I try to write a blog post a week and I typically write my weekly post on the weekend. When I’m out of town, as I was this weekend visiting my mom so we could both do our taxes with the family accountant, it makes finding time to write a post very challenging without neglecting my maternal figure. The way I saw it, I had two choices: I could either skip the blog post this week or I could somehow combine my time with my mom with completing the task. Since I’m rarely one to refuse a challenge, I made it work. For my blog post this week, I bring you my interview with Susan—my mom.
Besides being the woman who gave birth to me, my mom is also one of my most productive writing muses and among the strongest and funniest women I know. (I take after her, of course.) Even though she’s been my mother for *cough* years, there are things even I don’t know about her. So, I decided to conduct this interview. As you’ll see, the questions become increasingly personal as we both warm up:
Meredith: Who are your favorite authors?
Susan: Eileen Goudge (my mom is so impressed and a little envious that Eileen is actually a dear friend of mine), Julie Buxbaum, Belva Plain, Meredith Schorr (fourth. She mentioned me fourth), Jennifer Weiner, Cynthia Freeman, and Maisie Mosco.
Meredith: What is your favorite genre?
Susan: women’s fiction and family sagas (immigration experience, rise to riches)
Meredith: Where do you get your books?
Susan: The library, Jewish Community Center, my daughter. I very rarely buy books.
Meredith: How influenced are you by covers?
Susan: Not very. I’m more drawn to the title and reading the blurb. I also get recommendations from the Hadassah Best-Seller list. (You think my mom is Jewish?)
Meredith: Do you care about reviews or if you’ve heard of an author before you read a book?
Susan: Not at all.
Meredith: How do you feel about sex in books?
Susan: I used to be more interested in it, but after I’ve experienced practically everything, it doesn’t titillate me anymore (TMI, Mom. TMI!) It doesn’t turn me off, but I skip a lot of it.
Meredith: Why don’t you buy books?
Susan: Too expensive.
Meredith: Would you ever consider getting an ereader?
Meredith: What is holding you back from getting one?
Susan: Not having someone to set it up for me and show me what to do. I don’t think I can handle doing it myself. (Like mother, like daughter) I’m a technophobe.
Meredith: Do too many typos in books bother you?
Susan: Very rarely have I come across books with a lot of typos, at least that I’ve noticed. (Yeah, but she noticed a mistake in my book that no one else caught – apparently, there is no such thing as a Ford Escalade – the car Cheryl was driving in How Do You Know?)
Meredith: Have you ever wondered if you’d be able to write a book?
Susan: It’s crossed my mind, but I don’t think I’m talented enough. I’ve had ideas about books but to write one? No.
Meredith: Tell me one of these ideas.
Susan: A man leaves his wife to fend by herself with her children and she goes back to law school and becomes a lawyer and she faces him in court one day – she’s the prosecutor and he’s the defendant. What does she do? (Note to self: book 10 maybe?)
Meredith: Do you think your own life could make an interesting memoir and, if so, why?
Susan: Absolutely. Because I made lemonade out of lemons. When I was working, I didn’t want to have any credit card debt or interest and any time I got money, I invested it while others spent foolishly. I didn’t want to worry about the buck when I retired and I made it my business to be independent even though I was a single mom with a deadbeat ex-husband and three children. While all the other kids had Benetton shirts and designer jeans, my girls couldn’t and when they got older and had jobs, half the paycheck had to go in the bank and half they could spend how they wanted to. (I’m sorry I begged you to take me shopping all of those times!)
Meredith: Do you think your conservative outlook with money was passed along to your children?
Susan: Absolutely. (No one tell her about the Christian Louboutin shoes I bought a few months ago.)
Meredith: Of what in your life are you the most proud?
Susan: My three children. My biggest accomplishment. All three are beautiful human beings on the inside and the outside. (*blush*)
Meredith: Is there anything you would have done differently if you could go back in time?
Susan: Yes. I’d be more attentive to my children when they were little, I would have studied harder, and I’d be nicer to my mother.
Meredith: What is your favorite part of being a grandma?
Susan: They’re not my responsibility!
Meredith: When you’ve observed your two older daughters raising their children, have you ever thought that how they dealt with something was not how you would have done it?
Susan: Yes, only one thing. My grandchildren have too many material things and I don’t think they appreciate the hard work their parent’s did to get those things for them.
Meredith: How do you think your daughters were better mothers than you?
Susan: They were more involved.
Meredith: At seventy-three years old, how do you feel about the aging process?
Susan: I don’t feel differently than I did when I was younger. I’m grateful for my continued good health. When I have my annual mammography and freak out about it, I’m so grateful for good results. I don’t take it for granted since life can change on a dime.
Meredith: At what age do you think you were the happiest so far?
Susan: Right now. (Wow. Finally something to look forward to.)
Meredith: Do you think that people who say quality of life decreases as we get older are wrong?
Susan: In my case, yes, because I’m healthy, have all of my marbles, a pot to piss in, three wonderful children, and friends. I’m active and don’t have to worry about where the next dollar is coming from. That makes me happy.
Meredith: As you get older, obviously your body changes as well as your skin. Was this a difficult transition for you and did you notice it happening?
Susan: In my 60s, I noticed my neck and eyes changing and so I had work done. I never thought I’d have money to do that. If you can do it, do it! Menopause came and went with no hot flashes. My period just stopped and that was the end of it. And I didn’t dwell on it. It’s a rite of passage. You can’t go back so don’t dwell on it. You can’t go back so you might as well enjoy the time that you’re in. (Can I hear a round of applause for my mom’s attitude, please. She’s an inspiration.)
Meredith: If you could have been any career you wanted, what would you choose?
Susan: There’s really no career I would have wanted, but I am sorry I didn’t study harder in school – that it wasn’t a priority in my life. Getting an education was not a priority, but that’s how you were raised in the 50s. You were raised to marry well. I never thought I’d have to earn a living and neither did my parents, but I don’t blame them. Divorce was less common and I thought I fell in love with the perfect guy. He was an Ivy League college graduate who went into his father’s established practice. No one could have predicted how it would play out.
Meredith: What are your talents?
Susan: Playing mahjong and canasta (LOL)
Meredith: Who are among your celebrity crushes past and present?
Susan: Pernell Roberts, Kenny Rogers, Peter Riegert, Alan Arkin, Josh Duhamel. (She was almost somewhat age appropriate until that last one…)
And now for the lightening round:
Love or money? Money (Mom…)
Salt or sugar? Sugar
Appetizers or dessert? Dessert
Extended foreplay or a quickie? Quickie.
Bald or hairy? Bald with beard
Television or movies? Television
Red meat or chicken? Red meat
Vegetables or fruit? Neither (hehe)
Dogs or cats? Neither (Says the woman who loves to cuddle with all of my sister’s dogs and dragged us to pet stores to look at the puppies even though she wouldn’t let us have one!)
Overweight or bad skin? Overweight
Rain or snow? Rain
Pants or dresses? Pants
Blind or deaf? Deaf
And there you have it: Susan Goodman at a glance.
Thanks for playing, Mom. I love you!