Friday, January 14, 2011


Leanne of From Chaos Comes Happiness -- she with the radiant smile and the generous heart -- has tagged me and is interviewing me quite extensively with the questions that have been posed!

Here's how she phrased the invitation to bare my soul: "So, ladies, here's the story . . . copy the below 19 questions and answer them on a post of your own. OR . . . don't. I really don't mind! But, it's a fun way to learn a little more about your blog buds, and I'd love to learn more about each of YOU!"

So, since this gives my faithful readers a bit of a break from the endless parade of food -- and it also permits me to share some wretchedly sad news that I've been trying to figure out a way to announce -- let's go on with the show, shall we ...?

1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals or are they members of your family?

When we had pets, they were "the babies." They had their own seats on the furniture (the cat made a dent in the back of one chair!), and the dog even had a little pink "princess coat" with a faux leopard collar. I'm not an Alpha anything ... they had me wound 'round their fluffy little tails ... :)

2. If you can have a dream to come true, what would it be?

"Ya gotta have a dream! If you don't have a dream, how you gonna have a dream come true?" (from "South Pacific") I had a lot of dreams that have recently been dashed, so I'll have to think a bit on that one now.

3. What is the one thing most hated by you?

Oh, there's a long list -- lack of integrity, betrayal, cowardice, child abuse, poverty, unequal division of resources. I -- the queen of indecision -- am only allowed to choose one???

4. What would you do with a billion dollars?

Pay off my credit cards. Fix up some family property. Support numerous good causes. I have simple needs.

5. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?

Listening to Barry Manilow songs ... I know 'em all. "Mandy" and "When I Wanted You" have been played countless times in recent days.

6. Which is more blessed, loving someone or being loved by someone?

Although it is glorious to be loved, to have a full heart and the capacity to love is precious.

7. What is your bedtime routine?

In recent days I'm back to my old bad habits: fall asleep with the computer on my lap, sometime after 1-ish in the morning.

8. If you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your partner?

Well, here's where my very sad and heartbreaking announcement comes in: I am still living (sorta -- stayed elsewhere for a few nights this week) at the house with Tom, but we're no longer in a relationship. It will officially be over when I figure out where I'm moving to. But he's recent enough that I'll tell you we met online through intervention by his older sister, who recommended that particular site to him and had thus been considered our guardian angel. We corresponded for weeks and weeks until finally meeting for breakfast just over a year ago. (Please also accept this as a deeply sincere apology for not having had the time or the focus to be able to keep up with reading all of my friends' blogs lately ... things are very stressful and painful, right now. Most of my posts this week had been pre-written, so it appears that I've been functional when, in fact, it's taken extraordinary effort to just get through the most basic aspects of daily life.)

9. If you could watch a creative person in the act of the creative process, who would it be?

A wedding cake designer, which involves sketching and baking and building and coloring and decorating a masterpiece.

10. What kinds of books do you read?

I've got rather an eclectic library -- books on linguistics and learning languages (Yiddish, Italian) ... fiction by Michael Chabon and Anne Tyler and Ian McEwan ... books about Jewish culture and history and religion ... dozens and dozens and dozens of cookbooks ... poetry (particularly by Irish poets, it seems) ... biographies of artists ... stories about travelling.

11. How would you see yourself in ten years time?

Truly, at this moment, I have no idea at all. Maybe getting paid to write about food, combining passion with livelihood???

12. What’s your fear?

At the moment, being alone and not falling asleep in anyone's arms for the rest of my life.

13. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to visit outer space?

I suffer from severe motion sickness -- I ain't goin' into space anyway, so why give up guilty pleasures???

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married but poor?

I've always maintained that you can get through anything if you have love, sharing a 39-cent box of Kroger brand macaroni and cheese for dinner. The important thing is to have that someone to share the cheap dinner with ....

15. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

Put on my glasses, 'cause I can't see otherwise.

16. If you could change one thing about your spouse/partner what would it be?

Continuing with the pretense from #8 that I'm close enough to having been in a relationship to use Tom as a reference, I would make it all better and make it all go away. Can't say anything less vague or more specific ....

17. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?

"Raya" [REYE-yuh], which is Hebrew for "friend."

18. Would you forgive and forget no matter how horrible a thing that special someone has done?

I've forgiven far, far more than I should have in this lifetime. But as Frank McCourt once wrote: "As long as you have memory, there's no catharsis." I can forget why I've walked down the hallway or what I ate for dinner the night before, but if there is any pain attached to it (a song, a date, an experience, etc.) it is permanent scar tissue on my heart and in my brain.

19. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?

Can I get away with saying "salad," which then offers leeway for egg salad, chicken salad, spinach salad, fruit salad ...???

Now the rules say that I must tag 4 others to answer these same questions ... decisions, decisions!

Candace: Mi Chiamo Candace

Judy: Cranberry Morning

Miriam: Meatless Meals for Meat Eaters

Robin: Your Daily Dose

Have at it, girls!!!


Unknown said...

I am so sorry to hear about the ending of your relationship. :( Hold your head up high though, you are a strong woman and will make it through this stronger and wiser.

Michelle said...

Oh :( My heart aches for you, friend. Above all, I hope you find peace quickly. And adopt a better sleep routine. Which will help you with the peace thing, at least a little. I'm sorry you're in pain. Please accept a big cyber hug from me.

Unknown said...

I love Mandy! I used to sit with my headphones one and that 45 playing!! Good times. Thanks for sharing such personal thoughts and stories!

Miriam said...

I love the name Raya and you most certainly are one. Have a beautiful weekend from Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Beth Zimmerman said...

So sorry you are having to endure heartbreak! Hang in there, Chica! The only really good things about these valleys are the mountaintops just up the road a piece! :)

Robin said...

Endings are so hard. However, we don't get new beginnings without them. Lessons have been on my mind A LOT of late. I know that we get them for reasons. And I have to believe it isn't just so that we understand something on an intellectual level. It is so that we can use that information later on. Everything that happens to us has a very real PURPOSE, and when we accept that we truly move forward. That is when we come alive and make things happen. That is when all of the bad turns to good. I truly believe that. So, hang in there. I think it is all just waiting to manifest itself for the good. Keep collecting skills and looking for your opportunity. The blessing will come.

Karen Harris said...

Oh how I wish I had wise words to make your pain go away but I'm afraid that they escape me. I will be thinking of you Mary, hoping that this transition is as easy for you as it possibly can be. Thanks for sharing with us.

Anonymous said...

Mary, so sorry to hear about your recent break up with Tom. I will keep you in my prayers as I really feel you two are meant to be together. YOur blogs are one of the highlights of my day. Keep on..... you inspire many through your words!

Leanne said...

Oh, I swear I thought I responded to you when I read this yesterday ... but can't seem to find my comment! (SORRY!)

First - you already know that I am thinking of you and praying for you and sending you strength through this virtual land. I'm your biggest fan (wait - that sounds bad since that book/movie, doesn't it?) Anyway - I just want you to know that I proud of your bravery, that I applaud your decisions, that I LOVE Barry Manilow, too, and that I insist you nurture your own soul right now, and let others . . . be.

Love and hugs to you, dear dear friend!

Rachel (Diary of a Recovering Chocoholic) said...

I've been behind on my blog reading so I am just now hearing your news. My prayers are with you and I know that you will pull through. Your strong spirit has inspired and cheered me in many ways and I hope the best for you now.

PS: I've always wanted to name my possibly future daughter Raya.

Candace said...

Mary, I'm so sorry...
I guess I have been out of touch for a few days. You are in my thoughts and prayers, sweet friend. Thanks for thinking of me with this game of Tag. Let's see if I can answer them this week. Blessings, Candace

keri said...

YM,,,,another piece of the puzzle here. For a minute, I thought maybe some harm had come to Tom.

Listen, I know some things on these topics. You're going to be SO OKAY... so fear not, it's the fear that'll killya!

Carol said...

I've been meaning to read your blog for the longest time, we are both friends of Robin and I knew I'd love your blog because she clearly does. I just now have gotten around to doing some things I've neglected. I'm now following you and pleased to have met a new friend.

Carol-the gardener

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