With some trepidation my mother has agreed to an interview swap. She also lectured me a little bit about some of my answers to other interview questions (she doesn't think it's funny when I joke that I am actually a man -- go figure). Anyway, she is one of the funniest people I've ever known (I sincerely think she could give Eddie Izzard a run for his money if she approved of his lifestyle, that is). She is smart, gregarious, faith-filled and a great mom -- all the things I want to be when I grow up. Without further ado....my mutha asked me these questions. Go here to see her answers to my questions.
- What was it like going through grade school in the school where your dad had attended and where two of your aunts were now teachers, and your great uncle was your school bus driver?
It was very comfortable. I really had no perspective on it until many years later. The feeling of community was inherent in the school/church experience. I wrote about the bubble once, and how some days I long for it.
My whole growing up experience was unique though. To have conversations with people who knew your own great-great grandfather is not something a lot of people get to do. My bedroom at home was a room that 5 generations of my family had used as their own before me that is extraordinary. I could go on and on.....
- Is it true that you wore beige throughout most of your high school years? And any time your fashionista (as she liked to think of herself) mother bought you attractive, colorful clothing, you took it back the next day?
Yes. I look good in beige. It was especially attractive with eighties hair and a fake tan. I don't know why you never agreed with me on that. I do remember shopping with you. We would invariably be in tears at the end but we would band together to sneak the packages into the house. Ah. Mother/Daughter bonding.
- You lived close to both sets of grandparents as a child so you knew them very well. What is your favorite memory of each of them?
- Tell me about the time that your dad was running for sheriff and you stood at a polling place asking people to vote for him verrry early in the morning on a verrrrry cold November election day. Do you think you helped him get elected, or did he get elected despite your not-an-early-morning-person contact with the voters?
As I get older, you and Gunny will be surprised to learn, I have become more of a morning person. That said, I did nothing to help elect my father. I did stand out near a voting place and hand out informational cards. I remember being very cold. I remember being very hungry. I remember being very nervous about the election because I didn't yet know how popular Dad was. I did meet people who were out there for other candidates but none of them stayed long...I can be an intimidating presence and since I was hungry and kept asking them to go get me some food, it wasn't much fun for them there.
- If you could see into the future, in 20 years what would each of your daughters be doing?
CoCo (would be 31) - she will be living somewhere interesting like New York. She will probably be a doctor of medicine and I could see her doing something charitable with it. Like running an inner-city clinic for the poor. She will be a leader in every community of which she is a part. I will continue to ask her to run for public office, but she probably won't.
LuLu (would be 29)- She will live near her mother (maybe next door). She will be doing something extraordinarily creative but academic, like being the curator at the Chicago Museum of Art. She will be the perfect blend of creativity and intelligence for a job that needs sales and brilliance.
MiMi (would be 25) - She will be in graduate school at Harvard or MIT studying something very specific like the life cycle of the rarest African cricket or a new sort of math. She will rise to the top of her field and be very famous in that community. I could see her eventually teaching at an elite level.
Jenny (would be 39 still) will be living on Lake Shore Drive in Chicago. She will be mulling over offers for CEO positions and trying to decide which would be most satisfying (money, not an object). She will have a cat named Claude. She will drive a beat-up Escort that looks like it's from 1992. It will not be a hybrid. However, her home will be an amazing blend of style and culture and OPULENT furninshings. Her neighbors will love her (except crotchety Mr. Andressen who will think she's entirely too happy all of the time).