Today is the 100th column for River City Jules. For nearly two years I have had the privilege of distracting from actual news stories while indulging in a little literary therapy. But these stories are usually on my terms. So this week I am dedicating the column to my readers, answering some frequently asked questions I have fielded around town over the past 100 weeks.
Q: How do you decide what to write?
A: Every week I ask my husband if I could please tell the story about the time he ordered a Japanese maple tree online in an attempt to save some money (the tree arrived in a box the size of a golf club; it was nothing more than a branchless, budless stick, smaller than the dowel rod intended to hold it upright; he planted it smack in front of our house anyway, but the stick never blossomed into an actual tree; he removed it after overhearing my friends and me laughing at it), but every week my husband says no so I turn to Plan B.
Q: Do you have a degree in journalism?
A: No, I have a degree in human biology, which I have used to make four humans. Most of my classmates pursued careers in bioscience and medicine. I write stories about wardrobe malfunctions and dog poop. We all have our callings.
Q: Do any other men read your column?
A: Yes. You are definitely not alone. By my last count, I have at least 15 men, 19 including relatives.
Q: You have painted yourself as rather awkward in your youth. Was it really that bad?
A: No. It was far worse. But my sister still gets embarrassed when I brag about my highwaters and bad hair, so I try to tone it down for her sake.
Q: Have you considered writing a book?
A: I have considered it, but there are already so many books on the market, does the world really need another one about living the minivan dream?
Q: What do your kids think about being in the paper?
A: One would think this would be incentive for them to walk the straight and narrow path, but that is not how they roll. Instead they follow every act of accidental idiocy with a passionate plea for me to keep it to myself. In other words, there actually are some stories I have kept private. At least until the book comes out.
Q: What is your take on the latest Big 12 shake-up?
A: As with most things I don’t understand, I blame Missouri, who had hoped to rejoin the confederate states of the SEC. But until someone else is willing to take in the Tigers, they remain our cross to bear.
Q: (surveying my sweats and ponytail at the grocery store) That’s a good picture of you in the paper.
A: Thank you?
And thank you, too, for checking in every week. I hope our time together is as fun for you as it is for me.