Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Introduce Yourself...or "Hi, I'm E"

Introduce yourself.
I know, I know. That’s a little anticlimactic. Here were are, talking about changing the world from our rocking chairs on our porches with a little pie, and I’m asking you to just talk about one of the subjects you know best — you.
If you have a blog, make a post about who you are.

This is the task put in front of me by the leader of a new group I’ve joined online. Now I know it’s funny that most of us kinda know what we’d say to introduce ourselves to strangers, but putting it into actual words on paper (or screen) suddenly makes the task a bit more daunting. More permanent? Maybe….well- here goes.

Hi. I’m Elizabeth. I go by various names...Mama, Mumzzz, Martha, Miss Elizabeth...but in the family, I'm usually called "E". I’m 47, but feel more like 27. Or maybe 37- that was a good age. Old enough to not worry much about the crap in life, but not old enough to be someone’s grandmother.

I grew up in Northwestern Louisiana as a city girl with deep roots in the country-my mother’s family has farmed since before the Civil War. I grew up in the best of both worlds—friends around the corner in town, and acres and acres of pasture and cotton fields. Still nothing prettier to me than a cotton field before it’s defoliated…green leaves, white bolls, pink blossoms, blue sky, brown dirt. Opening day of dove season is still one of my favorite days of the year.

I’m the oldest of three, with two brothers. I’ve always been a bit of a loner, and –although this amazes people for some reason- painfully shy. A tomboy- was happiest making mudpies and playing war. Waterballoons and blowing things up. I can play the glamour game, but much prefer jeans.

I went to a Catholic all-girls’ high school. Was taught by a few nuns. Some very good, very kind, very wise nuns, but mostly crazy ones. Almost everything you read about “catholic girls schools” is true. Yes, I was taught “never wear patent leather shoes because guys will look up your dress” and that french kissing will get you pregnant. I was never the “beautiful one”, never the “thin one”- definitely not a cheerleader-type. I was a drama geek. The actress, the costume designer, the set painter, the lighting wizard. I loved- and still love- creating worlds out of imagination.

I went to college in Virginia. Randolph-Macon Woman’s College. Yep, another girls’ school. Majored in Russian and Theatre. I learned more there than I can ever convey. Not just book learning, but resourcefulness, leadership and strength. Independence. Perseverance. That individuality is a blessing. That friendship is one of the greatest gifts of all.

Six weeks after graduation, I got married to Alan, a lieutenant in the Army. Moved a week later to Germany. Lived there four years and loved every single second while we were there. I think of myself as more European than American.

I’ve lived up and down the East Coast- Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut. Large Company Corporate Wife. Then back to the South—Memphis and finally here, to the Middle-of-Nowhere. Washington County, Georgia. And I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I love living in small-town rural Georgia. Where there’s a handful of well-educated, well-read, well-travelled families we are blessed to call friends…and then there’s every Darwinian proof for the Origin of the Species. I’m a people-watcher- a trip to Walmart is a blast…characters galore. Southerners definitely don’t keep their eccentrics in the closet…they come out in the daylight. When I need a big-city fix, I go to Atlanta, or Savannah. Or hop on a plane to New York.

I’m a mom- of two incredibly brilliant, talented and gorgeous kids. Not just my opinion-ask anyone (My husband and I still can’t figure out how they got assigned to us…) Boy-older, Girl-younger. Heir and Spare. He’s a senior in high school, she’s a freshman.
They are good—no---great kids. Loud music and messy rooms are about the biggest complaint I have of them. And they steal the towels out of my bathroom.

I knit. I write-but not enough. I design needlepoint canvases. I read. I cook. I’m writing a cookbook for my kids that I hope will be finished within the year. I’m terrible at housework. I sew. I love gardening in March, and hate gardening by July. I dabble in all sorts of creative things….mosaic, jewelry design, painting. I’m the resident scenic designer at the kids’ school.

I love pretty lingerie and sweatpants. Mozart and Meatloaf, Vivaldi and Van Halen. I love having people around me and being left alone. Russian Orthodoxy and Buddhism. Dante Alighieri and Danielle Steele. Travelling abroad and coming home to “my own widdle bed”.

I’m searching for the perfect lipstick. I am phobic about snakes. I really want to learn to fly a plane.

I am fan of any kind of racing, but especially horses. I’m equally passionate about football—both American college style with a pointy ball, and rest-of-the-world style with a round one.

If there is reincarnation, I was a sailor in a previous life. I may have been born and raised landlocked, but I fight like hell to get in viewing distance, if not actually on, the sea as much as I can. I love looking at the horizon and not seeing land. Put me in a sailboat with a full spinnaker---and no noise but waves hitting the bow...fabulous.

Figured me out yet??? If so, please enlighten me, ‘cause I still haven’t…..

Oh, and I don’t ever plan on growing up………..