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84 Things from Theo

6 Comments 28 July 2010

This blog has given me a multitude of opportunities.  I have told you I love to read and to write and since I have embarked on this little blogging journey I have been compelled to do both.  I read Theo Nestor‘s story in her book, How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed: A Memoir of Starting Over, when my friend Magret gave it to our friend after after her divorce.  It is the book that my friend and I read aloud to one another on a beach trip.  After reading it, I shot an e-mail to Theo and asked her to guest post on my blog, thinking it was a long-shot, but as I always say, my mama taught me that you have not if you ask not.

Theo’s 84 Things

1.     Being single and middle aged doesn’t kill you.

2.     You can make a living doing what you love.  Maybe not a killing, but a living.

3.     My best days have some writing, some exercise and some friends.

4.     I haven’t slept in for decades, although I’d love to.

5.     I like the expression, “A man can be a fool and not know it, but not if he’s married.” And would like to rewrite it to say, “A woman can be a fool and not know it, but not if she has a teenage daughter.”

6.     Until recently, I always cleaned my own house.  Until recently, I wasn’t fully happy.

7.     Better to spend money on housecleaning than therapy.

8.     I don’t think I can write without a cup of coffee near me.

9.     I wrote a book about my divorce called How to Sleep Alone in a King-Size Bed.  I risked being struck down by lightening and gained many new friends instead.

10.  I’m a scrabble addict.

11.  Hot weather is overrated.

12.  The first 45 I ever bought was “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

13.  My first album: The Divine Miss M.

14.  My favorite movie: Annie Hall

15.  Favorite food: birthday cake

16.  I want to go to Cuba. Ideally, I would fly directly from Seattle.

17.  I want to go to Ethiopia and Eritrea.

18.  The trickiest part of being a single mom is vacations.

19.  When I was ten and eleven, my friend and I used to pretend to be Sonny and Cher. I always had to be Sonny because she was an alpha girl.

20.  When I was twelve, my friend stopped speaking to me and told everyone the secrets I’d told her.

21.  That same year, a boy called my house for me.  My step-dad took the message. The boy grew up to be a fairly well known writer, which is weird because I am a writer.  Did he know?

22.  The next year we moved, and I never saw the boy or the mean ex-friend again.

23.  When I was a little girl, I loved cats with all my heart.  Recently, I’ve fallen hard for another feline.

24.  If it weren’t for my kids, I’d be the most selfish, narcissistic person imaginable.

25.  I like to treat a kid’s birthday like it’s a national holiday.

26.  I don’t like Christmas.

27.  When I was eighteen, my stepsister died on Christmas day. This may be the reason for #26.

28.  My favorite day of the year is summer solstice. I love the light!

29.  I wrote a book about motherhood that bounced around New York City but never found a publisher.

30.  I think Erma Bombeck was a genius.

31.  Books about geniuses (like there was one that came out last year) that don’t mention Erma Bombeck piss me off.

32.  I know why there weren’t many women writers until recently: it’s called breakfast, lunch and dinner.

33.  My kids think I’m a bad cook.

34.   Many of my bills are paid by the articles I write for match.com

35.  I’m pretty sure I have undiagnosed ADD.

36.  What was I saying?

37.  Lists work really well for people with ADD.  Like, don’t leave home without one.

38.  I love the mail!  Even though I never really get anything good, there’s always the hope.

39.  And I guess, then, it goes without saying, I’m addicted to email.

40.  I think Facebook is like a big bar and my profile is my barstool from which I sit yakking.

41.  I should have made one family dinner from the time my kids were little. No special ordering.

42.   I should’ve had a chore chart like those organized moms.

43.  I should’ve quietly given consequences instead of yelling.

44.  I should’ve been easier on all of us.

45.  When my kids were in preschool, I ran across the street to a café to write.  I hoped I wouldn’t see any other moms because I didn’t want them to think that I thought I was “all that,” but I also didn’t want to give up one second of my writing time to say hello.

46.  It was at that café that I wrote my first brave and honest sentence: “The women in my family don’t really like children.”

47. That sentence was published in a magazine called Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers.

48.  Every book, every movie, every song starts with someone scratching some words down.

49.  Some of those someones doing the scratching are moms.

50. The one event—beside marrying my former husband and giving birth to my two children—that really changed my life was having an essay published in the New York Times.

51.  That essay was called, “The Chicken’s in the Oven, My Husband’s Out the Door.”

52.  I didn’t give the essay that title.  The people at the Times did.

53.  As much as I busted butt to become a published writer, that life-changing publication came almost effortlessly.

54.  Before I published that essay, I had to phone my former husband and read him the scariest paragraph out loud and ask, “Is that okay?”

55.  For some reason, he said, “It’s okay.”

56.  For some reason, the essay was published on his birthday.

57.  If you’re married to someone, their birthday is a Big Deal. After you divorce, you still remember their birthday on the day.  Although you might not be sure what to do with that information.

58.  Sometimes, I also remember on March 14th, “Oh yeah, anniversary.”

59.  Then I count up the years it would’ve been and think, “No way, we would’ve made it this far.”

60.  Most of my life I’ve been very worried about what other people think of me.

61.  These days I’m not worried too much about that.  I worry about what I think of myself.

62.  My hairstylist bought herself a horse because she loved to ride horses as a child.

63.  Lately, I’ve been asking myself, “What did I love as a child?”

64.  Well, I told you: I loved cats.

65.  I loved the poem “The Owl and the Pussycat.”

66.  I loved making art with my grandmother.

67.  I liked hippie stuff (it was the 60s) like beaded curtains, yoga, incense, and tie-dye.

68.  I liked to ride my bike.

69.  I liked dressing up.

70.  I loved my tree fort.

71.  I liked the idea of travel.

72.  I loved all things Egyptian.

73.  I loved all things Italian.

74.  I loved old black and white movies.

75.  I loved shows with female leads.

76.  I loved it when people thought I was very grown up for my age.

77.  Once a boyfriend of my mother’s said this about me: “She’s gonna grow up to be a heartbreaker.”

78.  I didn’t know what that meant, but I found it highly disturbing.

79.  I still do.

80.  The smartest thing I ever did was rearrange my life so I could work at home.

81.  The other day I imagined my life without me in, and I thought, “I must live!”

82.  I’m not sick, just in case you’re wondering.  I just sometimes dress-rehearse the worst case scenario.

83.  I wrote all this in one sitting, never stopping, never going back.

84.  Wait, I stopped once for a second to tell my daughter, “Yes, go to the park but bring your phone. Love you.”

You can learn more about Theo on herFacebook page or on her blog WritingIsMyDrink.  She is also a writing coach and you can find out more about that at www.theonestor.com .

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6 Comments so far

  1. Judy Helfand says:

    Jorja,
    These lists, yours and now Theo’s, really make a person think. I am going to give this a little more thought and get back to you. Might just have to write my list…
    Judy

  2. I want this book! Personal favorite – #5
    Thanks Jorja!

  3. Judy Helfand says:

    Jorja,
    I wrote my list. It is pretty bland compared to Theo’s and yours. But you read it at your leisure! Hope you are home safe and sound from BlogHer10.

    Judy

    • Jorja says:

      judy, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE your list! who knew…you are a very fascinating lady and we have got to work out that front porch meet-up!


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things to make you wonder~

“I am a frayed and nibbled survivor in a fallen world, and I am getting along. I am aging and eaten and have done my share of eating too. I am not washed and beautiful, in control of a shining world in which everything fits, but instead am wondering awed about on a splintered wreck I've come to care for, whose gnawed trees breathe a delicate air, whose bloodied and scarred creatures are my dearest companions, and whose beauty bats and shines not in its imperfections but overwhelmingly in spite of them...” Annie Dillard

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