MOM, PATRICIA TAGGED ME!

Well, actually, she tagged both of us.  I’m not generally a fan of memes, but this one has fabulous antecedents: Tara, Blogger Dad and Writer Dad.  While they are all way funnier and more interesting, it’s a pleasure to be in such company.  I might answer for myself or for the both of us, we’ll just have to see.

atticus-finch1. Who is the hottest movie star? Do we have to pick one, a boy and a girl?  Do they live on even though departed?  I guess we get to bend the question’s interpretation any way we wish.  I’m going to go with Gary Cooper (because we just watched “Sergeant York” over the weekend) and Gregory Peck (because Atticus Finch defines all that a man could and should ever be, in my book).  If Pete wants to wax eloquently about a female, he can do so in the comments.  Whatevah.  Dream on, baby.

2.  Apart from your house and your car, what is the most expensive item you ever bought? The most expensive things I’ve ever purchased have been experiences:  A trip to Europe with my daughter would probably be the most recent, most expensive.  In the three years we’ve been married, our most expensive purchase together would have to be an experience as well: our trip to Alaska.  I would imagine Pete’s individual answer might be travel-related, too, or perhaps his MacBook Pro – which was pretty darn expensive, but I made him get it.  Oh, the camera – the Nikon and all its lenses.

If this has to be a tangible for me, I’d have to say it’s my dining room table, and I don’t want Pete to know what it cost back in the day.  Of course, if he did, he’d understand why I act as though the force field around it precludes setting everyday things like grocery bags and tool boxes on it.  But I’m still not going to tell.  Many happy memories and spirited conversations have taken place with this table at the center, and its rich cherry patina mellows and deepens with each passing year.

3.  What is your most treasured memory? How do you pick just one?  Aside from the obvious: children’s births and other milestones, last conversations with loved ones, and childhood’s magic, I’m going with Pete’s proposal.  Perfectly planned and executed with no stagefright in front of a cast of hundreds at the table where we had our first date.  Thankfully I responded in the affirmative before his knees had a chance to fully lock up.

4.  What was the best gift you received as a child? My mother read to me.  She taught me to read when I was three years old.  Were I an Indian child, my name would have been Nose-In-A-Book.  This great gift has led me into numerous worlds of adventure and thought.  A reader becomes a writer.

…You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be —
I had a Mother who read to me.

5.  What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made? Oh, we have to pick just one?  Lordy, lots of them are so obvious!  But we learn from mistakes, even a slow learner like me who may need the lesson more than once.  A mistake without a lesson would have to be a regret, wouldn’t it?  My father advised me to never say, “If only” as in ” If only I had done this or that . . .”  When you get older, he said to me, you won’t regret the things you’ve done as much as the things you haven’t.  And yes, I’d have to say the biggest mistakes I’ve made, or regrets I carry, have all had to do with deferments.  The time to do it is now.  And the other thing I’ve learned is that the seemingly innocuous decision or deferment can wind up being of most consequence.

6.  Four words to describe yourself. My daughter once chose three:  “Tough, but fair.”  I’d not object if “smart” were the fourth.  Pete:  practical, capable, kind, principled.

7.  What was your highlight or lowlight of 2008? Starting this blog led me to begin calling myself a writer, and sparked our entry into the world of online entrepreneurship.  But that pales in comparison with our trip to Alaska.  It was a journey in distance and spirit.

300px-spirit_of_768.  Favorite film? My personal favorites are “A River Runs Through It” and “The Age of Innocence,” probably not coincidental that they both are examinations of deep regret.  Judging from frequency of his watching, I’d put Pete’s at “Independence Day” or “The Patriot.”  But the one I’m thinking of frequently these days is one that has been lost: a video of my 3 year old and 1 year old on Santa’s knee.  Almost twenty years hence, I can still hear their munchkin voices:  “I want a blue Barney.”  “A computer!”  Prescient requests considering who they turned out to be.

9.  One thing we don’t know. Pete was pre-med before he came to his senses.  I got a job as a law firm data base administrator in 1982 without knowing how to turn their computer on.  Luckily, one of my colleagues took pity on me and covered my rear.  Thank you, Sally O’Donnell, wherever you are.

10.  If you were a comic book/strip or cartoon character, who would you be? Pete would want to be Superman, but he is really more like Mark Trail.  I would love to be Blondie and have that waistline!  But I’m more like the mother in Zits.

I’m tagging the following bloggers to get this outta here!  Don’t feel like you have to participate, but realize how disappointed we’ll be if you don’t.  Just sayin’.

Ulla Hennig, because it would be fun to have that continental perspective :)

Cath Lawson, because I can really and truly imagine her making an exception and participating :)

Kathy from Virtual Impax, because she can make a business lesson out of anything :)

Jim Gaudet, because he’s living the geek’s dream in Costa Rica :)

Lance from The Jungle of Life because he got Jannie to show us how fun is really done  :)

For those of you we’ve missed, we wouldn’t mind a little gratitude!

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Comments

  1. says

    Hi Betsy,

    What great answers. I love the part where you said if you had been an Indian child , you name would have been “Nose In A Book” – cute!

    You mentioned starting this blog was a highlight from 2008. I’m happy you started it, too. It’s a pleasure to read your great work and to have met another authentic blogger. You rock. :)

    Barbara Swafford´s last blog post..Teaching The Art Of Persuasion

  2. Betsy Wuebker says

    Hi Barbara – Haha, it’s true! Pete’s name would be Better-At-Scrabble. Thank you for your kind comments. It has been such a pleasure getting to know you, too.

  3. says

    Betsy,
    Thank you so much for doing this meme thing and then for doing it so well- oh and I had forgotten about Gregory Peck – I haven’t watched a movie for so long. I think this meme turned out to be fun…So glad I am getting to know you – enjoy your writing and grand sense of humor.

    Patricia´s last blog post..Blogger Dad – Blame Tara Meme

  4. Betsy Wuebker says

    Hi Patricia – It’s hard to come up with just one answer, isn’t it. That’s the great part about getting old – we are rich in experience! Thank you.

  5. says

    I have a force field around my laptop.

    Is your table an antique?

    Learning to read at such a young age must’ve really opened some doors for you early on. I used to read so much too – even while Mom was washing the dishes, and I drying. You ever do that?

    Ahh trips – the most wonderful things to spend money on of all. I am so due for a fabulous trip experience but don’t see that happnening until 2010.

    And guess what?? Apple crumble is baking here as I type this. That and vanilla Haagen-Dazs with Billy May’s new show “Pitchmen.” Heavenly! Have you watched “Pitchmen” yet?

    Oh, Im not sure if I’m tagged on this or not? I think so, but just checking. :) A fun one for sure.

    Jannie Funster´s last blog post..Bord on a wire, 9 & 10 1/2

  6. Betsy Wuebker says

    Hahaha Patricia – I’m the same way! I get it from my mother. You never needed to go anywhere if she was, because you’d get all the details and it was just like being there. At her funeral, we laughed because we found ourselves wishing she had been there to observe and comment. Well, she was…but you know. 😀

    Hi Jannie – You betcha! You’re tagged in a two-fer, so get on it! I’ve never read while drying dishes, I don’t think. But I’ve rigged up contraptions to read while I was doing other stuff. I’ve had a book in my hand and worked a vacuum cleaner with the other for sure! Pete knows the first receipt before we get to the outbound gate is the airport bookstore for stuff to read, including trashy magazines. Thanks.

  7. says

    …You may have tangible wealth untold;
    Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
    Richer than I you can never be –
    I had a Mother who read to me.

    I love this! I hope my kids say the same thing when they’re older, too. That is a great gift. And I love what you said about the dining room table being the center of so many great conversations. That’s how a dining room table should be, not collecting dust in the “formal” never-used dining room.

    I’m glad you did the meme, too.

    Kool Aid´s last blog post..Quote of the day

  8. says

    Hi Betsy, sorry it’s taken me so long to come over and check out your meme, but I thought as it bears my brand (grr, that joker Blogger Dad) I’d better check you’re keeping up the quality!
    And oh yes you are – especially as you go and mention Gregory Peck and Atticus Finch because To Kill a Mockingbird is only one of my favourite books ever.
    Good meme x

    Tara@Sticky Fingers´s last blog post..The enduring appeal of Mr Potato Head

  9. says

    Hi Betsy (and Pete),
    Well…this was a fun read!!

    A trip to Alaska sounds pretty sweet indeed! And I love travel, so I’m right there with you on experiences.

    Thanks for sharing this – both of you!

    Lance´s last blog post..This Is Funtertainment

  10. Betsy Wuebker says

    Hi Ulla – Don’t stress about “the continental perspective.” Instead, you could pull the wool over us and we’d probably never find out, so think of it that way! 😀 Thanks.

    Hi Kool Aid – Welcome! My mother used to quote the last two lines of that poem throughout my childhood. I never realized that it was a classic (but I should have known). And yes, the table has “heard” a lot over the years. :) Thank you.

    Hi Jannie – We’re all waiting on you! Hop to it!

    Hi Tara – Welcome! I’m glad you agree on Atticus Finch – now that’s a man, eh? It’s one of my favorite books, too. Aren’t all the names in there fabulous: Boo – did you know that was Robert Duval?, Atticus, Scout. Thanks.

    Hi Lance – Glad you enjoyed it! It’s fun getting to know each other a little better, isn’t it? And experiences are what we’ll remember more than things, you’re right. Thank you.

  11. says

    Hi Ms. Nose-In-A-Book :-) This was a fun meme. I had a huge grin on my face when I read about Pete’s proposal — Yep, I’m a classic romantic. And one day I hope to receive “THAT” proposal.

    Davina´s last blog post..Mindful Melancholy

  12. says

    Dear Nose-in-a-Book,

    A name after my own heart! :)

    My favourite tidbit in your post was about the dining table. I can’t explain how inspiring that is to me. I think setting the table alone can be a very sacred experience. In fact, I wrote about that once.

    PS. I don’t think I realized what a funny (as in LOL) woman you are before I read this! :)

  13. Betsy Wuebker says

    Hi Kathy – Oh, I’m sure you’ll do a fine job of it, too! This is a fun one, isn’t it? Can’t wait to read your answers. Thanks.

    Hi Davina – Yes, it was quite the production. I wondered why the restaurant staff was smirking at me when we walked in. Turns out everyone was clued in except for moi. Pete has said he only had one chance to get it right, so he went all out. I’ve overheard men say, “Man, you’re makin’ us look bad!” LOL We ate there for our anniversary and they comped our drinks last week, too. Love that place! Thanks.

    Hi Steph – Yep. Nose-In-A-Book. 😀 And the table is so just The Table, you know? Every once in a while I see a smart table like it with a painted finish and I think, oh I wonder if I should paint that table. And just as quickly I say NO! you IDIOT, don’t even go there! Anyway, guaranteed we will not have a modern theme; the table is too traditional. I wonder if I could fit it into an RV? Thanks.

  14. jessica says

    a few things-

    yep, they always say if youre stuck between spending on a something or an experience you should always go with the experience. i definitely still struggle with this… but when i have done so (that camping trip is one of the only times) its amazing how long the goodness lasted. of course having lots of pictures help.

    and while nikons and lenses are things.. maybe theyre the exception, since they help us record the experiences?

    …and i now understand about the table.. haha, it is a nice one!

    i dont remember if i was read to a lot when i was little, but i must have been. i know once i got older erin and i read together a lot. when youre that age you dont really realize what a gift it is, i didnt until one time at a conference my teacher explained how great it was that i didnt struggle with reading, i had never realized other kids did.

    im always very thankful that reading and writing go hand in hand. one of my friends always struggled a lot with writing and while you can go through vigorous teachings and the like, the easiest remedy is just to read more.

    i agree with your words on regrets, i sometimes feel like i have too many for only being 18.

    & those words to describe you &dad are quite perfect.
    same with the movie choices for him… haha seen those many many times thanks to dad
    im also a big fan of home movies, while ive always wished to be growing up in a different era (every other one seems much more interesting & distinctive) im glad to be here now so when i have kids i can home movie it up alllllll day long.

    aaand lastly, i remember when dad first told me he was premed for a while, i was kinna pissed cause i thought it woulda been cool, haha.

    okay, that was an extensive comment, i enjoy survey things, if you didnt know theyre a large part of teenage internetting.

    😀
    -J

  15. Betsy Wuebker says

    Hi Jessica – I think the surveys help you get to know yourself better, or at least be more honest with yourself, too. Perhaps that’s why they’re so popular! And I wouldn’t worry too much about having too many regrets. We always learn from them, and getting your mistakes over with early in life, as we’ve talked about it, isn’t a bad way to go about it. You have to sail through stormy weather to appreciate the balmy breezes. And I’ve always thought I belonged in a different time, too. And wished for a time machine to prove it good or bad. Thanks. :)

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