Friday, February 20, 2009

Pennsylvania's Best

Ahh, a meme from Charlotte (where I seem to get all my memes), which will show up on Facebook a year from now in some much less creative form. Remember you saw it here first.

What are your middle names?
Mine was Barton (typical Southerner: surname becomes middle name, so we can trace our lineage back to our family’s beginnings in Dorchester – or wherever). Once I was married, I dropped it, and my surname Michie became my middle name (you know, so I can always be traced to my family’s beginnings in Virginia). Bob’s is Williams (family tradition as well. In his family, the first-born son gets the father’s first name and the mother’s maiden name. Thus, his father was Robert, and his mother was a Williams). Stealing Charlotte's idea, because I love making up stories for names: Barton Williams is a famous late twentieth-century writer who lives in complete obscurity ala J.D. Salinger or Thomas Pynchon. We met him in Wales where he claimed to be related to both of us, but we’re not sure how. I think he also claimed to be related to the other Emily Barton (you know, the one who actually finishes and publishes award-winning novels).

How long have you been together?
Since January 1994.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
We met in November 1993, when I proceeded to blow him off for two months.

Who asked whom out?
He had this ridiculous idea that I would come over and listen to CDs with a complete stranger, because “We seem to have the same sort of musical tastes.” I saw “axe murderer” written all over his face and decided I might call him at some point, and we could meet in a public place. (You can read the whole story here.)

How old are you?
I’m 45 (as of tomorrow). He has all kinds of reasons for the fact that I won’t tell you how old he is. Suffice it to say that he’s older than I am.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
His, only because his has always been much closer geographically than any of mine.

Which situation is hardest on you as a couple?
Being a pastor and a pastor’s wife and living in a fish bowl. I’m looking forward to retirement. Need I say more?

Did you go to the same school?
No. He went to Hahhh-ver-fahd, one of those extraordinarily preppy, elitist colleges and then did his graduate work at St. John’s, one of the most expensive schools in the country, I recently discovered. I went to state schools for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees (we will ignore the fact that my undergraduate degree was acquired, by some fluke, at one of those preppy, elitist “public Ivies”).

Are you from the same home town?
Are you kidding? Is there anything at all about me that says “Midwesterner?” I'm so "East Coast," you could program a compass to me (he is, too, really, having spent most of his life on the East Coast, but don't tell him I told you that).

Who is smarter?
I am, of course. But he thinks he is, which keeps life interesting.

Who is the most sensitive?
Depends on what you mean by sensitive. If you mean constantly worried about how you might be affecting others, being sensitive to their feelings, and worried that they think you’re a horrible person, to the point of neuroticism, that would be me. If you mean taking completely benign statements from others and interpreting them as criticisms, to the point of neuroticism, that would be him.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Paradiso Pizza. That sounds pathetic, but it’s so convenient, and we love it. However, we do have some very special restaurants that we frequent or have frequented (mostly in New York).

Where is the furthest you have travelled together as a couple?
I’m terrible when it comes to geography. What’s further: CT to Scotland, CT to Portland,OR, or CT to Belize?

Who has the craziest exes?
I’d say it’s definitely a tie (although I had a few more than he did, and he actually had one or two who were probably more sane than I am).

Who has the worst temper?
We’re both pretty hot-tempered. Luckily, we also both have very good senses of humor, and nine times out of ten can laugh at ourselves (although very rarely does the laughing happen in the moment).

Who does the most cooking?
Are you kidding? He’s barely allowed to set foot in my kitchen, let alone do any messing around in it. I’m told that before he met me, he could cook up quite a feast, but we'll never know.

Who is the most stubborn?
He is, dammit, and I'm not about to budge from that stance.

Who hogs the bed most?
Depends on the night. We’ve both been known to do our fair share of cocooning.

Who does the laundry?
I do. I also happen to be a little more of a control freak when it comes to laundry care than he is.

Who’s better with the computer?
We’re both pretty pathetic, although I'm more fearless, and he thinks he’s better (however, when he can’t figure something out, he calls out to the other blind member of this household, and we screw it up together).

Who drives when you are together?
He does. I despise driving, and he loves to drive. However, I “help” quite a lot.

Tagging: Becky, Zoey’s Mom, Litlove, Sara, and Cam, Stef, and Ms. Knits, as well as anyone else who feels so moved.


Charlotte said...

Happy birthday! I think, seeing that Emily Barton is already taken, Barton Williams would be a great pseudonym for you to adopt. If you wanted it to be a bit more gender-neutral, you could E. Barton Williams, who clearly is a great writer of mysteries and ghost stories ...

Emily Barton said...

Charlotte, thanks for the birthday wishes, and oh yes, E. Barton Williams is the perfect pseudonym for a ghost story writer.

Anonymous said...

I found some of these answers very surprising, all very interesting. And though I already did in on Facebook, I wanted to wish you a very happy birthday! 45, eh? You look so much younger. Not that there's anything wrong with looking 45--especially since I'm turning 50 this year. Yikes.

Feminine Feminist said...

Yes, HAPPPPPPPYYYY Birthday my dear friend. Lovely to read more about the two of you- particularly the bit on sensitivity- I resonate with both of you on that one,
S xxx

Anonymous said...

Happy, happy birthday! O friend with the same birthday as my husband! I do love the answers to this meme and I wondered whether I had the nerve to do it. Now I see that you've tagged me, I shall (I would always obey a summons from the Queen, after all!).

Anonymous said...

Oh the pressure...this is a nice meme. I'll take a crack at it - can't guarantee I'll be as poetic but who knows!

Anonymous said...


knitseashore said...

Happy Birthday! I hope you are having a wonderful birthday week and treated yourself to something special.

I loved reading your answers to the meme, totally cracking up at your comments on who is most sensitive. It sounds awfully similar to the Suitcase household.

The fishbowl lifestyle sounds very, very tough. As a privacy freak, I don't think I could do it, and hope you both are made of sterner stuff.

Rebecca H. said...

Happy birthday! I like this meme -- even though I've claimed not to do them, it's not quite true -- I do them when the mood is right. I can see that living in the fishbowl must be tiring at times. At least you have a beautiful fishbowl to live in!

Emily Barton said...

Danny, I guess it's finally paying off that when I was eighteen people thought I was twelve! Thanks for the b-day wishes both here and on FB, and don't worry: I'm not planning on stopping blogging anytime soon. I've got way too much to say, and well, you know FB cuts you off after a certain number of characters.

Fem, well then no wonder you fit so well into our household when you visit. Thanks for the b-day wishes (and I don't want to hear any moaning from you about turning a mere 30 this year).

Litlove, you followed my orders beautifully (as always). I hope your sweet husband had as sweet a birthday as I did.

Sara, I'm not one bit fooled. You wrote that absolutely beautiful post about how you and DH met, remember?

Ms. Knits, thank you! And also thank you for sending me a REAL card, which immediately made me realize I'd forgotten your birthday, so a belated very happy birthday to you, too! We try to be made of sterner stuff but privacy IS a wonderful thing.

Dorr, I need you around to remind me every so often that, yes, it is an extremely beautiful fish bowl, and I am lucky to live in it.

Anonymous said...

Happy belated birthday! I'm going to have to work up some good answers for this one.