Monday, March 02, 2009

Women's Month Interviews: Cheryl

The one, the only: Cheryl!

How do we know each other?

If I remember correctly, George King IV introduced us many years back when you and Gene were grad students at UCONN.

How would you describe yourself?

Not boring! Haha! A smart, talented, and self-reliant person who knows how to take care of things…a person who is not afraid of a little adventure. Yes, I can be loud and opinionated, but that’s half the fun of being me…I don’t hold back when enjoying myself or living life as I see fit.

In what part of the world are you located?

New England.

Where can we find you on the web?
The New England Anomaly

What don't people know about you that they ought to know?
I’m a self-made woman, who put herself through college (and graduated with honors). I am well-versed in many different subjects such as regional history, folklore, material culture, and pop culture. I am also a rock & roll fan (pre-‘95). I am very knowledgeable about current events and read everyday.

What's the most common mistake people make about you?
That I am “just” a secretary (it’s my day job while I finish my grad degree). Because I am animated and “loud” or because I wear flashy fashion, have tattoos, and I’m big busted (I don’t have any control over how big my tits are…they grew there!) then I must be stupid. You would not believe the amount of people who just write me off based on my personality or how I look. Screw them…I am proud to be loud!

What are you most proud of having accomplished so far?
I’m a self-made woman, who put herself through college (and graduated with honors). That I am living practically debt free (no credit cards here!). Also, overcoming some major socio-economic and personal hurtles to get where I am today.

What ambitions do you have ahead of you?

To make a name for myself.

What's the best compliment you've ever received?
I am a vain creature…especially as I grow older. So I like when people say I don’t look my age…that I look much younger than I am (and act it, too).

If something great happens to you, how do you celebrate?
I’m an extrovert, so I tell EVERYBODY!!!

What's your best method for coping with stress?
Screaming, yelling, swearing, crying…I feel much better when I let it all out. I am an emotional person. Then once it’s out of my system, I can get to work and get done what needs to be done. Unfortunately, other people don’t like my drama…but hey, it works for me.

What makes you laugh?

Clever jokes, word play, a witty reference, and some slapstick…also stuff that’s “blue,” naughty but not disgusting. Every once in a while, something crass will be said and done, and if I’m in the right mood, I will think it’s hilarious while most people will be offended. That’s my “biker chick” persona coming out.

What makes you cry?
Hormones…seriously. I cry at the drop of a hat for no reason. And it has been getting worse as menopause sets in.

What do you love?
Joey! He’s one of the best things that ever happened to me. I also love a sense of accomplishment, especially when doing something I enjoy. And cats. I love cats….one of my goals is to be a crazy cat lady.

What do you loathe?
Green beans. Screaming kids…especially babies (I REALLY don’t like babies.) Chauvinists, racists, and homophobes. Snooty yuppies. Organized religion…in fact, I have little use for religion in general.

What's sexy?
Hairy-chested men!!! Especially if they’re naked! Yeah!!! :-D Don’t show me some young guy with no hair on their bodies…they look like little boys, and I DON’T like little boys. I like mature men…REAL MEN! And real men have hair on their chest. Gimme…Hugh Jackman!!!

Hey, you asked! ;-)

What's the best advice you were ever given?
To be honest…I can’t recall any. I use advice as I go along, but usually follow the beat of my own drum.

How should people be spending their money?
People can spend their money anyway they want, but personally, I have a real problem with excessiveness. While there’s nothing wrong with a little indulgence, do people really need 30-plus room mansions or multiple private jets? Shouldn’t that much extra money be used for philanthropy or something?

Which woman/women have inspired you?
This is a hard question. When I look up to someone or am inspired by someone, it’s usually for something they do or did…not because of their gender. And most of the people who are my heroes are men, because they just happened to do something I am interested in or I think is cool. I never think in terms of gender until someone points it out. And it’s not because women can’t or don’t or won’t do what I like…it’s because what I like or am interested in, just happens to usually be done by a man first.

It was always that way when I was growing up. I would see or hear of something that’s cool and think, “I want to do that!” But then my mother or someone else (my mother was one of the worse perpetrators of this) would say, “You can’t do that, you’re a girl. Girls don’t do that.” My attitude was always, “Why can’t I? What does my gender have to do with it?” And then I would go and do it anyway. Of course, along the way, I would meet or hear about other WOMEN who were doing the same thing, which was cool and made me feel I wasn’t alone. But by then, since *I* was already doing it, why would I hero-worship some other woman? So, my final analysis is, I inspire myself the most.

Having said that, there are women I do admire:
Joan Jett and Wendy O. Williams. Two rock & roll women who did what they wanted and didn’t care what others thought. They ROCK!

Elena Steier. There are a lot of women cartoonists out there, but to actually meet a woman doing what I used to dream of as a kid and count her as a friend, has me a little awe-struck.

My Memèré (grandmother). She wasn’t the nicest person in the world and was too religious for my taste, but my self reliance comes from her. She is the one who taught me, “…to make do.” Use what is on hand, and fix and repair what you have. Don’t know how? Then learn. Swinging a hammer is not rocket science, neither is mending a shirt. All that I learned from Memèré…“You make do.” I know it is suddenly “trendy” to be frugal because the economy is tanking, but I was always like this! Ask my husband, he’ll tell you! He and I got through some hard times because of what Memèré taught me.

If I gave you a million dollars, what would you do?

Practical stuff…buy a house, finish school, pay off bills, give a little to my favorite causes, take a trip or two to visit friends in a part of the country I haven’t been to, and sock the rest away for retirement. Of course, I would indulge a little (I love dresses!), but for the most part, I’m too practical to get ridiculous about how money is spent.

Thank you so much for being part of this celebration: you rock!

No comments: