Q1. 8junebugs? What the hell does that mean?
A1. My lucky number is 8. I was born a little after midnight on 7/8/77, five or so minutes late for a birthdate of 7/7/77. So the 8 had to be important, right? Generally speaking, it has been. Ask my friends what they get out of betting the hard 8 when I roll in Vegas.
I was born in Vermont and became the first of my family to discover that junebugs are crunchy and pair well with kool-aid. The endless mocking I suffered for trying a new flavor stunted my epicurean growth and prevented me from trying a fresh kiwi before my twenties, to say nothing of asparagus, eggplant, tofu, and salmon. So I’m taking it back, y’all. No longer am I ashamed that I ate junebugs. (Take that, Uncle Steve.)
Q2. If you like baseball so much and you’re a New England native, why aren’t you a Red Sox fan?
A2. In the summer of 2001 I was newishly single (painfully and of my own doing), I had a paid internship, and I shared an apartment with two boys, one of whom turned into one of the greatest friends I’ve had. Having about $32 dollars between us, we played endless games of Trivial Pursuit, learned to salsa (well, one of us did), and spent many hours in the cheap seats at Camden Yards.
That college roommate, he’s a big fat Orioles fan. Huge. He knows everything about the team, the stadium, and Iron Man Cal Ripken, Jr. (Eventually, so did I.) He has a very open way of explaining stuff, and his excitement and childlike faith made me a fan of the game and of the team. I would switch off NPR to listen to the ballgames in my car…that’s how deeply it took hold. That was also the year Cal retired, and the schmaltz was intense.
We lived in that apartment for a year, then moved out, moved on, got jobs, got married. We see each other rarely these days, but we’ll always share our undying love for a bum team and Esskay hot dogs.
Q3. I thought you weren’t giving up your married name. What gives?
You know, I made that decision without putting a lot of thought into it. Someone brought to my attention some possible outcomes of keeping my ex’s name, and I had to spend some time thinking about where I’m headed. (So inconvenient.)
I’ve used this name professionally for a while, yes, but I’ve not yet published anything of note under it; when I do publish, I want it to be under a name I intend to have for a long time. So what we’re really talking about, professionally, is new business cards. And I have a lot of experience with getting new business cards.
Personally? I’m holding fast to my dream of building a life and a family with someone I love — I’m just a bit more flexible about the when and the how than I was at the tender age of 20-something. But when I think of that love and that family, I feel quite certain that I will want to have my own name or take a new name. The name I took when I got married is linked with the definition of “wife” in that relationship; seen from that angle, I think discarding it is a wise decision.
Q4. Oh, my God, are you okay?
Yes, thanks. Remarkably okay.