The people who have known me the longest (and for whom I started this blog) call me “Rae.” My middle name is Anne with an “E,” like Anne of Green Gables, whose story I was (am) obsessed with. While I’m on the subject, I am a big fan of old school chick-lit. Little Women and Sense & Sensibility are amazing. Don’t hate. I like other things, too. Just not as much.
I was born in New Jersey, on the banks of the mighty Delaware. The first eight years of my life were spent in various locations in South Jersey, where I learned how to dominate any social situation with biting sarcasm. Sarcasm is the language of choice for Philadelphia, and its Jersey suburbs.
My dad is a lawyer and my mom is a nurse. They are very attractive people, and they are also nice, which bodes well for me.
It’s important to note that New Jersey is split into two distinct geographical locations: North Jersey and South Jersey. North Jersey is essentially a suburb of New York City, and South Jersey is a suburb of Philadelphia. If you live in the north, you’re a Giants fan. If you live in SJ, you’re an Eagles fan. And never the twain shall meet. No self-respecting citizen of New Jersey roots for Jersey teams in any sport (minus the occasional hockey fan).
Thus, whenever sports are involved, I identify with Philly. Also, when I compare anything to a city, I am comparing it to Philly. But I am, in fact, from South Jersey. Enjoy that.
Ok, so in my eighth year my family trekked to the southwest tail of Virginia, in the heart of the Appalachian mountain chain, where we lived for the next eight years. Sarcasm isn’t really held in the same regard down there, which was unfortunate. Nothing like a caustic ten-year-old in a rural mountain town for quality entertainment.
We moved back to SJ when I was 16, just in time for my sophomore year of high school. The bevvy of siblings was complete by then. I’m the oldest. Next are my sisters, whom I call Zee, Cay, and Prose. My brother Hawk is the youngest; he was born when I was 13. We entertain ourselves. (When the five of us are not enough, we call in cousins.)
In high school I ran cross-country and did musicals sometimes. I read a lot. I discovered art class, though it appeared on the horizon too late to do much with it. I was obsessed with Monty Python’s The Holy Grail. I had braces. I was a nerd.
I started college at a big state university. After a barely productive freshman year, I dropped out, and moved back to Virginia (alone, this time) to live with my grandparents and waitress at Applebee’s. And make a guitar. At the end of the year, I highly suspected that I did not have the patience to make guitars for a living, nor did I have the desire to drive myself into an early grave with cheap-o waitressing gigs. I had to go back to school. Something about looking into my future and seeing a “Flo” nametag and refilling sweetened iced teas for the next forty years just didn’t jive.
I dropped back in to college, moved back to my parent’s house, declared English Literature my major, and put my nose to the grindstone. The next summer, I joined the local volunteer firefighting company (don’t get excited, I never fought a real fire) and they signed me up for an EMT class, where I met my future husband.
So that summer was a big one. Became a firefighter and and EMT. Met my husband. Also converted to Catholicism after a lifetime of charismatic Protestant churchgoing.
In between the Big Summer 1 and Big Summer 2 (I graduated the same summer I got married) I did well in school, worked my way up to chief at the school newspaper (despite the complete lack of any journalism training), bid farewell to my childhood partner in crime (Zee) when she joined the military, and all kinds of other stuff that was interesting at the time, but faded in importance when compared with scoring the best husband of all time.
Our first apartment was exactly halfway between Hubs’ parents and my parents, which was nice. For a while, Hubs kept working at the hospital he had been at for years. After a brief stint editing at a medical publishing company (I am an expert on all grammar associated with pediatric strabismus.), I went to work for some buyers at the corporate office of a mega-craft store chain (an East Coast version of Michael’s).
I knew from the start that Hubs was a GI Joe, so it was a pleasant surprise when his need for a high-speed, low-drag job kept us within the continental US. I had been gearing myself up for some assignment in Europe or Asia or something. Imagine my delight when we ended up in “day-tripping” distance of at least one well-known US city. And the town we live in (it calls itself a city, but I sometimes disagree) has a WalMart. Will wonders never cease?
Once we got here (Mexas), I waitressed again, very briefly. Then I worked at the local radio station for a bit, as a Jane-of-all-trades. I am currently taking my sweet time with the career search. Options for an English major who refuses to teach and doesn’t know one useful thing about journalism are fairly low in a bilingual, Spanish-heavy community. Plus, I sincerely enjoy not having a boss, since I’m the kind of quality employee who tends to think I can solve all a company’s problems and am a million times more skilled than the majority of my supervisors. That works really well…
So, next major move is either to make a baby or write a book. I haven’t quite decided yet. I feel like a baby would be more fun, but a book wouldn’t stay awake all night or throw up on me.
Here are my answers to Bernard Pivot’s adaptation of the Proust questionnaire, made popular by James Lipton, host of “Inside the Actor’s Studio” (which I watched a lot of during my Virginia a la Grandparents year). These should answer any lingering questions you might have about me.
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
What turns you off creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
What sound or noise do you love?
My family’s laughter
What sound or noise do you hate?
The alarm from my old alarm clock
What is your favorite curse word?
The eff word
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
What profession would you not like to do?
High school teacher
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
You were right about everything.