The Misadventures of Ms. Peepers

Ms. Peepers

Ms. Peepers
October 08
Knitter, belly dancer, aspiring writer. I'll use this space to practice writing whatever takes my fancy. I welcome constructive feedback!


Ms. Peepers's Links
SEPTEMBER 24, 2010 7:42AM

12 things you've always wanted to know about Ms. Peepers...

Rate: 2 Flag

...but were afraid to ask.

First off, I’d like to thank Heidibeth for this Open Call and, even more so, I’d like to thank the responders for making this interesting.  I groaned when I read the Call, but you have all pulled through, sharing meaningful information and real stories rather than just making a Facebook-type list of things you like (Spock!) and don’t like (Facebook!).  My first comment should probably be about why my good-evil scale goes from Spock to Facebook, but I’ll let you guys discuss that when I’m not around.

1.       My first name is Katrina.  I’ve heard all of the jokes; in fact, people still make comments today.  And yet despite my name being plastered across headlines for the past couple of years, people still have trouble spelling it.  I am mystified.

2.       When I was very young (5 or so), I had a cat, an orange tabby named Tommy.  One day, my mother told me tearfully that she and dad were taking Tommy to live on a farm where he could happily chase chickens and run around in fields.  I was onto them, though.  Old enough to realize that this was a euphemism for euthanasia, I bid my beloved pet goodbye, knowing that he’d had a good life with us.  Many years later, when I was in my early 20s, my mother and I got to talking about Tommy.  I explained that I’d known all along that she’d had to put him down and that I trusted that she’d done the right thing.  She was shocked and said that actually she really had taken Tommy to a farm.  She went on to explain that we had a neighbor in those days (I barely remember him, he moved soon after) who hated animals crawling through his yard and set out poison traps for them.  Rather than try to keep an outdoor cat inside, my parents made the difficult decision to send him away.  I understand why they wouldn’t want to share this human darkness with me at such a young age, but I’ll admit that I’m still a little suspicious of her story.

3.       After Tommy left, I more or less lost interest in cats.  I gradually became a dog person and didn’t look back until Mr. Peepers found Mrs. Pickles in a plastic bag by the apartment dumpster.  Motivated by righteous indignation (and those gigantic kitty eyes), I declared that we must keep this darling little creature.  When we adopted Mr. Blue as a companion for her, I really did not like him – he was Mr. Peepers’ choice.  Mr. Blue grew on me eventually; although he’s not what you’d call “clever,” he is pretty cunning and is the brawn to Mrs. Pickles’ brains.  I think I really fell for him when he started sleeping on my pillow in the morning, curling his long body around my head like a shawl and putting his little paw in my hand.  Awwwww.

Mrs. Pickles plots to steal your dinner...

mrs picklesmr. blue

... while Mr. Blue gets those last few drops of milk.

4.       I describe myself as “childfree.”  I enjoy having animals around, but having a child dependent on me 24/7 and following me around asking for money sounds like absolute hell.  I plan to be a kick-ass aunt, though.  My niece doesn’t know it yet (being just under 1), but she’s about to be showered with knitted items and what knowledge I have to pass on.  Her mother doesn’t know it yet, but I’m trying to figure out how to make the child a militant feminist from four states away.  Everyone needs hobbies.

5.       I am extremely introverted.  I recently took the Myers-Briggs personality test and maxed out the introversion score (I’m also an STJ).  I’ve gotten better over the years, but too many socializing days in a row can send me into a depression.  I recently started putting weekends off on my calendar, which has really cut down on the stress.  Mr. Peepers the extrovert does not understand this, but he lets me do my thing.

        A few years ago, I read a newspaper article about a man who chose to live as a hermit.  His parents, though, that that he was just shy and pushed him to make friends, date, get married.  Soon after his wedding, he committed suicide because he couldn’t take being around people so much.  My introversion has never been that bad, but I completely understand how someone could feel that way.

6.       When I was in kindergarten, the teacher called my parents to tell them I was mentally disabled because I couldn’t keep up with the workload.  I now suspect that this had more to do with my lack of socialization than anything else.  Either way, she scared my parents for no reason – I’m just a loner, plain and simple.

7.       I’ve been a belly dancer for about four years now, which involves the occasional public performance.  I have a dark secret, though – I hate costumes and I hate make-up.  Whenever I put on make-up for a show, I feel like a man donning drag for the first time; I’m excited about the performance, but the person looking back from the mirror seems off somehow.  I’m told I look good on stage – I just hope that’s true.


Beauty queen or drag queen?  You decide!


Beauty queen or drag queen? You decide!

8.       I am an advice column junkie; I read at least 6 columns regularly.  If I knew how to get myself a column, I’d do it today.  Send me a question if you want advice – I’ll post them here with, I hope, a helpful answer.  Or at least an interesting one.

9.       I write fiction here because my life is not really interesting to outsiders (day-to-day anyway).  But I’m in every one of my stories – go find me!

10.   My sister plays the violin professionally, so you’d think I’d have learned a lot about classical music growing up.  That's not quite the case.  I don’t think I’ve ever admitted this to anyone, so here it is: I cannot hear if a voice or instrument is out of tune.  I find this incredibly embarrassing because I’m the only person in my immediate family who has this problem.

11.   I have an undergraduate but not a graduate degree.  Professionally, I don’t need one, so it seems like a waste of time and money.  Truth be told, if I did go for it, it would probably be an MFA in creative writing.  My mother finds this incredibly embarrassing because I'm the only person in my immediate family who has this problem.

12.   My ultimate career goal is to support myself by writing (that won’t be any time soon).  My secondary career goal is to open a knitting shop in which an ordinary person can shop without taking out a second mortgage (that also won't be anytime soon).

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Thanks! I'm sure the kid thing is true, I just don't have the maternal instinct and I think I owe it to the next generation to trust that. And thank you for admitting that you don't know whether you'd do it over - all I hear is that if I don't have kids, I'll regret it, and that as soon as they pop out, I'll love them immediately and unconditionally. While this is probably true of some people, it sounds a little too good to me....

Congrats on the new cat!
As someone who already did the MFA thing, I love this sentence: "My mother finds this incredibly embarrassing because I'm the only person in my immediate family who has this problem."
The desire to be a creative writer is a problem!
I'm also super-happy to hear that you are childfree. So are we, very much so. I totally understand the whole wanting to convert your niece to militant feminism; I would be down for that too, except that out of my two sisters, the only one who's not childfree is an anarchist who doesn't believe in grocery stores or that indoor plumbing is a necessity. Her kids (when she has them) will probably be set for radical ideas.
(PS--this is Ginger, from trivia.)
Haha. You know, number 11b would probably be about how my sister is the creative one and I'm the practical one. As far as mum is concerned, this hasn't changed. Yeah, that's my mother in the "Fool for Art" story...
Wow, no indoor plumbing: that is hard core. I think those kids'll be liberal enough on their own. :) I just want to make sure that my niece makes an informed career vs. housewife decision, really, and that she does not grow up thinking that Hispanics are trying to overthrow the US government (one reads the most horrible things about the Texas school system).
So cool to find your list after four months! My husband's kindergarten teacher thought he was mentally slow because he couldn't sing along with other kids. Turns out they were all singing along to TV tunes. Unfortunately his parents decided to finally buy one to help him "keep up." Nodding at #10. I've only read two of your posts, but really, #12 is realistic from my view.
Thanks, heidibeth! If I can make a living by writing lists about myself, I'm golden! The fiction still needs some work, though. :) Love the TV tune story; it's so funny how people make assumptions about what pop culture things everyone should know. My mother is German, and when I (the eldest) had a Thanksgiving party in kindergarten, she had to scramble to figure out just what a pilgrim costume would entail - it never occurred to the teachers that any of the parents wouldn't know all about the pilgrims and the Indians.