It's my birthday soon. I'm turning 32. And yes, that is my real age.
In order to help you feel included in this magical celebration of my birth, here are 32 things you may not have known about me (unless you are my mother). In no specific order.
1. When I was 5, I played violin for the King of Belgium. These days, I wouldn't play violin for a deaf person.
2. For the first two years of my life, I lived in Waterloo. Yes, I also think that's funny sometimes.
3. Until the age of 17, I never wanted to study law. I only went to law school to spite my parents, which sounds odder than it is. Five minutes into my first class, I was really glad I did.
4. When we moved to France, I was so upset my father had to promise me a horse so I would agree to talk to him. I never got the horse. I talk to my dad anyway.
5. I've had three jobs. I have quit four times. Each time, I didn't have another one lined up. There's a reason some people think I'm completely irresponsible.
6. When I was 4, I ran away from home with my best friend to go on an adventure after magically putting my mother to sleep with a strawberry toothpaste potion. We turned around when we got to the witch's house.
7. Four out of my five cats have had names starting with M. For some reason, I believe names starting with M are lucky. Although I can think of at least 3 ex-boyfriends whose names started with M so maybe I'm wrong. My real name doesn't start with M.
8. I like to make lists. Obviously. It is only one of the many ways in which I am slowly turning into my mother.
9. If I had been a boy, my parents would have named me Nicolas. Initially, my mother wanted to name me Sophie Charlotte. My grandmother vetoed and for that I will forever be grateful to her.
10. I am the tallest female (tied) on my mother's side of the family. I you knew me, you would realize how funny that is.
11. When I was 9, I was a published poet in the US. It is possible that will turn out to be the pinnacle of my writing career.
12. When I was 4, I made up a story about a little girl who falls in love with a boy who lives in a violin case. I didn't write it down but somehow I still remember it. I don't remember a thing about a trip to Athens my parents took me on a year later.
13. I have had the same diary since I was 10. It has Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph in it, next to Mickey Mouse's.
14. I had seen Patrick Bruel, Michael Jackson and U2 in concert by the time I was 14. I try not to be embarrassed by that first one. I can't remember the last concert I went to, which is sad.
15. I can't think of a single really close friend of mine who hasn't lived in at least two countries. I have lived in four and I feel that's not enough. (If you consider yourself a friend of mine and have only lived in one country, please forgive me, you're probably the wonderful exception that confirms the rule.)
16. I have no idea which language I dream in. I think only people who speak one language ever ask that question.
17. Like the true little fake American that I am, I secretly love malls. My absolute favourite one is in Stamford, CT, just because that's where I went as a kid. I haven't been back since so in my mind it's a mystical palace of pre-teen 1980s consumerism. (PS: I have recently discovered that someone in or near Stamford reads my blog. Whoever you are, hi!)
18. Sometimes I purposefully make life hard for myself, like deciding that every single chapter in my book will have a rather complex structure requiring me to write two stories at once. Or deciding that I will find 32 amusing anecdotes about my life to share with you.
19. I do not have an accent when I speak French. I do not have an accent when I speak English (although the Brits will disagree with me on that one). I do have an accent when I speak German. Which infuriates me.
20. The books I have read the most often are probably Lolita by Nabokov and La Nuit des Temps by Barjavel. If you haven't read one or either of those, go do it now. Go on. I'll wait.
21. My mother's name and my real name start with the same letter. I like that about us. I've decided that if I ever have a daughter, her name will also start with that letter. It's a tricky letter, though, so she might end up with a weird name and require years of therapy to stop hating me.
22. I am obsessed with Tiffany's. Obsessed. As in, I would turn down Cartier. Audrey has a lot to answer for.
23. In a movie of my life, I would want Natalie Portman to play me. Or maybe Sophie Marceau but she'd have to brush up on her English.
24. You know how all little girls go through that phase where they think boys are yucky? I never went through that phase. And we can see how well that's turned out.
25. I get cabin fever if I live in the same place for more than a couple years at a time. Even the old US/UK/France rotation is getting boring. My dream is to find someone equally insane so we can move around constantly and raise lots of unbalanced children together.
26. I once became completely infatuated with a cello player because of Dvorak's Cello Concerto. The second movement, to be precise.
27. When I was growing up in the US, I was that kid that always got picked last for sports teams in gym class. Always. It has a lot to do with me having absolutely no hand-eye coordination. Which is why I now run. The psychological scars from childhood remain, though.
28. When I was born, my mother thought I looked like King Kong. Because I was hairy and had really long fingers and toes. Not because I was freakishly tall with a penchant for blondes and skyscrapers.
29. I have never seen any of the Godfather movies. After 15 minutes of the first one, I got bored, turned off the television, and went and did something more exciting like wash dishes or proofread a legal brief. I have no regrets.
30. I don't like oysters. Which is a shame because I'm oddly attracted to the concept of the oyster bar.
31. Sometimes, when I can't sleep at night, I wonder if maybe I shouldn't be out there employing my remaining neurons doing something useful like saving the world or at least a couple polar bears, instead of amusing myself writing a silly love story. But I like amusing myself. And silly love stories.
32. This is probably the most outrageously self-focused, ridiculously unwarranted act of exhibitionism I have ever performed in my life. Except for the very fact of having a blog in the first place, of course.