What you are about to read was originally published on Facebook on January 24, 2009, at 7:48 p.m. I had just turned 40.
It is now February 2, 2019, and I am publishing this on my website at 6:07 p.m. I have just turned 50. I will revise each of the 16 to match who I am now in italics. Sort of my own ten-year challenge. How fun.
1. I love the reality shows that TV has to offer these days, and yes, “Rock of Love” is at the top of the list. Sigh. Now *that* was a trashy show. I still love crappy reality TV—it allows me to escape, I guess—and now I have a partner in crime. Most night, Jackson and I can be found searching through the guide for any of “Temptation Island,” “Married at First Sight,” “Ex on the Beach,” “The Bachelor” (quintessential reality TV right there), and our newest fave, “Below Deck.” What’s better than watching ‘reality’ from the safety of a recliner with a glass of chardonnay and a gorgeous hubby?
2. I was supposed to be born the day after Christmas, and thus, my parents WERE going to name me Holly. Ick. Glad I was two weeks late! I look at naming children a bit differently now than I did then, I think. After teaching for 27 years, and most recently having two daughters pregnant/having children, I understand fads and choices, and the difficulty that comes with finding *just the right name* for a person you have yet to meet. Ultimately, I’d have been fine being named Holly, I suppose. But Aimee’s good, too.
3. One of the people who I admire most is my daughter Jerrica—she is an “upstander.” And I still do, and she still is. Jerrica is a maternity ward nurse and a damn good one. And don’t even get me started on her as a mother. I also admire my daughter Natalie, someone so well-traveled and sophisticated that I wish I could handle situations as professionally as she does sometimes. And then there’s my genius son, Connor. I admire his intelligence and humor and gosh-darned charismatic personality. I also admire my dad, my sister, my brother, my husband, my step-daughter McKenna, and my friends Bob, Rob, Warren, Erin, Jennifer, Chris, Eric, John, Ben, Marissa, Pete, Brian, Chrissie, Angela, and Henry.
4. My favorite candy: Twizzlers and peanut m & m’s. Still true. But also Butterfingers. And Take 5’s.
5. I got a really, really stupid nickname in high school (Moose) because a friend of mine thought it was fun to call me Amos, which soon turned to A-moose, which soon turned to Moose. I know. Dumb. For a while during my first marriage, my nickname became “AY.” I didn’t like it, but I never told anyone otherwise. Now, it’s “Mama Ross,” and I suppose I wear it proudly. The students who call me that are giving me credit for being motherly to them, and that’s the best way to teach, I’ve found. As a mother.
6. I am terrified, TERRIFIED, of snakes and tornados… I blame the tornado fear on loving “The Wizard of Oz,” my most favorite movie ever. Did you know they made the tornado for the movie out of a woman’s stocking? Loses its punch when you consider that. And snakes? Well, now I live beside a creek—like right beside—and guess where one of snakes’ natural habitats is? So, I’m working on making peace with my neighbors. Or at least pretending to. “Just don’t look for them, Aimee, then you won’t see them.” Yeah. Right.
7. I almost became a French teacher. Oui, oui. Mais ce n’est pas vrai pour moi.
8. I have a tattoo of a sunflower. I *used* to have a tattoo of a sunflower. I don’t any longer. How many people can say that? I did not have mine removed by choice (plastic surgery for scar revision), however, I’m not upset that it’s gone. My daughters and husband have several tattoos, and I know Connor is planning on at least one. It’s quite a fad these days, but I’m just not sure I need another. Anyway, I have experienced it, after all.
9. I wanted to get my nose pierced at one point, but I didn’t want to be one of “those” women who can’t adjust to her age. Here I am, ten years later, and I still think cute little dainty nose piercings are exotic and worldly. I haven’t put this idea to rest yet. But how will it look with my silvery hair?
10. Speaking of which, the actual best birthday that I had was turning 40. Who’d have thought it? Hindsight? Not true. Turning 40 might have brought on some sort of weird mid-life crisis that led to all sorts of bad shit. (Plug for you to read my book, Permanent Marker: A Memoir, right here.) The idea of aging hit hard. Hard enough for me to tell you that turning 50 with my love, my children and their partners, my father, and my granddaughter all present might have been the best birthday yet.
11. I didn’t get to go to my senior prom. Was I angry about it? Maybe then. Maybe for a while. But all these years as a teacher have allowed me to live vicariously through my children and students, and I’ve gone to plenty of proms.
12. I’m still angry with my parents for moving my sister away from me and leaving my brother and I alone in Ohio, way back when I was 19. Yeah. Still. And that was 30 years ago. Man. I’ll leave that right there.
13. I LOVE to laugh. But these days, being pre-menopausal has me tearing up and crying all the time it seems. It sure doesn’t take much.
14. My favorite 80’s song of all time is “Turn Up the Radio” by Autograph. “West End Girls,” by Pet Shop Boys and anything by Prince or Corey Hart or George Michael or Rick Springfield is right up there, too. But not Cyndi Lauper so much.
15. I am the true mother of Ricky Martin’s twin boys, but it must remain a secret. No, not really. You can tell by looking at them. Plus, he and his husband just had a beautiful baby daughter, Lucia. I’m fine with all of that, and I’d be cool with simply babysitting sometime for him. Wonder how to make that happen? Or maybe the kids need tutored in English? Yeah….
16. There is nothing better than a glass of chardonnay and a sappy movie. Unless it’s a glass of wine and my Peaches. But okay, I think I’m going to go full circle here and change that sappy movie to reality TV, cuz it’s been a LOOOONG time since I’ve seen a good sappy movie. Any suggestions out there?