Wednesday, June 20, 2007

It's All About Me

Note: I'll add the questions to this post as I have time. Newest additions will be at the bottom.


I done got interviewed by the fabulous KJ. She emailed me five questions that I will address here with profound, earth-shattering thoughts. So if you don't want to have your world rocked today, you might want to back away from the computer.

(I like KJ because she has a Magic Cottage in her backyard.)

(but don't go trying to buy LSD from her... it's not that kind of Magic Cottage)

(you weirdos)

Question One:

1. What is the best part of being a Librarian and what is the worst?

The best part is being overpaid and worshipped by people who don't even know me. Sort of like Justin Timberlake. Except my hair is longer and I've never slept with Britney Spears.

Be serious.

When I look back on my former career (social work), one of the best things about my current gig is that I have fairly predictable work hours. No overflowing case files, emergency pagers, or the like. I can usually count on leaving when I'm supposed to and not being bothered when I'm off-hours.

But since that probably isn't the passion-filled response you were expecting, I'll say this: I'm crazy about libraries. The smell, the feel, and what they stand for. In my opinion, intellectual freedom is one of the best things about living in this country. That is, our right as Americans to seek and receive information from all points of view without restriction.

Without restriction.

Want to read a book about White Power? An anti-Bush newspaper article? A magazine that advocates the rights of gay and lesbian families?

Go ahead. I'll help you find it. It's your right.

And the worst thing?

The fucking copier.

Question Two:

If you could live wherever and however you wanted, without money being a factor, where would it be and what would you do?

I think I've mentioned in previous posts that this kind of question is difficult for me to answer. I will literally spend hours trying to think of the one answer that is completely true and representative of my feelings. I'm just neurotic that way. I think I'll just start with random bits and hope that it develops into something cohesive.

If money weren't a factor I wouldn't work full-time. I know that for sure. I love my job, and I know I'm incredibly lucky, especially when magazines are peppered with statistics that show that 60-80% of Americans are unhappy at work.

That said, I wish less of my time belonged to the organization I work for. Part-time would be ideal for me, but we live in a very expensive area, neither of us is in high-paying professions, and right now it doesn't make much sense for me not to work full-time when I'm perfectly able to do so.

Perhaps it has something to do with growing up military, but I like change. I often have the urge to move and live somplace new. So if money weren't a factor, we'd travel a lot, and would probably have houses in several locations. Probably something by the beach and a small house in the hills surrounding Florence, Italy.

And, of course, I'd spend most of my time on my farm, where I would easily be able to afford to have several more dogs, some goats, chickens, and pigs. I am very happy in the company of animals and could easily spend day after day caring for them. That's the best, most fun "work" I can imagine. I'd love to run a program there that would bring troubled people into healing relationships with animals.

Finally, I've always felt that Mike and I could be good foster parents, and I would welcome the opportunity to finally do that.

And lest you think that I'm just a nauseating do-gooder, I'd also buy a mint-condition '65 Ford Mustang convertible, hire a private masseuse, and eat at all the best restuarants in the world.

Question Three:

What makes you cry?

Pretty much everything, to be honest. I cry several times a week, for reasons happy and sad, understandable and ridiculous.

There are the obvious things, the major occasions: weddings, graduations, births, and deaths. There's also leaving someone I love at an airport. The evening news. Accidentally hitting a squirrel with my car. My husband putting a note in my lunch bag on a stressful work day. Two of Us, by the Beatles. The movie Life is Beautiful. My dog sleeping in a sunbeam. The cotton commercials (the touch, the feel of cotton!).

But sobbing lustily isn't my way; it's more of a sitting quietly, sniffling and taking little gulps of air while my eyes and nose leak. You know how movie stars look all pink and dewey and sweet when they cry? The best I can manage is wet and blotchy. With bonus black smears, if I'm wearing mascara.

Between the crying and the allergies, we go through loads of Kleenex at my house. Al Gore would not be pleased.

(note to self: buy some hankies)

Question Four:

How did you meet your husband and why did you marry him?

I met Mike in the early summer of 1994. In a library. How poetic!

We were friends for a few months, started dating that November, and have more or less been together ever since.

We got married on July 15, 2000. The wedding was in Virginia, the reception in DC. It was a lovely day. Except, you know, the humidity almost killed the out-of-towners.

I sort of explained why I married Mike in this post and this post, so I'll take the easy way out on this question. If there are missing details that simply MUST BE REVEALED or you won't be able to sleep a wink tonight, let me know. I certainly don't want to contribute to the national sleep deprivation epidemic.

Question Five:

What advice do you have for people who are unhappy?

Man, kj asks some hard stuff.

(just for the record, so I don't get accused of being irresponsible: I'm talking about general unhappiness, here, and not medical illnesses like clinical depression)

I would advise you to uncover the source of your unhappiness, and go from there. The real source. And if you're not sure what the real source is (which is not uncommon), that's what your friendly psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, and counselors are for.

I would advise you to do something. Do something. Do something. Nothing will darken your particular shade of unhappiness more than the feeling of being at the world's mercy.

There's no pat answer for every person, but still. Do something. Take some time to think. Make a plan. Make an appointment. Make a list and check things off.


Yes, especially that last one. Sometimes there's no better cure for melancholy than climbing out of your own head and doing for others.

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Blogger kj said...

oh the fucking copier. i understand.

ooh, your answers are going to be fun to anticipate...

12:44 AM  
Blogger nutmeg said...

As a user of libraries (past student life and present) I would have to agree with you on both scores!

4:09 AM  
Blogger Roxanne said...

I've always loved libraries. I can't picture myself ever working in one, but I have fond memories as a child of getting dropped off at the county branch (along with my older brother and sister, and we actually behaved ourselves without adult supervision).

I also remember the school library days. Each class had a half hour once a week to check out books. I remember in sixth grade the girls would literally race (pushing, shoving, hair pulling) to the shelf with the pre-teen romance books. Luckily, I don't remember having to fight my way to the Laura Ingalls Wilder shelf. :)

7:54 AM  
Blogger His suzy said...

I can't wait for the rest of the answers! :)

10:04 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

kj- copiers are pretty much a universal nightmare, it seems.

roxanne- I used to beg the elementary school librarian to let me help stamp the date cards. And the Christmas that burns brightest in my memory is the one when I got the Little House box set. (I still have them, but they're nearly dust)

suzy- I hope I don't disappoint. :)

10:18 AM  
Blogger Frema said...

I love the idea of being a foster parent, too.

Can't wait to see the rest!

2:00 PM  
Blogger Caro said...

rI'll feed the farm animals AND scoop poop if I can visit Italy with you.

6:46 PM  
Blogger Liz said...

It's not the poop scooping I mind, Caro. It's the squeezing of the canine anal sacs.

You can handle that, I'm sure.

7:18 PM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

Ah...expressing the anal glands, right? That always sounded so nasty...

1:39 AM  
Blogger Bearette24 said...

I think my dog (when I was a kid) had a "falling out" with a groomer over that.

1:40 AM  
Anonymous Betsy said...

The crying thing- I totally understand and am the same way. About both the things I cry over and also the way I cry. I've always said I was an ugly crier. it's just not a pretty site.

I also hate people who say, "Have a good cry. It will make you feel better." Uh, no it won't, because my eyes bcome like sandpaper after I cry, my face gets all hot, and I have skin blotches. So no, it won't make me feel better.

9:01 AM  
Blogger kj said...

well, liz, we could cry together. we are quite compatible quietly sobbing on the couch.

ps i can' t believe i used the f word and it is the first comment on this post. you know i am generally more genteel than that. i only used it because you did. do you think your readers will know that and not think poorly of me?


9:02 AM  
Blogger Liz said...

It's all my fault. KJ would never use the f word if it weren't for me. She is fabulous and genteel and I'm just a dirty, potty-mouthed bad influence.


9:32 AM  
Blogger His suzy said...

I'm a crier too. I used to give my mom a hard time about it because she's the same way and then... now me too! Be careful what you give your parents a hard time about, kids!

10:59 AM  
Blogger kj said...

geez, these answers are so good i wish there were five more questions...

oh, ahem, do you want five more? we could dig deeper, you know...


12:41 PM  
Blogger Kay said...

Cotton commercials make you cry, too? And here I thought I was the only one.

Good answers. I especially liked #1.

Oh, and you met your husband in a library? That has got to be the cutest "how we met" story of a librarian EVER.

11:48 PM  
Blogger R U Serious?? said...

I can DO copiers!!! LOL!

As for the meeting and marrying part, my first date with my wife was on the night that John Lennon was killed (Oh Gawd!!) and we were married 4 months later. Now, 25+ years later, we are sure that it was definitely love at first sight!!

I loved your post!! Yours are always the BEST!

Sorry I haven't been around but we were in Arizona (116F !!!) for an OUTDOOR wedding!!!

Take care, Bob~

2:21 AM  
Blogger Emma Sometimes said...

Good post. I love libraries. LOVE THEM!!

I know you are on vacation but I wanted to delurk and say hi. I've been reading you for over a month now. Good stuff.

7:39 PM  

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