The Dormouse brought home a school assignment this weekend wherein she had to interview someone and then write a biography about them. Some of the questions were provided by the teacher and some were to be created by the students themselves. Since the only other people home besides me were the cats (and when she asked these questions of the cats, they were quite repetitive), she decided to interview me.

I thought briefly about making up all my answers to try and confuse and baffle her teacher, and believe me, I had some good ones, but then I realized that my actual, truthful answers to her questions were at least as disconcerting. So I went with truth in the end. Here is her completed biography:

My mother is [name redacted to protect my interests, but know this: she insisted on using my maiden name rather than the name I've carried and used for past fifteen years. Take note of that, husband: nothing is permanent. Then we had to take a brief time-out from the interview process while I taught her to spell it.]. Alice's age is 43. Her b-day is [redacted] in North Dakota. Her hobbies are music, photography animals, family and history. Her pets are cats. She's had cats all her life. Her favorite possessions are: violins, drums, and books. Her jobs, she was: bakery, secretary, singing waitress, country band, prison, mental hospital, prison again, nursing home, school, and non-prophet. Her favorite food is ice cream. Her plan is to travel all over the world. The # of places she's been is 11 places. Her favorite book is The Fountainhead. Her wish is for everyone to be happy. A person she admires is Itzhak Perlman because he overcame adversity. Her favorite childhood toy is the circuit board toy. Her favorite color is black and favorite flowers are daphnes, plumerias, and croci.

There are many things that need to be said about this paragraph:

1. I love that, to her understanding at least, my responses sound like they range from your basic right wing nutjob to bleeding heart liberal in the same paragraph. It makes it harder to pin me down.

2. Apparently my birthday changes depending on what state of the union you happen to be in.

3. Many aren't familiar with the lesser known Photography Animal Hobby, but once you teach them to use their little paws to press down the shutter, it's actually quite rewarding.

4. I'm not sure how family got to be a hobby. But if you calculate the amount of time I spend doing it, I suppose it counts.

5. We had a lengthy discussion about how many dogs, gerbils, rats, mice, fish, crabs, salamanders, horny toads, boxes of beetles, and cicada skins attached to my shirt and worn as jewelry that I also had as a kid. I guess only the cats registered. Or maybe she was just embarrassed.

6. That's actually what I said when she asked me about my favorite possessions. It was a required question provided by the teacher. I was stumped. Who's asks that? What I really wanted to say: money and the three bodies buried in my basement under the concrete.

7. I love that it looks like I became a Bakery early in life because it reminds me of an old episode of The Bob Newhart Show. Drat, I wish I could find a video clip of that episode somewhere.

8. I'm dying to know whether her teacher actually infers that I worked in a couple of prisons and mental hospitals, or if she instead chooses to believe I had a lengthy prison term broken up by a short stint in a mental hospital. Either way, I think this makes me scary enough.

9. She's wrong about my being a Non-Prophet. My abilities to predict the future and speak with deity are indisputable.

10. I don't really care if everyone is happy. This is my real wish. But I thought it would take too long for a seven year old to write it down. The Caterpillar had a slightly different wish.

11. Not that I'm all that protective about my plans to circumnavigate the globe, but I feel the need to point out that the number of places I've "been" should actually read the number of places I've "lived." (I was only counting states, not different cities, and I think even that might be underestimating some.) I've actually been to quite a few more places than that. Her take makes it sound like the only places I go these days are home, work and a variety of ice cream shops. Which is not at all true. Sometimes I have to stop at the gas station in between.

12. I really did love that circuit board toy when I was a kid. But then it seems I was kind of a geek from day one.

Edited to add: When the teacher corrected her paper, she told The Dormouse that she'd left out a comma in between the words "singing" and "waitress" and put a big red mark on the page because clearly she must have met I had one job singing and a different job as a waitress. The Dormouse told her it was not an error because her mother really was a "singing waitress" and then came home and asked me to send a note to her teacher so she wouldn't mark her down for punctuation. I can't quite decide whether it's more worth it to me that my kid has a good grade on her homework, or not to have to admit to an adult professional person that I was, in fact, a singing waitress. I gotta figure there'll be other chances for her to turn in papers at school, right? Interestingly, the teacher did not feel the need to add a comma between "photography" and "animals." She must be a closet teacher of photography to animals too.