08 October 2012

Monday Quiz About Me

Acting Balanced

I'm back again, joining in on Monday Quiz About Me from Acting Balanced and Touristic.  Here's a chance for you to get to know just a little more about me.

The Questions, and My Answers

1. What is the nicest thing someone has ever done for you on your birthday?

This is actually one of my favorite stories and it's not a short one, so sit back, grab a drink and get comfy.

It was early March, 2003.  My 29th birthday was fast approaching (and yes, this was my ACTUAL 29th birthday, not the third or fourth of such birthdays) and I was talking on the phone with my friend Dave.  He was mentioning that he planned on surprising his wife with a get-away weekend to a bed and breakfast somewhere in New York or New Jersey.  And the weekend he planned it was the weekend of my birthday.

"Great!  You'll be getting some on MY birthday weekend," I joked at him.  And somehow, this comment turned into the germ of an idea.  There was no reason he couldn't bring his wife to Philly that weekend for the B&B away.  After all, she was (and still is) my heart-sister and there was a group of us that were pretty close.  One of our cadre of friend, Sal, lived in Harrisburg but had family in Philly and he'd come our way somewhat regularly.  So it was decided that Dave would surprise his wife, Barb, with a trip to Philly, Sal would come out for the weekend, and we'd all get together at the Restaurant School near Rich and my apartment for a birthday dinner for me.

There were two other people that were part of our little group - Cristi, who lived in Michigan, and her boyfriend, Patrick, who lived in Rhode Island.  I wanted them there, but Cristi had a money crunch and Patrick didn't often join us without Cristi.  I talked with Cristi a few times in the upcoming weeks, telling her how much I'd miss her being there and that I would make sure to take plenty of pictures so she could see the fun we were having.

The week before our party, Rich tried to make reservations at the Restaurant School, only to find out they were having a special thing going on that night and weren't taking reservations.  So we moved it to another location, one we had never been to before but had the advantage of being close - Rx.  It was just the right kind of kitsch for our little group.  It was a former pharmacy and it had a lot of trappings from those days on the walls, in the bookcases and hanging from the ceiling.  Plus, their menu changed daily depending on what they were able to get at the markets that morning.  So we figured we'd give it a try.

The Friday night of the dinner arrived.  The plan was for Dave to head out of town with Barb and call me when they were driving so I could tell her the surprise.  And that part went off without a hitch.  She was not only surprised but pleased that she'd have a chance to spend time with all of us.

What I didn't know, however, was that my wonderful husband-to-be and my fantastic friends were sneaky as could be.  Because they had a surprise for me, which Dave let Barb in on after she was off the phone with me.  And I got the surprise when Sal showed up.

He'd been running a little later than expected, but we weren't in a time crunch, so I didn't think anything of it. He came in, gave me a big hug and chatted for a couple of minutes.  Then he told me that my birthday gift was in the hall.  I walked with him to the door and opened it, expecting a gift sitting in the hallway.  Instead, standing in front of me were Cristi and Patrick.  They'd gotten together to fly her in for my birthday so we could all spend the time together.

I laughed and cried, hugged her so tight.  It was the absolute best birthday surprise ever.  Dave and Barb showed up a little while later and we drove the short distance to Rx.  It was the best birthday night in my life and I was so glad that I got pictures.  Especially since the next year, one week before I turned 30, Cristi had an epileptic seizure and died.  For the last 8 years, my birthday has been bittersweet - bitter, because it will forever be linked to the loss of one of my best friends.  But sweet because I had a chance to have one special birthday with all my special friends one last time.

2. What is the funniest thing that ever happen to you while you were on a 'date'?

I honestly can't think of anything funny that happened while I was on a date.  But then again, I can't remember many dates in the specific.  I never really "dated"... usually, I jumped into relationships too quickly.  So... yeah. Nothing is coming to mind.

3. What is your favorite backhanded compliment?
"The apple really didn't fall far from the tree, did it?"  Usually said to one of my children when they do something particularly boneheaded that reminds me of either myself or their father.

4. Have you ever had someone guest blog for you? If so, how was the experience?
No, though I wouldn't mind it.  I don't have a large readership at the moment, and I haven't really branded myself enough to have a guest blogger.  Plus, I've got some self-esteem issues that make it hard for me to ask people.

And now for my question to you:

5. What is the funniest thing you've ever said to your children as a parent, or heard a parent say to their child?

We've actually got a list going of "I never would have said this before becoming a parent."  There are some doozies there, including, "Well, next time don't hit yourself in the privates," "Your brother is not a ladder," and "I don't care if Hariyama  did it. You're his trainer and you're responsible for helping to fix his mistakes." But my absolute favorite has to be "Stop poison jabbing people!"

For those of you who are not familiar with Pokemon (which, I'm guessing, is about 98% of my readership), Poison Jab is a move used by some of the Pokemon.  You see it fairly regularly in the anime being used by Croagunk to subdue Brock whenever he goes goo-goo eyes over a girl.  Peter, however, decided that it needed to be his signature move.  So he would go around holding his fingers together, out straight, and jabbing people in the side while screeching "Poison Jab! Poison Jab!  I'm poison jabbing you!"  Which meant that Mommy had to start saying, with far more regularity than I'd ever expected, "Stop poison jabbing your brother!" (since Teddy was, of course, one of the more regular recipients of Pete's Poison Jabs.)

Being a parent just isn't what I thought it would be some days.