Finally

I'm late getting involved with this interview thing, as most of my writing time was sucked up by computer issues at work. Anyway, the fabulous asked me some questions:

1. What is your earliest childhood memory?
I have a dim memory from the age of one or two, looking out the back door of my grandparents house at their dog, Misty, who died pretty soon after that. I remember bits and pieces of other things from when I was three or four – my grandfather making me organize a 'lumber yard' with Tinker Toys before actually building anything with them, the smell of Aunt Gladys's perfume when she hugged me, the way Aunt Molly's Chanel No. 5 perfume is tied up with the smell of rice pudding, my grandmother waving a wooden spoon and calling whichever mischievous child was around a 'miserable wretch' before resorting to much more colorful phrases in Italian, and making snow-angels on the beach at Sandy Hook. (To this day, I still LOVE the beach in winter.)

2. What was your favorite outfit you owned when you were in junior high school?You seriously want me to recall the fashions of the early eighties…in public? :) When I started jr. high school the unofficial uniform of my peers was Izod shirts and Guess jeans and topsiders. My mother had been to fashion design school, and had made all my clothes until I was about nine, and was opposed to buying things with trendy labels, so when she actually bought me the above, those were my favorite for a while, but I've never really been a follower of trends. At about the same time, she was prepping for eye surgery and having serious allergy issues, so she was driving to Berkeley from Modesto once a week, and, of course, there would be shopping. On one such trip she brought me back a denim jumpsuit with zippers and pink and black piping (this was before my Pink Trauma), and I loved that, and wore it till it fell apart, and then the last favorite item was a pair of turquoise overalls. I've always loved overalls.

3. Have you ever dumped a man to date someone else?Not exactly. Very shortly before my friendship with Fuzzy turned romantic I'd been heavily flirting with a guy, but I ended everything when I found out he was married. (Yes, we slept together first, yes, I was pretty stupid.)

4. What's the best present anyone ever gave you? My sense of style? :) I don't know. Most of the really cool tangible things that I own are either leftovers from my grandmother's house, or from when my parents moved to Mexico and we 'inherited' some of their furniture. So if you mean tangible, well, my wedding band belonged to my great grandmother. It's very thin rose-gold (which means it's not quite so shiny and has a pinkish hue) with a platinum inset that holds three microscopic diamond chips, and there are sheaves of wheat (for fertility) etched on the sides. My grandmother told the story: After their house in Hoboken burned down, my great-grandparents moved their family to the summer house in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, which didn't have heat. The first Christmas they lived there, my great-grandmother, Virgelia (“Delia”) called each of her children to her, and gave them a gift of money, and pointed out, “You've all suffered in this house that wasn't meant to be lived in year-round, and you've worked hard in the restaurant (my great-grandfather owned the food concessions for Fort Hancock) so this is yours, but if you put it all together, it would be enough to install a real furnace in the house.” Totally cheesey Hallmark Hall of Fame story, you know? The next year, the kids all got together and helped their father buy a new wedding band, to replace the plain gold band. When Delia died, my grandmother, who was her favorite, inherited both bands, because her older daughter was already married. The ring was passed down from her to my mother, when my mother married the first time, and from my mother to me, in truth, although, it was presented to us in October 1995, when we came home to have a committment ceremony in California after eloping in South Dakota in March. My grandmother, in one of her last lucid moments before she went into a care home, presented us with the ring (her engagement ring had been a Christmas present the year before and that's another story), and it was all very touching and sweet.

5. What is your favorite holiday and why?Halloween. There's no angst, and no stress, just happy haunted fun. As a child, I had homemade costumes courtesy of Mom every year – Pocahontas, when I was five, Laura Ingalls when I was six (our school required that Halloween costumes worn to school be characters from books), Batgirl when I was seven, with satin bat ears, etc, etc. I have no idea what happened to all of those costumes, but I suspect they were handed down to younger cousins who never fully appreciated them. Once we no longer lived in apartments, and once my mother was no longer working retail, Halloween became more fun, with ghosts on fishwire that would come up behind kids at the door, and recorded music and TONS of carved pumpkins. The one thing, in fact, that truly made this house feel like home, is that my mother came to be here for my first Halloween.

If you want me to interview you–post a comment that simply says, 'Interview me.' I'll respond with questions for you to take back to your own journal and answer as a post. Of course, they'll be different for each person since this is an interview and not a general survey. At the bottom of your post, after answering the Interviewer's questions, you ask if anyone wants to be interviewed. So it becomes your turn– in the comments, you ask them any questions you have for them to take back to their journals and answer. And so it becomes the circle.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Finally by Melissa Bartell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.