Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Interview

Lovely Liz at Eternal Lizdom has volunteered to interview anyone who wants it. I suppose the very fact of having a blog makes one a bit of an exhibitionist, so I decided to get in on the fun. I was excited to see what burning questions she'd want to ask, and a little nervous about having to reveal something I wasn't ready for. But Liz seems like a gentle soul, so here goes:

1. I love a good tell me the story of how you and Miss Chef met!

You'll have to forgive me for remaining a little vague on some details, but I can certainly give you the gist of the story. I was in a PhD program, and had come to the realization that it wasn't worth going through the dissertation process, only to spend my career doing research I wasn't really interested in. (As a friend is fond of saying: "Gifted...but not necessarily bright!")

Since what I really wanted to do was teach, I did a job search for community colleges and private high schools. I ended up at a magnet school in Alabama, of all places, where Miss Chef was a recent graduate and had returned to work as a Resident Assistant. I was blown away by her down-to-earth common sense, and we got to be great friends. She, on the other hand, had spotted me on my interview visit and was smitten. I, still blissfully convinced I was straight, had no clue how much I was confusing her...until she finally got up the nerve to kiss me. We've been together 8 years now.

2. You shared that Miss Chef hasn't come out to her parents. Are you out to your friends and family? How was that journey for you?

Yes, I am, thank God! I came out to my friends first, because I knew they would be okay with it--although I was a little nervous about some of my closest ones thinking I had been lusting after them in college, they were great! Coming out to my parents was much, much more difficult. I was 30 years old; it was not like they were expecting it. But I felt that they were open-minded enough to accept it at least a little bit, and I hated that I couldn't share the best parts of my life with them.

At first they were very unhappy, angry, frustrated, but kept a lot of that to themselves. It took a long time for them to accept Miss Chef as my significant other, but we've hit a very nice point now. I think that we had to be more honest about our emotions than we tend to be in my family, and it's made our relationship better. I'm not sure they're 100% happy with my "choice" of Miss Chef, but they're not complaining anymore! My brother didn't seem to care; he claimed he wasn't surprised, and he and his wife are very happy to have the kids call Miss Chef "Aunt."

3. Is Rosie your first dog, or do you have a history of dogs and pets behind you?

I grew up in an old farmhouse, with lots and lots of animals! We got our first dog when I was about two--Dad would only allow golden retrievers in the house. Charlie, the current family dog, is our third.

I think my first pet was a frog I fished out the swimming pool with the aid of the dog. I also had a string of cats, parakeets, turtles, hermit crabs, fish, and mice, as well as raising chickens and rabbits for non-pet purposes (if you catch my drift). Plus, my brother had some anoles he'd share with me, and he got into the habit of catching "pet" garter snakes, just to freak out my mom. However, Rosie is my first very-own dog as an adult person. I knew that whenever I finally bought a house, a dog would be part of the package.

On the other hand, I never did get the pony I put on my Christmas list every single year for decades.

4. What's a regular day like in the life of Flartus?

Frankly, boring. Why do you think I spend so much time blogging?? ☺

Weekdays I work a typical 8-5 office job, sitting in front of a computer and making phone calls. When I get home, I take Rosie for a half-hour walk, then I either do household chores, screw around on the internet, or read. This does not apply when Miss Chef is home, in which case most of that screwing around is replaced with dinner & cleanup.

On the weekends, we often hit two farmer's markets on Saturday mornings, and then Miss Chef uses our purchases to make lunch. Then she goes off to work, while I either do house/yardwork, or sit around and read while feeling guilty about neglecting my house/yardwork. However, Saturday and Sunday mornings are supposed to also be volunteer time, so in the future I hope to be able to talk about that! Sundays are the only day Miss Chef and I have the whole day off together, so of course we spend it, romantically, at WalMart or Home Depot, or choring. Unless we sit around reading all day!

5. What on earth does Flartus mean??

I'm so glad you asked! It was the nickname my dad came up with for our second family dog, Amber. (That's her picture up top.) She was kind of an oddball, and Flartus really captured the goofiness of this dog that only cared about chasing her ball, regardless of injury or looking silly. She's the only golden I know who was a picky eater! She came into our lives when I was 16, and I honestly feel that she was my first child; it was the first time I understood what it really meant to love some"one" unconditionally. I will always miss her.

And why did I use that as my name? Well, it's the only one I know that will never be taken on a server, so when I got frustrated trying versions of "My 2 Sense," that's where I went. (By the way, I find it very, very irritating that the owner of that blog name has only made 3 posts since, like, 2004. Jerk.)

Thanks for letting me spill, Liz! And if anyone has any follow-up questions, please ask! You know how I love to blather!


  1. I enjoyed reading your interview, interesting and now I know where the flartus name came from, I have been wondering about that.

  2. Flar - you are such a lovely warm smart woman. I love you and I love the story of you and Miss Chef. Thank you for sharing your most intimate and personal details with us.

  3. Yeah, Flartus is a very unique name. Good interview, I enjoyed it.

  4. I came over here from Liz's blog and your comment about the Don't Divorce Us video. It was lovely to read about you and Miss Chef. Just lovely... thank you.


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