Quick! Here’s a few speedy stories to help you get to know me.
1. In 7th grade, I asked a classmate for a pencil before a spelling test, violating the no-talking rule, so Mr. Mitchell told me he’d give any points from my score to Steven, the slowest boy in the class, since I was wasting time that could be used for taking the test. I didn’t say anything, but I painstakingly selected the wrong answer for every question and handed it in with a defiant glance. Mr. Mitchell was stunned that I did that and made me take the test again. I ended up getting a B. Personality traits: defiant, justice-seeking.
2. I was doing a home visit to check out an adoptive home for our rescue. The people had a pretty hound mix who was looking out the screened window when I saw him from the parking lot. He yodeled, so I threw back my head and did a hound croon right back. When I came to the house, the dog greeted me like an old friend and stayed next to me during the whole visit, to the surprise of his owners, who said he was very, very timid. Personality traits: dog savvy, unafraid to be ridiculous.
3. I was going back for my sophomore year of college with a friend who was describing his roommate, whom I hadn’t met. My friend said, “He’s a nice guy, but he’s practically engaged.” I had absolutely no interest in dating, or even in men at that time, yet I thought to myself, unbidden, “Hmmph. We’ll see about that.” I ended up marrying him. Personality traits: I have no idea, but that was really weird.
4. Our rescue was dealing with a hoarder whose dogs had been seized by animal control. Her lawyers were holding up the trial; meanwhile, these poor dogs were spending months in cages that were meant for a few days, tops. The hoarder refused to give up the dogs to animal control, so I painstakingly tracked down her phone number and pretended to be a naive young animal lover whose rescue could place a few of those dogs, so could she possibly surrender them over to us? She agreed, thinking she was sticking it to animal control. Day after day, week after week, I would contact this woman and make a case for her surrendering a few more dogs over to us. It took a lot out of me and I walked on eggshells in every email. Personality traits: toughness, tenacity, diplomacy.
5. When I went to meet my children for the first time, I purposefully wore big necklaces with bright beads and ornaments, with the logic that they could study the necklaces if they got shy and then could peep at me surreptitiously. I wore a different one every day I saw them. Both of them still remember all of the necklaces very well and will occasionally ask to look at them. Personality traits: strangely intuitive about small things about kids, aware of the importance of accessories? OK, I’m not really sure but I feel like it says something.