(Check out the full challenge here.)
Day 2, Friday. Five things about you that most people don’t know.
I’m always surprised what people don’t know about me or are surprised to learn about me. 🙂
1. I’m autistic. The most common response I get to this revelation: “But you’re so verbal!” LOL. I’m actually pretty failcakes at both speaking and listening. If communicating in writing is an option, I take it.
I’m especially amused by this one when the person surprised to hear it has also been pretty obviously convinced that something is weird about me but they can’t put their finger on it. It’s the autism, natch.
2. My original college major was mortuary science. The most common response to this one: “OMG, WHYYY?” Simple: I was told no one can make a living as a writer (a lie), and it was quiet and predictable.
It was also two-thirds business and one-third chemistry, and since I had zero interest in either, I switched my major to English as soon as my school launched its English B.A. I have my alma mater’s first English B.A. and its record for most undergraduate credits earned in four years (177).
3. I sew. There are a few pieces of clothing I still buy ready-to-wear: underwear (for convenience), highly-tailored items (blazers, outerwear), pieces made of notoriously difficult fabrics (my camel coat, a silk charmeuse blouse I immediately took the sleeves out of), and my skating and dance gear (no serger, I hate applying sequins). But I make a LOT of what I wear.
4. I’m a member of Mensa. I was offered membership when I was 19, after I sat the exams just to see what it was like. Ironically, if I had waited two more years, I could have qualified on the basis of my LSAT score, which was well above the Mensa-mandated minimum.
I don’t typically tell people about my Mensa membership for two reasons. One, there’s no non-braggy way to say it, especially outside the specific context of (a) a discussion of Mensa or (b) a list of five things most people don’t know about you. Two, I’m pretty sure I’m not actually that smart; if I have a Super Autistic Savant Power (fewer than 10 percent of autistic individuals do), it’s beating standardized tests.
5. I’m officially on my second career. My first one was as an insurance defense litigator – so yes, I do have a J.D. I’m a member of the bar in two states, and I had to take the bar exam in each of them.
I burned out after practicing with a partner who handled about 160 litigation cases per year – an astronomical caseload if you’re handling all your cases with the attention they need. (To put the woeful underfunding of public defense in perspective, the average public defender working misdemeanor cases handles 160 cases per WEEK. If you think a whole lot of indigent defendants are getting screwed in that scenario, you are absolutely right.)