You MADE that?

Yes. Yes, I did.

I get asked this question most often about my knitting and crochet projects. (As opposed to my writing, where people are more prone to say, “YOU write novels?”) I love working with yarn and learning new techniques. I used to worry that I wasn’t very good, so I wouldn’t tell people I’d made their gifts myself. I thought it would be painfully obvious and didn’t want to call attention to it. But then they’d be like, “Huh, where’d you find this?” and I’d be all ashamed-like, “Oh… I made it.” Which they would follow up with gaping jaws and, “You MADE that?” So now I’m not afraid to tell people the truth.

Can I see some ID?

I look a lot younger than I am. I don’t drink, even though I’m old enough to, but I’ve been carded for ordering water in the bar section at Denny’s and at the grocery store for buying those fancy-ish six packs of soda that come in bottles.

How long is your hair? or How’d you get your hair to grow so long?

This one is cheating because it’s not something I get asked anymore. But I used to get asked this question so frequently — strangers would shout it at me across parking lots even — that I cut my hair short. I like it much better this way. Easier to take care of, not as heavy, takes less dye to color it, and people don’t ask me how long it is everywhere I go.

Is your thumb broken?

No, it just bends really far back. I used to not know that was weird until about ninth grade, when someone pointed it out to me. And I’d always wished I was one of those people who was double-jointed or whatever it is, so I was very pleased. It just goes to show that even if you think you don’t have some innate talent, you might and not realize it.

Oh. But what are you going to DO with that?

This is always a follow-up question to “What did you major in?” I designed my own major in Latin and Greek. To make a long story short, I started out in creative writing but hated the classes. So I switched to Latin (with a brief stint in Linguistics in between), and I didn’t look back. When you major in something most people consider “useless,” they get this look on their face like they’re secretly patting themselves on the back for majoring in business or being too cool for school and not wasting their time “learning” something they know they wouldn’t have made any money off of. But when you study Latin and Greek, you not only study grammar and language and ancient cultures, but philosophy, farming, poetry, politics, graffitti, history, science, rhetoric, oration, war, theater, writing, medicine, travel, love, loss, and home ec. Basically, you get a walloping dose of humanity, which honestly hasn’t changed that much in the last couple thousand years, and that isn’t useless. (Plus even when people look at you funny for being “useless,” you know Latin and they don’t.) Even if I never make a dime off of my Latin and spend the rest of my life paying back student loans, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. So what am I going to do with it? Just about freakin’ everything.