You asked for it….

An “Ask Sus” Extravalooza…..

Thank you all for submitting questions.  My, you are a curious lot with apparently a lot of time on your hands to spend coming up with what you did.  Without further ado…

Meredith asked, “Hey Sus, how many times a day do you and Whimzie talk/IM/text?”

Dear sweet Meredith, that question assumes there’s a time of day that Whimzie and I DON’T talk/text/IM.  For help in answering this question, I went back into the IM chat history over the past couple of days.  This is what I discovered.

Our children must be very self-sufficient.

On Saturday of last week, (when my kids were out of town and hers were in the loving and watchful care of their father) our first IM session began at 9:57 a.m. when I opened the daily volley by exclaiming how much I loved sleeping pills and it ended at 11:20 a.m. with the promise that we were going to be productive.

At 12:30p.m. she left me questions about crab cakes, frequency of bed linen changing, and whether it was realistic to plan meals for two weeks at a time.  I, of course, was still on the computer, so I immediately answered and we chatted for another thirty minutes.  I then left the house and spent the next four hours at Costco and the library but texted her at least twice to ask her important things like “Why do they have the yukky food at the tasting tables today when I really want the brownies?”.  When I got home, I, of course, had to tell her about my escapade, and we ended up chatting for another hour about herbs, corn bread, future relocation plans, BBQ chicken, Facebook friend requests (we often help each other remember who is who), and once again, how we really needed to be more productive.

At 9:30 p.m. we were back on, talking about praline bacon, how our NCAA tournament brackets were busted, movies we intended to rent, if we should skip things we didn’t really want to do but felt like we oughta’, and whether or not she should watch the Pride and Prejudice mini-series first or the movie.  This conversation we managed to keep under 30 minutes because I was sick and needed to go to bed.

In our defense, this was the weekend and I was all alone at home.  We are slightly more disciplined during the week because she homeschools and theoretically I have a job.  During the week we are more apt to just leave a message for the other to pick up whenever, and every evening we do spend time catching up on stuff we want to flesh out more fully, like why the scone suffers from an identity crisis (biscuit, muffin, pastry – just decide already).

So Meredith, I guess the short answer is, we text/IM a lot.

But we rarely talk on the phone.

Couldn’t even tell you what her phone number is.

Tracey asks “Dear Sus, what are some of the funniest, most outlandish, rudest comments you received when out with your precious triplets? And how did you respond?”

Well, Tracey, the rudest comment winner is hands down the airport security screener at RDU airport when she held up the entire screening line at 6 in the morning to ask me if I had the babies vaginally and if they tied my tubes right after I popped them out.  In front of eleventy million very grumpy people who didn’t care to know about my vagina.  And I didn’t really care for them to know about it either.

And I answered “I prefer ketchup”, for I have learned to answer probing personal questions with a very off-beat answer so as to confuse the questioner and make my hasty exit before they realize what’s going on.  Or they think I’ve lost my mind and then they can go about their lives and tell their coworker about the crazy incoherent triplet lady (bless her heart, her hands must be full) and how her mind is shot because all she talked about was ketchup.

The other thing we used to do was go to Costco on Saturday mornings to pick up diapers and formula (always, forever diapers and formula).  We’d place the babies in their car seats/carriers on a flat cart and one of us would push them and the other would push the food cart.  People would stop and say “Oh how cute.  Are they triplets?” and we’d say “Actually we just wanted a singleton, but you know Costco – gotta’ get them in bulk.”

(NC) Gretchen asked “What is your favorite feature on Moses?”

Gretchen got to meet Moses before anyone else did.  She shares my love for all things shiny.  Gretchen, I’d have to say it’s a tie between three things.  The first is the Twitter application, because for some reason it works better on my iPhone than on my computer.  And it gives me a new avenue for stalking.

The second is the Light Saber application, because you never know when you’re going to run across Darth Vader out in this big old mean world, and there’s something very soothing about knowing you’re packing serious heat if you get in a jam.

And the third feature I really love is the camera. Because it’s handy when you pull up at the stop light behind something that makes you laugh out loud like this


And for those who have bad eyes, it says “#1 in the #2 Business”

Sally asked “Dear Sus, will you adopt me?”

Do y’all remember Sally?  She was my first random reader encounter and is usually lurking somewhere in the blogosphere.  Dear Sally, how I would love to have a girl, and being this close to 40, adoption is going to have to be the answer because I ain’t getting pregnant again.  Climb aboard.  I hope you like cereal and having to dig through laundry baskets to find a clean shirt.

Kellie asked “What was your most embarrasing moment?”

It wouldn’t be the time my wraparound skirt fell to my knees in the school hallway, and it wouldn’t be the time I got caught stuffing an anonymous love note into the locker of that cute boy that sat behind me in English class, and I don’t think it would be the time I was talking to that cute boy while I was walking down the sidewalk and didn’t notice the stop sign right in front of me.

No, I think my most embarrassing moment was when I shamed our nation and violated all that is diplomatically holy while having a meeting in Paris with the Director of their National Mint.  I was a mere 26 years old and not well versed in diplomatic protocol and proceeded to drink the champagne that was offered to me without waiting for the ritualistic dignified toast to our countries’ mutual good health and relations.  I was thirsty, and it was real French champagne, for crying out loud!  You could have heard the giant sucking sound all the way to Alaska.  I still want to crawl in a hole.  Ugly, ugly American.

Kellie also asked “Do you prefer salty or sweet snacks?”

Oh, I’m a salty girl.  Give me Doritos, Ritz crackers, Pringles…you name it.  Unless you have a snickerdoodle.  And then you’d best move out of the way.  I do not possess the polite gene when it comes to snickerdoodles and I will mow down small children standing in the lunch line to get to them.

Kellie was still on a roll (I’m thinking she’s going a little stir crazy with all the rain we’ve been having – walk toward the light, Kel, walk toward the light!) and further questioned “Have you ever met anyone famous?”

I’m hesitant to even answer this for I had a very fun job where I did, in fact, get to meet some famous people, most of whom are in the political realm.  A partial list of famous people that I’ve stood within 10 feet of  (or whatever the Secret Service’s protective bubble distance is) includes: James Brown, Nelson Mandela, Harry Connick Jr., Billy and Ruth Graham, Jesse Jackson, Bill Clinton, Newt Gingrich, Sarge Shriver, and Danny Glover.  Somewhere in my rolodex I have Nancy Sinatra’s home phone number, and I have to say one of the most surreal moments of my life was when we were speaking one day and she said “Can I put you on hold? I’ve got Nancy Reagan on the other line.”  Bizarre….

(WA) Gretchen asked about farting.  Or if she could say “fart” on my page.  Or if she should say “toot” or “fizzle”.  I laughed so hard that I couldn’t get past much else.  And then she came back with her real question “How do you take your coffee? And with what do you accompany said coffee? And, are you a microwave reheater of the coffee?”

Ah, coffee, the mainstay of my diet.  I start the day with a 16 ounce mug of coffee with a 1/3 cup splash of half and half and two packs of Splenda.  Unless Craig got up and made pancakes, and then I drink it black, for I cannot have sweetened coffee with my cakes.  In the afternoon if it’s before three, I go back to regular full strength coffee.  If it’s after 3, then we switch to decaf.  I prefer my decaf to be flavored, but not my regular (which is Tim Horton’s).  Confused yet?  After dinner I like decaf with cream and only one pack of Splenda.  So, I never really have a standard order which is annoying to my husband.  I like to keep him guessing.

The first and second cups are usually solo, because I’m not a big “eat upon rising person”.  I don’t get hungry until about 10:00, and then it’s usually a bowl of granola and yogurt mixed together.  But you didn’t ask about breakfast. And yet I told you anyway.

But I never reheat, because it just doesn’t taste the same.  I make a fresh pot.

And we say “pass gas” at this house, but Gretchen can say whatever she wants to on my page because she’s so dang funny.

Whimzie led with the heavy duty pageant question asking “If you could be on the cover of any magazine, which would you choose and why?”

Oh, this was a toughie.  Do I go with Time so that I could be Person of the Year or would I go with Carpoolqueen Living (move over, Martha)?  In the end, because Whimzie is the one that asked the question, I will have to go with getting on the cover of Oprah.  Not because I love Oprah, but because Whimzie and I have a running joke as to who is Oprah and who is Gayle.  I’ll be Oprah today.

And world peace.

Thoughtful Candace actually asked me a serious question and wanted to hear the boys’ birth story.

Dear friends, that is a challenging story for me to write, mainly because it was a difficult story to live, full of fear, life lessons and life altering decisions.  It cannot be told in one paragraph or even one post.  And there will be tears and hard truths and ups and downs and small victories and huge setbacks.

But it is a story that will be told, Candace.  The boys’ birthday is coming up in June.  They will be 10. I’m gearing up to tell it then.  Fair warning, there will be a different tone to CPQ that week as I recount what was going on in our life back then.  I hope you stick around to read about it.

And being the sensitive one that she is, she gave me a way out by also asking “All inclusive cruise or road trip with a map? And how do you get children to behave properly in public?”

I’m a road trip and a map girl.  I love to wander.  I love to plan trips to places we’ve never been, explore out of the way museums, eat at roadside stops, and generally wing it when it comes to vacations.  I’m fortunate to have kids that are fairly flexible (as long as they know they’re eating and there’s a gift shop somewhere, they are good to go.)

As to how to get kids to behave properly, I notice you didn’t ask how I get MY children to behave properly in public.  The answer is I DON’T HAVE A CLUE!!!!  When you find out, let me know.

Amber asked “So does Mr. Sus ever read your blog, roll his eyes and say “Oh no you didn’t”?

Mr. Sus does not usually read my blog unless I tell him to.  He does come home and tell me about what his co-workers said they read about him, though.  I think he enjoys being a minor celebrity.  And Mr. Sus does not roll his eyes.  He has a special kind of pause and a pursing of the lips, and the frowny wrinkle thing between his eyes while he stops and just looks at me and then heads to the medicine chest to pop an Advil. Or eight.

Speaking of popping, Meredith popped back in at the end of the day to ask the final question. “How has blogging changed your life?”

Let me just pause here for a second and thank Meredith for encouraging me to just dive in with both feet.  She was my very first commenter EVER, and she’s just been a great friend that I’ve had the delight to get to know all over again since our college days.

So to answer your question, Mer, other than bringing my productivity to a complete standstill,  blogging has certainly added another dimension to this crazy life.

It has brought some much needed discipline to actually put pen to paper and throw ideas into words.

It has taught me to be more observant about my life (because now I need stuff to write about!).

It has opened new avenues of ministry at a time in my life where I thought my ministry days were going to be put on hold.

It has brought a bigger sense of community into my life.

It has given me another hobby that sounds way cooler than knitting.

It has given me new opportunities to be jealous admire others’ creativity.

It has made me bring my “A” game because there are a lot of very bright, creative women out there that I want to hang out with and call “friend”.

It has been a kick in the pants.

Have a nice day.


21 responses to “You asked for it….

  1. GRACIOUS!!!!!!!!!! This was just so incredibly fun to read!! And I forgot to come back over the other day with my question…

    I just left Whimz a comment about the two of you and my BFF and I are ALWAYS doing the Gayle/Oprah thing but she IS Gayle (as in, that’s her name, not the ACTUAL Gayle) so I have no choice but to be Oprah… 🙂

    I cannot wait to hear about your boys’ story…

    You almost made me lose my French Vanilla Supreme Coffee from Posh this morning when you told Kellie to “go to the light”…omg!

    I loved how described blogging and I ditto every word!

    Alright, for Volume 2 of “Ask Sus”….what did you do before becoming a Mom (if you can remember). What was your major?

  2. Wow…the airport security screener question! And I thought it was bad when I was pregnant with my first child and the custodian at church asked me if I was going to have an epidural…and then proceeded to tell me that he didn’t think I should because “women are supposed to have pain in childbirth!” He then asked me whether I would have an episiotomy… I wanted to crawl under a pew! How I wish I had known the “I prefer ketchup” response!

  3. I love your airport screener story! People love to ask inappropriate, nosy questions, don’t they?

    Not sure what’s funnier – reading the transcript of your IM with Whimzie or flying through the topics with your abridged version!

    Question for next edition: Have you ever counted how many times in a day people say to you, “You must have your hands full!” How do you respond? I get that a lot, and I don’t know if it’s supposed to be a statement of kindness, sympathy and understanding, or if it’s a way for them to say that they can tell I’m out of control.

  4. Brilliant~ you are brilliant.
    Oh, Amy, THE question. I get that question every time I step one toe out the front door. I’m sure CPQ has a much more witty response. I usually respond, ” Yes, but so is my heart.”
    CPQ: Thank you for making me smile!!

  5. For the next edition, I need to know what your job was when you had your embarrassing moment and met all of these famous people. So this may duplicate Tiffani’s question, but see, the public demands to know!

  6. Ok, You need to write a book…seriously!

    I’m just sayin’.

    I am sitting here laughing out loud, all by myself! If Corey walked in, he would think I needed to be checked in somewhere! 🙂

  7. Love your blog!

  8. Hey. It’s me. Gayle.

    Sigh. You and your celebrities. You’re definitely the Oprah. I only have one celebrity meeting story to tell.

    Wait. The guy who played Eb on Green Acres….he’d be considered a celebrity, right?

  9. the question IS…when DON’T I snort chuckle while reading your blog??!!

    Seriously. I don’t think my sides can take anymore…unless, of course, it’s actually making them smaller…

    and the giant sucking sound in paris? priceless.

    I ditto your answers about blogging. almost exactly. I just don’t understand why the house won’t self-clean, our the laundry self-fold, or the kids self-drive themselves to school….

  10. Hysterical as always. Can’t wait to hear the boys story. I’ve wondered but didn’t want to get a condiment answer! I’m usually digging through the laundry basket for the cereal, but clothes is a more novel idea. I’ll be right over…

  11. That should be boys’ story. Duh.

  12. I loved this post. Just loved it. A little something of everything.

  13. You lured me out of unpluggedness today with this post…I saw it in my reader and COULD NOT resist.

    So much funny stuff here…
    the sucking sound?
    fizzle? (who says that?)
    that photo?

    Danny Glover was on John’s flight to New Orleans last month. How fun is that? Tell us how you know all those famous folks!

  14. “I prefer ketchup.” HA! Still wiping my eyes.

    Can I just tell you how much I heart you…

  15. I once heard someone say the answer to “do multiples run in your family?” is “only when chased” I’ve never thought of saying “I prefer ketchup” but I LOVE that idea.

    very, very enjoyable post!

  16. What a fantastic post 🙂 I just loved getting to know you a little better — thanks for sharing! I especially loved the Costco buying in bulk comment – cracked me up (oh and the ketchup too – I laughed at the ketchup)

  17. Great post! You cracked me up!

  18. Oh my. i have nothing in my witty rejoinder box. But this was fun. Lots of fun. I’m so glad you blog.

  19. Back to say…Harry Connick,Jr????

    Lurve him. In a most delightfully croony way.

  20. I can’t even begin to comment on all of the brilliance here – but I loved every bit! I can’t wait to hear the story about the boys.

    I am aghast at the rudeness of the airport security person – unreal!

    I find it so funny that you and Whimzie spend all that time IMing, texting, whatever, but rarely talk on the phone. My best friend and I are the same way – I seriously hate talking on the phone, but we facebook and email back and forth all the time. Crazy.

  21. I am working on a second POT of coffee and a second snickerdoodle in your honor today. “I prefer ketchup” has me cracking up.

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