly-changing array of cutesy backgrounds, 
  • Bulletins for spreading drama to all your friends with a single click,
  • Top Eights that allowed you to rank your best friends and alienate all the rest,
  • "PC 4 PC" pleading for feedback on your latest mirror shots,
  • Never-ending surveys in which we learned when the author last brushed her teeth and who was the last person to text her.
On second thought, those surveys weren't always completely worthless. Sure, a lot of the prompts were meant to stir up juvenile angst ("Do you still have secret feelings for an ex?") and often descended into inane trivia ("What color is your shirt right now?"), but a well-written survey question can be a great tool for jump-starting an interesting story that reveals insights into a person's life. 

So in the hopes of achieving the latter goal, I've selected five thought-provokers from this list of old MySpace surveys and offered my answers below. 

{Please imagine that you are reading these words against 
a MySpace-esque pink background of glittering stars. Like this.} 

What is the best thing about your job?
As a full-time mom, I enjoy the incredible luxury of making my daughters my highest priority. The pay isn't good but the payoffs are infinitely rewarding. As a homeschooling parent and teacher, I love to walk alongside my daughters and my students as they learn and grow. I really enjoy the process of creating situations and environments that bring out the best in them, and I love learning alongside them. 

My younger students gleefully pan for 'gold.'
Have you ever toilet papered someone's house?
Probably. I accompanied my older brother and his friends on many errands of mischief. But I mostly remember soaping people's window screens. I grew up on a country lake in Michigan, where about half the homes were summer cottages and the other half full of year-rounders like myself. So it was a fairly easy thing to sneak a bar of Dial out of the house after dark on a cold autumn evening, rendezvous with my friends at the closed-up home of some long-gone city folk, and take out a summer's worth of vengeance on their screens without worrying about getting caught. It wasn't a very nice thing to do, but on the other hand, nothing that a blast with a garden house couldn't fix. As a vandal, I was amateurish at best.

Trip Advisor
Have you ever had a stalker?
When I was in college, I got a call one night from a male voice who calmly told me that he was watching me all the time. Ticking through a long list of facts, he recited my building address and my apartment number,  my class schedule and the times that I walked to and from my classes, as well as the routes I took from one building to the next. He didn't threaten me in any way; he just wanted me to know what he knew. I remember feeling bone-chilling terror...because every single detail he told me was correct...and because when I called the police to report this, the detective told me that there was nothing the police could do unless I was directly threatened in some way. This was not what I wanted to hear. But the detective gave me some good advice about mixing up my routines and traveling in a pack, and I never heard from the creeper again. 

Where are your siblings right now?
I have three brothers, all of whom live in my home state of Michigan with their families. Since it is currently about 5 a.m. in those parts, I bet they are dreaming of sugarplums at this very moment. But wait, the middle brother is likely not at home - he is in the middle of a job transition and has been flying back and forth between his home near Detroit on the weekends, and his new job in Virginia during the work week. So he is probably dreaming of sugarplums on a pillow down south.

Apartment Therapy
Have you ever watched three movies in a row?
Oh gosh, I have tried many times. I'm most successful with watching all three parts of one of the Star Wars trilogies back-to-back-to-back. But here's the thing about me and movies: I love them but I can't sit still for long. So unless the movie is super riveting, or I'm working on a project that keeps me occupied as I watch, I tend to either fall asleep or wander off. Oftentimes, my daughters will watch favorite movies over and over, and while I watch bits and pieces of it every time, years will go by before I have actually seen the whole thing. A perfect example: tonight, I was determined to see every minute of this family favorite, from start to finish, so I could fit together all the separate segments that I've seen over the years. But I fell asleep for about a half hour in the middle somewhere, so I guess I'll have to try again. Good thing I never get tired of this opening sequence:


  1. Don't forget about clicking on someone's page and having some annoying song start BLARING AT FULL BLAST, while you frantically search their page for the music icon with the pause button lol.

    1. Oh gosh, that's so true..and I forgot about it completely. Haha good times.

    2. P.S. Kevin, about a week ago, I realized I have never seen the Lion King all the way not even close. Isn't that a sacrilege?


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