The Top Ten Things You May Not Know About Paula (Assuming You Give A Rat's A**)
I wanted to be a nurse, but was so nervous about taking college algebra, I chickened out. Too bad, I would have made a great nurse. A lot of people think I am a nurse anyway, since I worked at the State Public Health Clinic (as a public health nurse aide) for 15 years. When Charles was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, his doctor told him that if he had any questions, "Paula can answer them, because she's a nurse." WRONG.
Charles and I fell in love within two weeks of meeting. Two months later, I went to visit him in San Francisco and by the middle of the second week, we were engaged. We got married seven months later. When we decided to get engaged, we had only been in each other's physical presence for three weeks. It was fast, but it stuck, as we are still married almost 30 years later. However, if one of my kids did the same thing, I would be hysterical.
I am 4'9 1/2'' tall. I used to be 4'10 3/4", but I shrunk. It is a cruel thing to shrink when you are under 5 feet tall. I tell people that I am vertically challenged but horizontally gifted. For some reason, people think it is important to remark on my height when they meet me. For example, "It is so NICE to meet someone who is shorter than me!" to which I want to reply, but don't (because my mama raised me to be polite): "I am so glad that I could bring some joy into your otherwise empty and meaningless life". I wish I am able to respond as my sister Rita did once (she is also short), when a guest at a party stood up and offered her his chair, saying that the chair was reserved for midgets. She pulled herself up to her dignified 4'9" and said: "Just mental midgets. Be my guest." Ah to have a rapier-like rejoinder like that. Maybe someday I will be so quick. In the meantime, I just get annoyed.
The most amazing, affirming, and healing thing I have ever done in my life was to address the U.S. Bishops at their meeting in Dallas, Texas in June 2002. I will not go into detail about why I was there, as my statement says it all. It changed my life. Here is the link: Statement of Paula Gonzales Rohrbacher to the Bishops of the United States.
To the amusement of a number of preschoolers, I can wiggle my ears, cross my eyes and curl my tongue at the same time. Unfortunately, I was never able to sell tickets for this.
I lived in North Portland until I was 4 years old. Because I had a lisp, I used to amuse my family by stating that my address was "Thixteen Oh Thixth North Thimpthon Threet".
I am a clergyman's wife. Charles is a permanent deacon of the Roman Catholic Church. While he is a tremendous, holy and pious man, I am a miserable lowly worm and have much too big a mouth to make a good deacon's wife. Plus, I swear an awful lot. But I try to be worthy.
I have the kindest, most wonderful children that God ever placed on this earth. They are funny, smart, beautiful, quick, loving, gracious, faithful, loyal, and good to their mother. They are a credit to me, and I mean it!
I am married to the best person in the world. No lie. He is the BEST husband and father around. He is a wonderful artist - here is a link to see more of his work: New Jerusalem Workshop. He is also very holy (see #4). He is very funny, which surprises people who don't know him well. One time, he was in the kitchen and listening to a CD while he was cooking. A beautiful song came on and we heard him say to Gwinnie, our dog: "You know, Gwinnie, if we could sing like that, we would never have to work again." He said it to the dog. That's just one of the reasons I love him. To list them all would take up far too much space.
And the Top Thing That You May Not Know About Me:
I am allergic to dust mites. Which is hilarious, because, have you ever SEEN my house? Every once in a while, I go on a rant (like I did the other day, but deleted because it was so snarky) about how messy the house is. I had dreams of the house being pristine, like a picture in a magazine, after I retired, because, after all, what else would I have to DO, but clean the house, and organize, etc. Well, that was a wash (or not wash, as the case may be). I am no more organized or tidy than I was before I retired. I now sit among the clutter and disorder, eating bon bons and looking at blogs. Not really - I don't even like bon bons. (What ARE bon bons anyway?). The point is, I have to get in gear. I have made a good start with organizing the closet in our bedroom. Having a new puppy makes things a bit more problematic. (Note to self: DO NOT GET A NEW PUPPY IN THE WINTER EVER AGAIN!) I should post BEFORE pictures, but I worry that there won't ever be an AFTER, and the pictures of my disgusting hovel will just be out there, waiting to be resolved like a minor chord.
And there you have it folks: Useless facts about me. Tell your friends, because after all, who DOESN'T want to know ten things about someone you never met?