25 Unknowns of Aela

When I first got this project idea from the wonderful editors at Babble, I thought: 25 things people don’t know about me? That’s going to be hard! My life is and has pretty much always been an open book, thanks to my inability to curb my tongue. Whether it be my own emotions or a social, political, or environmental issue, I’ve never mastered the art of remaining quiet though, to be honest, I’ve never really tried. In high school, I was voted, among other things, “most outspoken” (a title I proudly share with my friend of almost 20 years) and “most likely to have her own talk show.” That was 16 years ago. And while much has changed in my life since then, it’s uncanny how on-the-mark my fellow classmates were. So, today, I dug deep and came up with some facts that most people don’t know about me.

Hello, my name is Aela. And I’m a type-A extrovert.

  • I am completely tone deaf 1 of 25
    I am completely tone deaf
    This isn't an exaggeration. I have an awful singing voice. But that doesn't stop me from rockin' out in the car! God bless my wife for putting up with me. In fact, she knows how much I love singing while driving that she actually gives me songs to sing. It's quite the scene. I pity our poor kids though. Bedtime songs aren't going to be pretty.
    Photo: Damian Gadal
  • I love to iron 2 of 25
    I love to iron
    And do laundry. And vacuum. And cook. And grocery shop. Yep, I pretty much like all household chores. If it wasn't for the closeted gay factor, the 1950s so would have been my decade.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
  • I was afraid of the dark until my mid-20s 3 of 25
    I was afraid of the dark until my mid-20s
    It took a life-changing heartbreak to cure my fear of the dark. I was so devastated and lost most feelings for a good amount of time. Then one night, just like that, I realized, "Wow, I'm not afraid of the dark anymore." Happy to report, I haven't used a nightlight since.
    Photo: abbybatchelder
  • I worked for the circus 4 of 25
    I worked for the circus
    OK, so that's not entirely true but it was the rumor for a while. In my late teens and when I turned 20, I worked for a traveling food concession stand. And, boy, was it fun! We followed craft fairs up and down the east coast from Maine to Florida and sold grilled chicken pita sandwiches. It was a great time.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
  • I haven’t always been out, but I’ve always been gay 5 of 25
    I haven't always been out, but I've always been gay
    I dated men for years, but I always knew I was gay. My first kiss was in the 4th grade with another girl. Wow, how I adored her! Years later, in therapy, I was told that since she left for private school when we were in junior high school, that I was quite possibly "thrown" into the closet as a personal defense mechanism, since I was so saddened by her leaving. But who knows? Turns out, she's gay, too.
    Photo: tntblonde
  • I can’t stand showering 6 of 25
    I can't stand showering
    What a chore! Don't get me wrong. I shower. I just can't stand it! Sure, it's great afterward when I'm all clean and fresh, but by golly! it takes so much time. And I try to be as quick with it as possible; I'm not one of those people who stands there letting the water beat down on them (cough, cough, my wife). Showering makes me wish we lived in the time of the Jetsons.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
  • I like mayo on my burgers 7 of 25
    I like mayo on my burgers
    And pretty much all sandwiches. Ketchup? I can take it or leave it. Mustard? Only on a hotdog. I also like dipping my fries in mayo. So gross, I know. But so delicious.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
  • I love to drive 8 of 25
    I love to drive
    Like love, love, love it. Not so much city driving except Manhattan; I LOVE driving in Manhattan. Mostly, though, I like to drive on the highway. It's like a day at the spa for me, almost but not quite. There's just something so freeing about it.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
  • I can’t get into an unmade bed 9 of 25
    I can't get into an unmade bed
    I make the bed first thing in the morning. And if for some totally bizarre reason I don't, it gets made as soon as possible. I have even been known to make a bed directly before getting into it to sleep. It's all about comfort. And there's nothing comfortable about twisted sheets.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
  • I get inexplicably emotional over stories about soldiers 10 of 25
    I get inexplicably emotional over stories about soldiers
    Just about any story or interest piece that has to do with soldiers or vets is guaranteed to make me cry, even if it's not necessarily a sad story. Throw in kids, wives, or pets and forget it! I turn into a complete mess. Thank God there are no soldiers directly in my life because I'd never be able to handle it.
    Photo: enough_42
  • I have a love affair with butter 11 of 25
    I have a love affair with butter
    Between the butter and the mayo, you're probably sitting there thinking I have horrible eating habits! For the most part, I eat really well. But sigh butter. It's just so good! And I don't buy into that hogwash about how terrible it is for you. In my book, as long as what you're eating is real and not loaded with chemicals and dyes and additives, you're good to go.
    Photo: Robert S. Donovan
  • I want an eyeball transplant 12 of 25
    I want an eyeball transplant
    Not Lasik surgery to correct my awful vision, but a straight-up eyeball transplant. I don't even know if such a thing exists, but if I could swap my eyeballs out for a new set, I'd do it in a heartbeat. My eyes are constantly dry, red, and uncomfortable. Contact lenses irritate them. Glasses strain them. They are a constant source of discomfort for me. So, yes, I'd like an eyeball transplant, please!
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
  • I don’t like the word hate 13 of 25
    I don't like the word hate
    It's so easy to toss around words that have so much power behind them, like the word hate. There is always a better word or phrase to use: dislike, can't stand, detest, despise. Hate it so strong. Too strong. It makes me uncomfortable. It's not used in our home now, and it won't be used with our kids.
    Photo: blakeemrys
  • I’ve never been able to watch the movie The Shining all the way through 14 of 25
    I've never been able to watch the movie The Shining all the way through
    Scariest movie in the world. That's all that can be said about that.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
  • I’ve always wanted to learn how to fly 15 of 25
    I've always wanted to learn how to fly
    Amelia Earhart is a hero of mine. Talk about a cool lady! Because of her, I've always wanted to learn how to fly. It was on my "things to do before I turn 30" list, but it got bumped to the "things to do before I die" list. I hope one day to make it happen.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
  • I smoked for 11 years 16 of 25
    I smoked for 11 years
    My biggest shame. I started smoking in high school when I was 15 and continued, on and off, for 11 years. Sometimes, I was a pack-a-day smoker. Other times, I went for months without having one. I quit cold turkey the day I hacked up something in my bathroom sink that looked more like bird sh*t than it did anything that should come from a human body. It's now been 8 years since I've been an actual smoker, but I have been known to smoke a social stoge.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
  • I’ve never met my in-laws 17 of 25
    I've never met my in-laws
    My wife's family is religious, which has been cited by some of them as the reason they won't meet me. Their faith doesn't allow them to support our relationship, and Sara hasn't seen her parents in almost 2 years because of this. It's painful. But my faith allows me to believe that someday they will have a change of heart.
    Photo: rick
  • Caffeine and I do not get along 18 of 25
    Caffeine and I do not get along
    I am highly sensitive to caffeine. Anytime I drink coffee, without fail, it stays in my system for 12 hours. I get jittery to the point of uneasiness, sweaty, and embarrassingly talkative. It's no bueno.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
  • I’ve never seen an episode of the Jersey Shore 19 of 25
    I've never seen an episode of the Jersey Shore
    And I couldn't pick Kim Kardashian out of a line-up. In fact, I had to Google her name just to know how to spell it. Yet, somehow, pop culture finds its way into my life. Reality shows are the bane of our culture. They keep everyone just dumb and numb enough to not pay attention to the actual realities of the world. That being said, I love Glee.
    Photo: tedkerwin
  • I can drive a 5th-wheel 20 of 25
    I can drive a 5th-wheel
    I learnt me some good tah-lents when I was in that thar circus.
    Photo: Larry Page
  • I have a profound phobia of vomit 21 of 25
    I have a profound phobia of vomit
    Yes, I realize this means I will be nauseous for my entire pregnancy. And that's what I get for having this fear. It (the fear) has gotten so bad over the years that I've taught myself breathing methods to stop myself from vomiting. I got sick once from drinking when I was younger and never over-drank to that point again.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
  • Green peppers are the only food I don’t like 22 of 25
    Green peppers are the only food I don't like
    I used to also dislike raisins, but I got over that. Green peppers are just SO overpowering. No matter what dish they're in, they take over. And they repeat on you! (That's a fine little phrase a dear old lady used to describe burping) I'm good with all other peppers, red, yellow, orange, cubanelles, jalepenos, cherry peppers you name it! Just keep the green ones away.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
  • I am obsessed with natural red hair 23 of 25
    I am obsessed with natural red hair I remember being sad when I read a study a few years back that said red heads are going to be extinct in a few generations, that the recessive gene is dying off, or being overly overpowered, or something like that. The point was red heads won't be around forever. I can't imagine a world without them.
    Photo: fotologic
  • I can’t stand Pride parades or festivals 24 of 25
    I can't stand Pride parades or festivals
    Or really, anything outrageously tacky, which let's face it is exactly what Pride parades and festivals are. Don't get me wrong, I think these events are great for people who come from uber repressive towns/families/upbringings. It's great to be able to express yourself freely, and I'd never want to see Pride parades or festivals end. But can we maybe class them up a bit? Why do they always have to be about super-butch lesbians riding motorcycles? Or waxy, glittery men gyrating in a thong to techno music? SURELY, the gay community has more to offer than that! Why we continue to perpetuate the very stereotypes we complain hold us back is far beyond my understanding.
    Photo: 123RF Stock Photos
  • My middle name is Hill 25 of 25
    My middle name is Hill
    When Sara and I eloped in October, we decided to take my family name as our last and to take her family (and maiden) name as our middle. Since we both feel that shared names play a huge part in family recognition, and since hyphenated names aren't our thing, we made the decision to have the same middle and last name as each other. And we'll share this with our children, so they, too, will have Hill as their middle name, and Mass as their last.
    Photo: marc falardeau

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