1. ONE OF YOUR SCARS, HOW DID YOU GET IT?
The knuckle on my right ring finger -- the one where the finger joins the hand, not one of the further-up ones--has a slight shiny pink indentation from where my cousin Mary, who was in the midst of a growth spurt, tried to squeeze past me to wash her hands while I was taking our pizza out of the oven. She accidentally pushed my hand into the heating element of the oven. Poor dear, she felt worse than I did. (I can't say it felt great to me, either, though.) That was my quarter of swimming instruction in high school, so I had to go put that hand in chlorinated water five days a week for two months thereafter. Suboptimal.
21. WHAT WAS THE FIRST GIFT SOMEONE EVER GAVE YOU (OF THE OPPOSITE SEX)?
Nobody has ever given me a gift of the opposite sex. The first gift someone of the opposite sex gave me was probably something my dad picked out for me -- a stuffed animal or a onesie or something, I don't know. But the first gift someone of the opposite sex gave me with sappy intent was a little glass and metal dolphin sculpture Jim Buchanan gave to me when we were just turned 11 and I was moving to Kansas. It was partly love-token and partly good-bye and partly by way of apology: he had found a National Geographic in the school library with a picture of a whole beach full of slaughtered dolphins in it, and he thought it'd be funny to see my reaction if he showed it to me. And I looked from the bloodbath on the page to his grinning face and backhanded him one. It was not a considered action. I was not attempting to show him anything. The impulse went straight from my eyeballs to my arm, leaving finger marks on his cheek on the way. He was too stunned to react. I, on the other hand, ran to the bathroom and burst into tears -- in that order, and didn't come out again until I had composed myself.
29. WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TELL SOMEONE HOW MUCH THEY MEAN TO YOU?
I just wanted to go on the record as saying that there is no one right way of answering this question. It depends on the two people involved, very, very specifically. There are people for whom a bouquet of flowers would be trite, shallow, and obvious, and others for whom the same bouquet would be extremely meaningful and special. People vary.
42. WHAT DO YOU GET COMPLIMENTED ABOUT MOST?
Intelligence and energy are probably tied here. Which latter point made the last year, uh, interesting. Yah, let's go with interesting. (For those of you who are new here, I am just now back to something like normal after a prolonged bout of fatigue and weird symptoms.)
54. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU?
That seems to depend on which other person I would be....
59. DO YOU TRUST OTHERS EASILY?
Depends on which others. Sometimes I trust people so thoroughly upon first meeting them that parts of my brain find it a little scary and try to edge away, but the rest of the brain is having none of it. It's a bizarre sensation. It feels like I'm about 4 and have wandered up and taken the hand of some random adult with no inkling of why on earth that might be a bad idea. I don't think there's anything to be done about this. I suspect it's pheromonal. I can continue behaving as though I don't know someone well enough to trust them, but it's not a very functional reaction: having your guard actually up means that you notice things that you wouldn't usually notice, and telling yourself, "Okay, now, be observant!" is not a substitute for that, not really.
69. WHO IS YOUR CRUSH?
I'm not answering this, I'm asking a related question: how would you feel about finding out someone had a crush on you by reading a livejournal entry? Reading along your friendslist, "Oh, X went to see "Pirates of the Caribbean," Y is tearing her hair out over her novel, Z thinks I'm the bee's knees, and Q is experimenting with hair care products. So okay then." I think most of these memes are designed for a friendslist that's younger, on the average, than mine is, but on the other hand, I'm not sure my reaction would have changed all that much over the years. Sort of along the lines of, "Oh, really? How flattering. Wait, what does this mean they want of me? But still how flattering. But what am I supposed to do about hearing this? But still it's kinda warm and fuzzy. But...."
Some of you have posted those memes that invite people to confess to romantic interest or sexual attraction in a set of screened comments. That strikes me as slightly different but a related phenomenon: different in that you're saying, "Okay, I'm ready to hear anything anybody has to say to me in this regard," rather than just reading a few entries with your morning coffee, but not different in that, well, random lj moment of rather warmer and fuzzier feelings than one expects of the average friendslist.
So what do you think here? How would you react? Alarm, amusement, ennui, some synonym for happiness that's roughly assonant with the first three words in this sentence? Would your answer vary if the entry was filtered, or not so much?
70. WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR?
I don't have an all-time favorite for all occasions -- I like ice cream too much to have one true favorite -- but I just want to point out once again that boysenberry sorbet with dark chocolate chips is really quite fabulous, and also edible for vegans, the lactose intolerant, and many other groups who might otherwise have difficulty with ice cream. And it's not a pallid substitute. It's very vividly itself.
Edited to add: Minneapolitans: beware of the new gelato case at Fat Lorenzo's. When we were there, they were using artificial fruit flavoring rather than actual fruit, and it was not a good thing.
72. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE COLORS?
Blue, and blue, and blue, and that other blue, and also green.
I told people green for years, and I didn't notice that it had changed so that I was choosing blue things whenever I had the chance of a good blue thing.
Is there anything simple and silly you've been telling people about yourself for years and have just now noticed is not true?
79. THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE IN THE OPPOSITE SEX?
I am perpetually amazed that not only do some people not notice smell first, the way our society seems to work is that commenting on it is weird and uncomfortable, so I have often answered questions like this by trying to readjust to visual modes. But those are not natural to me as first impressions. It's all smell. People who are not much for smell sometimes express pity that man-smell is impinging on my life. Ohhhh, you silly people, this is not a bad thing. Even when it's not an attractive thing, it's not a bad thing. The smell of little boy, for example: not sexually attractive but very, very good.