10-Second Anecdotes That Say Too Much About Me: Anne

My addition to our semi-regular series that grants you insights into the minds of our writers (they’re just like us!):

  1. When I was two, my best friend flushed my favorite plastic toy duck down the toilet and clogged it. I tattled and he got in trouble. The plumbing costs to get it out (and, incidentally, fix the toilet) were significant. Personality adjectives: vindictive, stubborn
  2. When I was eight, the entire fourth grade had an inside joke that involved opening and then slamming shut a book and yelling, “I’m done!” that was based on how quickly I read. Their anti-intellectualism haunts me to this day. (That was mostly a joke). (I also probably made this up, or at least magnified it in memory). Personality adjectives: vulnerable, intelligent, imaginative
  3. The year that I broke up with a long-term boyfriend, I read 180 books. I dutifully recorded all of them on goodreads.com. Personality adjectives: avoidant, organized
  4. When I was 20, I helped organize and put on a wedding in my backyard that my mother officiated at. I didn’t know anyone besides the two grooms, so I spent most of my time in the kitchen helping to wash dishes and worrying about the bartender serving underage guests. Personality adjectives: anxious, helpful
  5. For much of my childhood, I believed (or at least told myself) that there were people in my head who could see through my eyes (and sometimes monitor my thoughts) (panopticon!). Therefore I never looked at myself naked. Personality adjectives: paranoid, self-conscious, imaginative, egotistical
  6. When I was ten, my class was assigned to give one another awards at the end of fifth grade. Almost all of mine had to do with the fact that I read during math class, even when the teacher noticed and took away my books (I was never seated near the classroom bookshelf again, as I kept picking up more books, just to spite her). One had to do with the fact that my desk was covered in knicknacks, which were eventually limited as well. Personality adjectives: obstinate, proto-rebel
  7. I didn’t start drinking significantly until I was almost 21. Everyone else on my college campus did. I was too cautious to try, and I don’t like crowds or loud noises. When I turned 21, I was dating a bartender and now refuse (okay, prefer not to, but probably will) to drink crappy beer. (Craft beer taste on a PBR budget!) Personality adjectives: introverted, cautious, picky
  8. My first true, all-day hangover was in Munich, obtained with two German men I had just met. The next morning I realized how resoundingly stupid it had been to go out with two people I barely knew, in an unfamiliar city, and get drunk (though they were very kind!). I spent the next day in an art museum – though I intended to go to the contemporary art section, I got caught in the 14-18th centuries and was too miserable to turn around. I spent the afternoon taking pictures of demons in Renaissance art (as they personified my hangover) and reading in the cafe. Personality adjectives: careless, fortunate, lightweight
  9. In university, I started by majoring in social work because I wanted to help change the world. I became too frustrated and upset to keep going, since everything seemed like a drop in the bucket. I switched to political science to start working on policy to make broader changes. Now I’d rather study stories that are already over, because I don’t have any responsibility or control over how they end. Personality adjectives: idealistic, helpless, easily discouraged
  10. When I was 22, I decided I was going to travel for six weeks by myself. I had never traveled alone before and was usually a careful planner. I went to eleven countries (in Western Europe and Eastern Africa) without booking most of the in-between travel. I was terrified but it was so worth it. Personality adjectives: stubborn, braver than I maybe thought I was

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