Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Danielle: Good Versus Evil

I've never met Danielle in person. And I can't remember how I found her blog. But I sure am glad I did. She's thoughtful and hilarious. She's insightful to the point that she seems to question just who she is with the mastery of someone who knows exactly who she is. Take this autobiographical piece that appeared in the Washington Post, for example: LIFE IS SHORT. And I love this post of hers: are your legs tired...?

As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? What do you want to be now?
As a child? I wanted to be Michael J. Fox's girlfriend. When I was a teenager - which in hindsight looks like a kid - I wanted to be a voice-over artist for Disney. 


Now, I want to be a successful novelist. And healthy.
When was the last time you were violent?

Three days ago, in a dream. It was pretty brutal.
Were you in the right?

That would be up to the dream jury. I think they would sympathize. 
Describe an instance when you placed a good deal of trust in a complete stranger.
Several years ago I got involved with a man - fell in love with a man whom I would have trusted with my life. Unfortunately he had lied to me about everything from his name to what he ate for breakfast each morning. He emotionally abused me. He faked cancer - for six months. When I became so lost in that chasm that I started praying to just die in my sleep, I ran to Israel (sort of my second home) to look for my sanity. He followed me there and harmed me further. In all, it amounted to psychological rape. It took nine months for me to realize he was a complete stranger; a mirage, and mentally ill. But until then, I trusted him implicitly.
Do you own a vanity book - a book you haven't read but keep on the shelf in the hopes that people will think you've read it? What are the qualities you associate with this book?

Does my collection of The Atlantic Monthly count? I confess haven't read them all. Maybe half. Maybe. Smarties read The Atlantic

Now, ask me about the books I'm ashamed of and an entire library emerges from under my bed. Titles include but are not limited to: Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man (by Steve Harvey - my mother gave it to me and I never read it); The Rules (ditto); Hungry Girl: Recipes and Survival Strategies for Guilt-Free Eating in the Real World (galley copy sent by St. Martin's Press when I interviewed the author); Sex and the City; and a couple Nora Roberts paperbacks. All of these would give one the impression that I am a chick, which I am not. I am a W-O-M-A-N.

Describe the last time you lost something of value.

I'd have to say it was my faith in people's honesty and basic goodness. (See "psychological rape," above.) Like so many things of value, I didn't realize how precious it was until it was gone. I was raised by good people. That's what made me such an easy target - it was unfathomable that one human being could do something so horrible to another. And so... I never fathomed it. And that's how he got me. And when he was finished with me, my innocence was gone. I can honestly say now that while I'm occasionally surprised, nothing shocks me anymore. Which is sorta sad.
Is/was there a place you repeatedly look/looked for this item?
In the eyes of every new man I meet (now that I've started dating again).
Annular rings indicate the age of a tree; they form as a result of their environment. Give your age. Describe an event that aged you and when it occurred.

I am 33 (which always comes as a surprise to me). The abuse definitely aged me. I could see it in my face when all was said and done. Stress does ugly things to the body. 

What piece of advice/wisdom that you were given at one point do you hold on to?
"Try not to be too hard on people; you never know what they're going through." Linda Richman said this to me during a magazine interview. She's my hero - read her book.
What makes the world go 'round?

Good chasing evil, and evil chasing good. 'Round and 'round they go. Who started the chase? Nobody can know.

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