The idea of compiling a list of 25 random ideas about oneself has been circulating on Facebook for a while now. I typically try to stay away from this type of format when writing because it smacks of laziness and unoriginality. But my muses took a weekend vacation so I felt compelled to take a little vacation of my own. This here is the baby born of laziness and non-sequential tidbits of a life half lived. Perhaps publishing this list will empower me. At any rate, it will emasculate the blackmailers. If everyone knows, what the hell am I paying you to keep it a secret for?
Most of my 25 things involve childhood memories, wants, and deeds. I think that's because anyone who knows me or reads my blogs already knows pretty much everything about the "adult" Gwen. I'm always game to talk about everything and anything. I mean, except for the things about me that could land me in prison and/or a mental health facility. I don't need a damn intervention, so don't even try.
1. I often fantasize about being old. I can't wait to retire, be lazy, sit on the couch watching my stories, and have a constant influx of painkillers. I also can't wait to be senile and curmudgeonly. I'm getting a jump start on that last one. Actually I'm getting a jump start on ALL of these things. And it's every bit as great as you imagine it would be.
2. Once, when I was 8, I killed an entire colony of caterpillars. It wasn't on purpose. I had an old record player lid and I set up a "resort" for this group of caterpillars I had collected from my back yard. The sides of the lid acted as the "lounge" area and I filled the lid with water as the olympic sized swimming "pool". If you put a caterpillar in water, it will float...for a little while. Well, after seeing them float, I falsely assumed that they could actually swim. Well, I trapped those suckers in their "resort" overnight. Guess what? The next morning most of them were all lying on the bottom of the "pool" bloated and very, very dead. The very few that survived the massacre were sticking up one of their hundred little hands flipping me the very tiny bird.
3. I have a very real fear that at some point I am going to accidentally tell my boss that I love him when I hang up from him on the phone. It's not that I do. Love him, I mean. He's not even cute. But sometimes when I hang up from him I feel like I almost said it. That really scares me. I don't know. I don't talk to that many guys on the phone.
4. Growing up, I had a creepy neighbor named Dick who used to leer at me and call me "dirty face". It always hurt me so badly when he called me that. I've spent a lifetime trying to get clean.
5. I find dimes all the time. I once heard that these found dimes are messages from a dearly departed soul. I don't know if I believe in an afterlife, per se, but since Amy died I've found a lot of fucking dimes. And once in a while, it's nickels I'm finding everywhere. At which point I always make it a point to remind Amy that she's being a cheap ass - and the next thing I know I'm finding quarters. Eerie, right? Moral: Dead people can be tight. Remind them often "You can't take it with you".
6. If there is a god, I hate his guts. You can hurt me, you can fuck with my head by letting my sister die a crappy death at the age of thirty-four, but if you turn a blind eye when horrible things happen to babies? You're on my shit list. And that's a permanent engraved list, God. The only way your name's coming off this list is if you arrange for me to win a $1,000,000 lottery or, you know, maybe start giving a shit about babies. Yes, I'm blasphemous. I spent a godawful amount of time in church during my childhoold and adolescence. I've earned the right to blaspheme if I damn well want to.
7. I have a tattoo of the Chinese Symbol for poetry. I hate myself for getting that tattoo. I find little ways to punish myself daily for getting that tattoo. And also for all the other stupid shit I do on a regular basis.
8. Sometimes when I'm talking to a person I get distracted by violent thoughts of punching and/or kicking him or her in the mouth. I doubt I would ever DO such a thing. But these thoughts happen a little more than they should. I don't know why because I'm not a violent person and I love talking to people. So if I ever just so happen to kick you in the mouth for no apparent reason, please don't take it personally.
9. On that same note, sometimes when I'm driving and a tractor trailer comes barreling down the highway in the opposite direction, I get a sudden, inexplicable urge to sharply turn my car into it's path. It's a thought that comes unbidden and goes away very quickly. I honestly think it would suck for that to happen. Don't worry about me. I promise I will never really do that.
10. Actual diary entry dated April 2, 1986: Many times I thought (written in word bubble): Suicide, I'd never do that (end word bubble). But now it seems so much easier than to live like it is in this world. If I take a drug that eases the pain, cut my wrists, it's all over. I was 10 years old, people. TEN.
11. I once snuck into a Smashing Pumpkins concert with Alisha.
12. I am theatrical. I acted in 3 plays in college (if you'll indulge me by allowing me to call Bucks County Community College, "College"). My first role was Betty Andrews in Inspecting Carol in 1999. My second role was Nurse Flynn in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in 2000. My third and final role was some chick who got dumped by her boyfriend whose name I can't remember in Italian American Reconciliation in 2001. One of my lines was, I kid you not, "I feel like a cut off thumb inna glass a' water". My short-lived, though much celebrated, career earned me zero nominations or wins for any awards. I did, however, get to fuck my hot co-star. I gave up my career in the theater to spend more time walkiing on a treadmill and throwing up foods I felt guilty about eating.
13. One time I was detained in a Chuck E. Cheese by a teenage girl. She said that she couldn't let me leave without a parent. I had to produce identification to prove that I was, in fact, a 22 year old woman.
14. I didn't lose my virginity until the age of 25. A few months before it happened, I was sitting in a booth at Friday's with my friend and he said, "At some point you're going to just have to pick somebody and do it." I'll always credit Kevin Brown for pushing me out of the nest..and into the arms of my sexy co-star (see #12).
15. I love the following smells: Home Depot stores, Olivia's feet after they've been in socks all day, and Play Dough.
16. I laugh at myself all of the time. Even when I'm not funny. Actually, scratch that. In my twisted mind, I'm always funny.
17. I think drugs should be legalized. I guess it makes no sense to me that liquor and cigarettes are legal substances, yet weed is not. I'm an adult and I should be allowed to put anything in my body that I damn well want to. I don't need the government to "parent" me and dictate my morality. If I wanted that kind of oversight I would have stayed a Jehovah's Witness.
18. I have a great love for show tunes, particularly Little Shop of Horrors, Once on This Island, and Les Mis. I also have an undying love for Def Leppard's Hysteria album.
19. In the year 2000, I saved the lives of two 16 year old girls. I was working at Youth Services at the time, which is a group home for bad girls. After lights out, I went up to check on my little miscreants and discovered two of them acting strangely, i.e. speaking gibberish, clawing at the floor. I called 911 and their asses were whisked away to the hospital, whereby their bellies were gifted with the lovely charcoal to detoxify them of the Coricidin they had overdosed on. The next morning I spoke with their parents who thanked me with tears in their eyes saying, "The doctors said that if you hadn't called an ambulance their hearts would have given out by morning". Yeah, I know - I'm thoroughly awesome.
20. I enjoy being pinned down in bed. You don't really need to know that, but maybe Todd needs a little reminder ; )
21. I love high heeled shoes but I can never find a single pair that doesn't make me want to amputate my own foot because of the pain of wearing them. Manolo Blahnik can kiss my caucasian ass with his $700 torture devices.
22. I'm a name snob. I have very particular naming rules and for some reason certain naming trends boil my blood. For instance, people naming girls traditional boys names. I don't get the point of doing that at all. There are plenty of beautiful and unique girl names that are barely used, and somebody has to give their daughter a boy name? What does that fucking prove? Another naming pet peeve: People misspelling traditional names. For instance, I've seen Olivia spelled the following ways: Alivia, Olyvia, Olyvya. I'm not kidding. That's atrocious. I think people are operating under the misguided belief that spelling a popular name different will in some way make it unique. Wrong. It doesn't make it unique. It's still the same god damn name, spelling it wrong just makes you look illiterate and low class. Sorry, I hate to be blunt here, but it's the truth. Tough love, people. I tell you this because I love. Believe me, this hurts me more than it hurts you. I have other naming pet peeves, but I don't want to offend or alienate any more people than I already have. If you care to know anymore about Gwen's Baby Name Rules, just email me your request and I will send them to you free of charge.
23. I have breast implants. Most people I know already know this. But some do not and it's one of my few interesting little stories and it bears repeating. Or I have to get to 25 things here and I'm running out of interesting shit to say. I had a prophylactic mastectomy because my breasts were plotting my demise with a BRCA2 mutation. It was sort of like having a gun pointed at my head, except instead of being loaded with bullets, the gun was loaded with breast cancer. Maybe one of the chambers was empty, but the rest were full of BREAST CANCER. Would you want to play Russian Roulette with that gun? I didn't think so. I just took myself out of the game. Next up: Bye Bye Ovaries starring Gwen Jackson. It's a great little musical with sad songs intermixed with upbeat numbers about early onset menopause! It's a must see!
24. I've had two kidney stones. The first stone required 2 major surgical operations to remove it. The second required one major surgical procedure to remove it, followed by 4 agonizing days of giving birth to stone fragments. I'd rather give birth to babies. I think. God, I've had a lot of fucking surgeries for being only 33 years old. 3 kidney surgeries, two minor breast surgeries, 2 major breast surgeries,2 oral surgeries to remove teeth, and a C-section to remove a human. I've got war wounds, folks. WAR wounds.
25. As a teenager I used to self-injure. I know a lot of teenagers did and do, and it's not particularly interesting. But it's also something I never really talk about. I did it before it was ever a known thing. In other words, I didn't even know other people did that sort of thing. I thought I was a freak. Well I was a freak, it just turns out I wasn't all that unique. I wasn't all that deep or cool or complicated. I was a teenage girl trying to find expression for things that probably should never, ever be expressed. That's what I'm going to tell Liv when she's old enough to understand, "If you can't find healthful expression for it, bottle that shit up."
Well, I'm done telling you my deep, dark, spooky secrets. Maybe now you feel enlightened. Maybe now you hate me. Maybe now you realize that I don't care if you hate me. And hopefully, the muses will soon return, refreshed and ready to work.
19 hours ago