1)Has your car ever broken down on the highway? Did other drivers help you out?
Yes and yes. Three incidences stand out:
a) First, I learned how to change a tire specifically so I wouldn't require the assistance of roving strangers but I'm useless. I got a flat tire on 93 pre-cell phones and tried to change it myself. Some driver saw me bumbling on the roadside, pulled over, changed the tire in like 10 seconds and continued on his way. He barely spoke; he just saw someone who needed help and delivered it.
b) Another time, Goy and I broke down on the Mass Pike coming home from college. The Gutless Cutlass overheated and smoke began pouring out from beneath the hood. We freaked out, pulled over and ran into the woods because we thought the car might explode. We were cowering behind some jersey barriers when a scrawny Chinese teenager named Chi pulled up in a red Escort. He was headed to Boston and asked us if we needed a ride. We were leery but were pretty sure the two of us could take him if he tried anything funny. The whole ride into Boston, he kept the radio on "scan," which changed the stations every few seconds. It was stuck that way, he explained, yet had no interest in putting on the mix tape I offered up. At least we didn't end up in a ditch.
c) I was about six years old when my family and I were driving back from the Cape and broke down on route 6. It was cold and rainy and I remember never being hungrier in my entire life. Some lumbering guy stopped to help us and took us back to his house so we could call AAA. While we waited, his wife served P and I heaping bowls of ziti with tomato sauce, warm bread that melted in your mouth like cotton candy, and giant glasses of Coke in Looney Tunes glasses. We spent hours there in the company of strangers. Later, we wrote thank you notes and sent them some sort of food basket from the local salumeria. I’m certain we never saw them again. That would never, ever happen today. First, you could never go off with a stranger -- especially with your kids. Also, our cell phones (as long as they're charged) completely eliminate the need for these random roadside interactions, which is good and bad I suppose.
2) What is your earliest memory of being frightened?
Coincidentally, my earliest memory of being scaaared involves another Good Samaritan scenario. I was probably three years old. My brother P and I were in our car seats; P was sleeping. We were on the highway and I saw a car in front of us veer off the road and start rolling down the embankment. I remember saying out loud: “Look at that funny car.” Then it happened in a flash: There was gasping, a couple of "Oh my Gods" and the entire mood shifted in the car. We pulled off, my father jumped out of our car and took off -- I'd never seem him run that fast -- toward the rolling one. My mother was trying not to freak out but I could see the fear in her face – probably thinking the car was going to catch fire and blow up. I watched -- trembling -- as my father and two other guys who came out of nowhere pulled the man from the car (which ended up catching fire but did not blow up.) Then there were fire engines, ambulances and loud sirens and chaos. P woke up; he was crying, I was crying. Apparently, the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel. He was carted off in the ambulance and my father returned to the car where he wiped blood off his hands with Wet Naps. I had nightmares about it for weeks.
3) Have you ever been to a spa? What services do you typically have?
Hell, yes -- whenever I have time and gift cards. Facials and massages. There is a day spa up the street with a steam room so I’ve been trying to get in there once a week. I recently got to test drive the new DNA facial at Mario Russo for a story – it’s likely the only time I’ll ever have a $400 service again. It’s a two-parter. I got a DNA test a few weeks ago and the lab is formulating a face cream customized for my skin’s DNA. It’s supposed to be the next big thing. Anti-hag cream! We’ll see!
4) Do you have a favorite lunch place?
Several. Standouts are Strawberry Fair, Sebastians, Viga, DeLucas, Lamberts. I went to the Atrium Café last week after BB Smooth J and I were laughing about the perverted sandwichmaker who used to work there. His name was Popeye. He was a short & stout Hispanic man who wore a giant chef’s hat every day while manning the sandwich board. He’d uneventfully make you your chicken salad sandwich, but as he was wrapping it up, he’d lean over the counter, leer at you from beneath his hat, and in his deep, gravelly voice just above a whisper, say: “Do you want a pickle?” Yes, please. “Big pickle?” Shrug. “How ‘bout two pickles.” Then he’d flicker his eye brows at you in a pervy way and you’d opt for the salad bar the next time. Of course, he no longer works there but I was surprised to find I was little disappointed.
5) Would you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert?
Is this a repeat question, quizilla? I feel like I’ve answered this one before. Slacker. I’m 50-50. I've always known that and Myers-Briggs confirms it. I'm an "INFP," (Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, Perceived) aka "a mess." I was so on the cusp between introvert and extrovert that the uber-corporate HR lady said she almost ranked me as I/ENFP but didn't want to "get too crazy"(her words). I love spending time with people, throwing dinner parties, going out, but I savor solitude equally as much. I/E.