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Writing is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement. Then it becomes a mistress, then it becomes a master, then it becomes a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster and fling him to the public.

— Winston Churchill

5 Things You’re Dying to Know About Me

Do you know Janie over at Midlife Slices? If not, you should. I think she’s a little bit of wonderful, and it has nothing to do with the fact that she turned me into a sex goddess for Christmas. Really, she did. If you don’t believe me, click here and then scroll half way down the page (unless you’re one of my parents. Mom and Dad, if you’re reading this post…do not click here!).

Well, Janie recently participated in a five-question interview circulating through the blogsphere and after providing lots of provocative details from the ramblings of her mind, she offered up the interview meme for everyone else to participate. I took the bait, and what follows is a Q&A between Janie and myself.

If you’d like to participate in an interview, please make sure to see details at the bottom of the page.

1. Where did you meet your husband and how did he propose? (just had to ask that)

Kim and I met online before it was cool to do so. America Online was all the rage (remember the movie, You’ve Got Mail with Meg Ryan?).

We were e-mail pen pals and phone buddies for about six months before we actually met in person. We developed an extremely intense friendship and the emotional intimacy between the two of us took my breath away…that and his sexy, foreign accent.

Still, I wasn’t sure an in-person meeting was such a good idea, but he threatened to grow a ponytail, buy a motorcycle, travel to my hometown and ride up and down Main Street calling my name until someone told him where I lived. What’s a girl supposed to do in the face of such stalking romantic babble? Plus, I lived in a small town…someone would have given me up, for sure.

We eventually spent a weekend together and quickly discovered we liked each other even more in-person than we did in-writing. The beginning of our relationship was complicated for a number of reasons and I didn’t contemplate a future together. At the end of our initial meeting, I brought him to the Boston airport and walked him to his gate. As I was saying goodbye, he turned to me, put his hand on my shoulder, held me down with his eyes and whispered into my soul, “If you really think this is the last time we’ll see each other, then you’re dealing with the wrong man.” I kissed him, turned on my heel and walked away. I didn’t even glance over my shoulder as I left the airport. The next day he called and invited me to move to Atlanta. Sometimes you just have to jump without looking— follow your heart—and I did.

He spent the next two years telling me that he never wanted to get married, which was just fine with me. I’d already had a disastrous first marriage. He’d been married twice before, and I think we were both petrified that adding wedding vows to our relationship would ruin a good thing. Instead, we vowed to stay together for as long as we felt compelled to do so.

On a random summer night in 1997, we were cooking dinner together when he suddenly pulled me into his arms, buried his head in my shoulder and quietly said, “If I asked you to marry me, what would you say?”

2. Is it more important to love or to be loved and why?

It’s more important to love. I’ve always believed it’s more important to give than to receive. Our ability to love someone else, like our children, is what makes our hearts soar and keeps our souls grounded. I also believe that when we provide love, express love and revel in the power of love, it comes back to us undefined and magnified, and in the end we’re loved in spite of ourselves. There’ll come a day for all of us when we’re remembered, not by what we’ve received, but by what we’ve given.

3. What do you believe are the 3 most important things to teach to your son?

Are you kidding? I can only pick three? Do you have any idea how long my list of educational must-haves is for my only child? Poor kid. Here are a few things that top my list:

  • He should not wear his underwear on his head until he gets to college
  • To be empathetic
  • To be self-confident
  • To forgive
  • To be passionate about his convictions
  • To value his health
  • To follow his instincts, and eradicate his fear
  • That the world is small, explore it
  • That there’s no such thing as an end to his education
  • He can do anything except lie, cheat or steal
  • A job worth doing is worth doing well
  • Take risks, lots of them
  • To allow himself to love someone with every inch of his soul, even if it hurts
  • That his mother knows best
  • When he turns 18 and realizes he’ll need at least 20 years of therapy to undue everything I’ve warped, I’m not paying for it
  • I love him more than the moon and all the stars in the sky

4. Where is heaven to you?

Right smack in the middle of a group hug with my son and my husband! It’s like a little piece of heaven every single day. A close second is to be smack dab in the middle of a good book with a strong cup of black coffee and dark chocolate.

5. If you were given the option to see your future for the next 20 years, would you take it and why or why not?

I absolutely would not. I don’t want to know when the bad things will hit, and I like to think I have some control over making the good things happen. If I knew what the outcome of my efforts would be, I’d get lazy or stop having fun trying to figure it all out. I like the thrill of standing on a cliff and hoping that when I jump, I’ll make it. For me, life is about the journey. And I expect you all to remind me of that when I start whining about something again.

Now that you know even more about me than you really wanted, if you’d like to participate in this little “ask me anything” assignment, here are the rules for anyone else who wants to be interviewed…

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. (I get to pick the questions).
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

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