Sunday, August 20, 2006

Inquiring minds want to know...

So my call for questions wasn't a complete and disastrous crickets-chirping failure, and for that I thank you much. Some of your questions made me laugh; some made me say "whew; that's an easy one"; and some I am still pondering and may never be able to decide how to answer. (That's right, Stinkypaw, with your crazy Scott Adams-inspired alien question; I'm looking at you right now.) I'm not sure I will get to all of these Qs and As in one sitting, so if there's something you're still dying to know, feel free to send it my way. Meanwhile, here's Round One...

Q: Which (if any) is a bigger dating dealbreaker for you: the guy has a child, the guy has a pet snake, the guy is unemployed, or the guy uses bad grammar?
A: This is like one of those no-good-option games, like "Who would you rather sleep with: Dick Cheney, Steve Buscemi, or your 12th-grade weasel of an Economics teacher?" I'll try to play along, but my problem is I want to know situational details. Is the unemployment obviously temporary, or is he just a lazy moocher? Is the bad grammar just via email, or does his in-person communication include phrases like "I don't got none" and "I ain't gotta do nothing I ain't wanna do"? In that case, a father with a pet snake would start to look not so unappealing...

Q: What's your favorite potato chip?
A: When I buy chips, it's usually Baked Lay's (KC Masterpiece BBQ flavor, to be precise), just because I can delude myself into thinking they're not entirely bad for me. If I'm eating with reckless abandon and caring not about fat or calories, however, just about any flavor of kettle chips will do.

Q: Do you read any magazines regularly? If so, which?
A: For some reason, I'm not much of a magazine person. If I'm going to take the time to read something, I'll reach for a book instead. If I just want to sit and not think too hard, I'll typically turn on the TV. I seem to regularly forget that I don't read magazines, however, which is why I ended up with a Rolling Stone subscription (free with my membership), a Budget Living subscription ($1 with a purchase from Bed Bath & Beyond) and a pile of Sierra Club magazines (included with my apparently membership-granting donation). I will likely never read the seven magazines currently stacked on the lower shelf of my coffee table, and yet, I can't just throw them away. Incidentally, when Budget Living went defunct, they replaced my subscription with a Redbook one instead, and I've been successfully ignoring those as well. I do not know what's wrong with me.

Q: Do you own any work clothes that you have to force yourself to wait at least a week to wear again? If so, describe the outfit.
A: I work in a very casual office, so my "work clothes" are basically my regular clothes. I hate (or am at least entirely bored with) most of my regular clothes, so... no. Sometimes I buy something dressier than I really need to wear for work (like the very cute dotted dress that Guinness Girl and I both snagged at Target), and I enjoy wearing it just for a bit of variety, I guess, but people look at me funny if I wear a dress more than once a week, so again, this is not a problem for me.

Q: What's your favorite hair product?
A: I rarely find anything I love enough to rave about (that's really more Red's domain), and I hate spending money on things I end up not using, so I don't generally experiment all that much. Recently I decided I really like John Frieda's Brilliant Brunette shampoo and conditioner, but I often find I can't use the same shampoo for months or years on end, so who knows how long the love will last. As for styling products, Aveda's Light Elements and a spritz of hairspray is my regular routine at the moment.

Q: If you made it a goal to do something "daring" (meaning outside your comfort zone) this month, what would that thing be?
A: This is a tough one, as I'm generally content to live quite passively in my comfort zone, so I don't think about being daring all that much. If money were no object, maybe I would take off for a trip all on my own--no traveling companions, just me and my independent self. Thinking less daring but more practical, I should really break out of my familiar and comfortable routine and find another place to work. Writing cover letters and going on interviews isn't daring, but it is for some reason still something I'm terrified of (or at least entirely averse to) doing.

Q: What color is your living room?
A: It's a not-very-bright-or-interesting pale gold/sand color. I went for color with the furniture instead (I have a purple chair and couch and olive green drapes), and I couldn't decide on a coordinating color for the walls, so I just repainted a couple shades darker (and a lot less glossy) than it was when I moved in.

Q: What is your favorite color to wear?
A: The last couple of answers really don't make me sound very interesting or adventurous, but I'm going to have to go with basic black on this one nonetheless.

Q: What color is your hair?
A: Brown. (Hence #5 above.) I have been wondering lately if it's poor blogger etiquette never to post a photo of myself. I know what most of you look like, and I know I like being able to put a face with the name, so maybe it's unfair not to reciprocate. Most of you who post photos, however, also blog under aliases, and I wonder if it's easier to put your face out on the Internet if your name is semi-disguised. I'm not the only one struggling with the line between identity and anonymity, am I? Discuss amongst yourselves.

Q: Have you ever met Paul Westerberg? If so, I'm jealous.
A: Have I met him? No. Have I seen him in concert? Yes. But I could do that even if he didn't live in my city, so that's not particularly notable, I know. At one show in town, however, he told a story about taking his dad to buy sandals, and I thought, "How crazy would it be to come across Paul Westerberg and Mr. Westerberg Senior comparing styles in the shoe department at the Marshall Fields in Rosedale?" That would be a much better story if I actually had seen them, of course...

All right; I think that's enough Q and A for one night, so the rest will have to wait until later. Oh, but first, if you're wondering about my own answers to the questions I posed to all of you, here you are:

  1. Among the many foods I do not trust myself around, the first that come to mind are mashed potatoes, Freschetta pizzas, chocolate chip cookie dough, and sweet & salty Honey Nut Chex Mix. Seriously, if you lack willpower as I do, save yourself the guilt and trauma and do not buy Honey Nut Chex Mix. You will not be able to stop until the entire bag is gone. The entire sweet, salty, tasty bag.

  2. Years ago, I harbored a slightly-secret Elimidate addiction (it really is a terrible show, but it's such a train wreck that it's impossible to look away). I've since learned that many, many people share this same guilty pleasure, however, so I'm not so embarrassed anymore. Plus, they moved it to a later time slot, meaning I rarely run across it now. More recently, I have found myself actually tuning in on purpose for the WB's What I Like About You, and I really can't explain that one successfully.

  3. I've already mentioned my mutant pinky toe before, so that was the source of that question.

  4. I shouldn't have asked about recent CD purchases, as I can't even remember my own. I haven't bought anything lately, so Rhett Miller's latest and KT Tunstall's debut (both of which I purchased a couple months ago already) may be the most recent acquisitions.


-R- said...

As far as being anonymous, I have decided that being non-googleable is much more important in keeping people from work from finding my blog. Not that my coworkers do internet searches for my name all the time, but my clients might. You never know. And in the pictures I posted of me playing Guitar Hero, I really don't look like myself. It is kind of freaky.

Maliavale said...

I got Marie Claire when my Budget Living subscription went belly-up. Yet I've still managed to save all the issues that I got when it was still good. Hopefully I won't be saving the Marie Claires, too.

I think my bigger question is: Why did I get Marie Claire and you Redbook? Color me confused.

As far as the identity thing, it's all shades of gray. I'm not sure there is a "right" answer -- just what you're comfortable with. And, hey, we do know what your neck looks like with a piece of grammar-related jewelry on it.

stefanie said...

R--I worry about being Googleable, too. Since I don't post my last name, I'd like to think I'm safe, but since I have a less common spelling of my first name, it's not too hard to find me by searching just for that. I do often wish I'd started the blog with an alias, but I figure it's too late for that now.

Malia--Apparently some people got Good Housekeeping as a replacement, too. I've also wondered how the heck they decided who got what. Oh, and I wondered how many people would remember the neck pic when I mentioned not posting a photo! ;-)

Darren said...

Hm-m-m... No, I don't think it's poor blogger etiquette not to post a picture of yourself. I admit that I enjoy reading blogs with lots of photos including those of the authors, but do what you're comfortable with.

I've taken that approach to blogging ever since I encouraged Nabbalicious to use her real name on her blog two days before a pee fetish chatroom discovered her post about accidentally peeing her pants and gave out her URL to the entire pee fetishist community.

nabbalicious said...

Hey! I got Good Housekeeping when Budget Living went kaput. What did I do to make them think I'm a 40-year-old housewife in the suburbs with four kids?

Oh, that is awesome about Junior and Senior Westerberg! I would have died if I had seen them at Marshall Fields. I saw him in concert once, too, and met him briefly after the show. That was cool, but I think it'd be even better to just be wandering around downtown Minneapolis and pass him on the street.

As far as identity, it's definitely what you're comfortable with. The primary reason I hide my name is so that my blog isn't so easy to find by people I don't want finding it (mainly employers and colleagues). But I'm all right with my picture being up. Maybe someday when I'm self-employed, I'll be more open about what my name is because I personally don't have a problem with it being out there. I doubt I would ever publish my full name like Dooce does, though. That just seems like asking for trouble.

stefanie said...

Darren--It still blows my mind that there's actually a "pee fetishist community." It takes all kinds, I guess.

Nabbalicious--A single 32-year-old friend of mine got Good Housekeeping in place of Budget Living, too, so I wouldn't take it personally. Perhaps it was just an entirely random thing.

I'll keep my eyes open for Westerberg sitings and let you know if my luck with that changes. I never see famous people, though. A friend of mine saw Al Franken at dinner in a restaurant one night, and I wasn't there for that, either. I did see Josh Hartnett at a DFL event once, though. In case that's in any way impressive...

Guinness_Girl said...

Whee! I love the Q & A! As for the picture thing...I am feeling quite uncomfortable about having my pictures up there right now, and I might decide to take them down. My discomfort is solely based on fear that my in-laws or someone from (in-law-owned) work will google something like "does the period go inside or outside the parenthesis" and find me and all my talk about them. Then I tell myself that if they found the buffet after a google search, they'd know it was me whether my picture was posted or not. And THEN I have to decide whether to give in to the fear and delete everything remotely related to family or whether to just say "fuck it" and leave it all up there. I've been leaning towards the latter. (Whoa, long comment!)

stefanie said...

GG--I've had the same thought: that anyone who knows me wouldn't have to read too far into the blog to know it's me regardless of whether a picture's posted or not. So maybe my uneasiness is more about publishing my real name this whole time than about posting a photo. Good point.

Bob said...

It was more than a little disconcerting to see that having a child would make a man far less desirable, at least in the minds of today's singles.
I'm a divorced woman with a child. I think a man with a child is much more stable and flexible (all rolled into one) than is a single guy with no resposiblities outside which hair gel to keep up stock on.
On the other hand, I'm sure guys see me with a child as a deal breaker, too. But let me tell you what happened when I had a child.
I gained strength, both physical and emotional that I never had before. Because of that, I became far more confident in myself. Because of that, I had the self-confidence to finally kick my cheating emotionally abusive hisband out of the house, but also because of that, my career soon catapulted and I landed my dream job in 2 years instead of the planned 10 I was told by so many people it would take me.
I am more relaxed, I take things in easier stride, my life while more hectic is still more rewarding.
I would NOT be a "good catch" if I hadn't had a child.

I can't imagine why on earth having a child would EVER be a drawback. In fact, I think twice before going out with someone who doesn't have kids.

OK, that was my little tirade on the other Stefanie's blog.

stefanie said...

Bob--Point very well taken. I was actually leery about not addressing that in my response to that question (and I sort of expected a little backlash because of it), but trying to incorporate it into my answer was just making it all long and wind-y. So instead I just sort of sidestepped and ignored it, which obviously was a bad choice as well.

The truth is I would *prefer* to date a man who has no children, as I think most single women would as well, but it isn't at all a dealbreaker. The preference likely has to do partly with the fact that a child complicates a new relationship in several ways and partly with the fact that if I'm going to have kids someday, I'd prefer it to be with someone who's tackling the parenting thing along with me for the first time. All of that is about preferences and romantic ideals, though, and obviously so much of what we *think* we want gets tossed out the window if we meet the right person. So no, a man having a child is not a dealbreaker, and I do see your point about someone with a child being more stable and desirable in some ways.

Honestly this is all something I haven't really had to consider too much yet, as none of the guys who've shown any interest in me up to now have been parents. But assuming I meet someone who I otherwise click with who happens to have a child, no, I would not ever write him off just for that.

Does that make sense? Peace?

Bob said...


I was grumpy.

Bob said...

Oh and next time I'm in the cities for business, we'll have to go out for lunch! I can flirt with the guys who have kids, and you can flirt with the ones that have nice car interiors! (Because they don't have kids!)

stefanie said...

It's a deal. :-)

Stinkypaw said...

I LOL when I read the part where you're "looking at me" (gee! let me know before, so I can dress up accordingly!) - You must admit that WAS a good question!

"Elimidate"? Wow! I did too! It was like a bad addiction or something, just had to watch it! I thought it was off the air... oh well! Not that I'll be looking for it or anything, but it was so "cheap" that I was always amaze how slimey some of the "participants" would get!

Great Q & A! Can't wait to read the others!

Red said...

"This is like one of those no-good-option games, like 'Who would you rather sleep with: Dick Cheney, Steve Buscemi, or your 12th-grade weasel of an Economics teacher?'"

WORD, Stef!!!!