Announcing My New Blog Series: COOL PEOPLE I KNOW

I found this meme on Facebook the other day, and I screen-grabbed it immediately. In one sentence, it sums up how I live. You see, as an ENFP, I believe everyone has an interesting story, from every walk of life — from CEOs to ex-cons. I’m at my most hyper-focused when getting to know a total stranger. This is why my grade school friends have christened me “The White Oprah.” I don’t mean to interview people, but it’s like breathing for me. They fuel my curiosity.

The Meme That Best Describes Me

The Meme That Best Describes Me

Cool People I Know: My friend Rohita Shah, born in Zambia, now owner of an award-winning Mathnasium in Wisconsin, with 1 new Brookfield location opening soon.

Cool People I Know: My friend Rohita Shah, born in Zambia, now owner of an award-winning Mathnasium in Wisconsin, with 1 new Brookfield location opening soon.

I have to wonder if my genuine interest in people is somehow invisibly telegraphed when I’m out in the world. My friends have all witnessed it. Total strangers love to ask me for directions, how to fix their iPhone, or whether they should buy the outfit they’re trying on in a department store. No, I’m not arrogant enough to think my opinion matters one iota, but it’s weirdly consistent that they do. This bizarre people-magnet vibration I exude might explain why, when I merely entered an empty gas station to pay for my petrol — literally saying nothing but my pump number to the cashier — she unburdened herself, sharing the story of her recent abortion. Or why, when I went to the DMV with Darlene, my BFF since kindergarten, I knew all about the DMV eye examiner man’s divorce during the 5 minutes of getting my test. Or why I leave restaurants more often than not with the phone number or email address of the waitress or waiter to follow up on some conversation. I consider it an honor and privilege that someone trusts me to listen to them. I don’t judge. I just listen. I think people appreciate that someone is actually present and in the moment with them in this distracted, ADD world where they are accustomed to getting ignored.

When I first met Dave, he was extremely nervous about exposing me to the massive enclave of fandom at his San Diego Comic-Con booth. He needn’t have worried. I thrived on it. Unlike introverts who find it a psychic drain to deal with the public, I get energized by being around people. They recharge my batteries. Today, 16 years later, those San Diego fans visit our home, chat with me at least three times a week on Facebook private messages, and have become some of my best friends. I feel blessed to have met these many interesting people from literally around the world, whose paths I would never have crossed in my ordinary, Northern Illinois life.

An apt description of ENFP's.

An apt description of ENFP’s.

As women, we all have stories of telling our spouses about their friends’ medical issues and life dramas, as our spouses look on dumbfounded, replying, “He never told me anything about that!” But I take it about three steps further. I walk away knowing about their UFO encounters, their politics, and their funniest pranks. My conversations with people are always organic. I never know where they’ll meander, but they’re always interesting. As I was interviewing a VP on Friday for a B2B article on his company, I learned all about his Chicago cop relatives, and their take on the current gang situation in Chicago. It was a counterintuitive perspective I could never have guessed, and it became fodder for my hands-and-feet card game last night on the Mag Mile (And btw, GO CUBS!!!! FTW!!!).

So…aside from the ghostwriting I do in my career, I’m starting a new series on my blog, maybe once a week, called “Cool People I Know.” These interviews will be with people from all walks of life, and you will learn things you would never have guessed, about topics you probably have never considered before. I hope you have as much fun reading them as I have doing the interviews! Let me know, okay?

So I guess my Myers-Briggs score explains my career choice...

My Myers-Briggs score explains my career choice…

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My Top 10 List of 2016 Un-Resolutions

While on January 1st many of you were listing the multitude of ways in which you would become A BETTER YOU in 2016, I remained a committed contrarian (why am I not surprised?, you say to yourself…). Here’s a 2016 List of my Top 10 Outstanding, Remaining Imperfections. I resolve that all of these will remain unchanged in the coming year:

  1. Saying David Byrne every time I mean David Lynch (I’m watching Twin Peaks right now for the first time, so this is a constant source of aggravation for Dave Dorman).
Byrne...Lynch...what's the diff?

  Byrne…Lynch…what’s the diff?

2. Ironing. The ban remains in place. There’s no upside to making things look worse than they did when I started out. Those dry cleaners need to make a living, too, you know. When I read Washington Post publisher Kay Graham’s autobiography, she lamented that she never learned to iron properly. Contrarily, I have no regrets.

I completely understand why so many 1950s wives drank Manhattans...

I completely understand why so many 1950s wives drank Manhattans into oblivion…

3. Loading the dishwasher to Dave’s satisfaction…because I AM right about my method.

World peace will never occur until we all agree on how to load a dishwasher.

World peace will never occur until we all agree on how to load a dishwasher.

4. Confusing Ricky Martin music with Marc Anthony music. Thank God for my music brain, Christine Davis. I just hum a few bars and she corrects me.

My smart, beautiful music brain.

    Christine Davis: My smart, beautiful music brain.

5. Being a toilet paper Nazi. I will continue to change other households’ toilet paper rolls so they are in the correct waterfall position.

An unintended consequence of bad toilet paper management.

An unintended consequence of bad toilet paper management.

6. The sophomoric poop humor in our household will not only maintain its current level of stupidity, it will likely escalate in 2016. During my 11-year-old’s recent bout of pneumonia, he coined the new household phrase, “I carted,” which means, “I coughed and farted at the same time.” It’s similar to a “shart,” but not quite. He often shows these hopeful signs of having a preponderance of my genes…

7. My piss-poor math skills. I’m no mathlete, and I have no plans to change that. I can never remember the sum of 8+6 nor 8+5. I can remember 8+4 and 8+7. Ridiculous, right? That synapse in my brain just doesn’t fire, and I end up counting on my fingers. And yes, one of my best friends does own a Mathnasium chain, but she loves me regardless.

God Bless Rohita for steadfastly continuing to be my friend.

   God bless Rohita for steadfastly being my friend.

8. My techno-tardedness. There’s a black cloud hovering over me when it comes to technology. From the GPS on my SUV to the ROKU I got for Christmas (and why does there need to be an HDMI1 and HDMI2 — why not just have a button on the remote that says “Cable TV” and a button that says “Jack’s dumb X-Box”? When I am Queen, things will be different!) to my inability to figure out my iTunes library and download a shared book on my iPad, I am doomed. I’ve even managed to stump the FitBit tech support folks!

A snippet of our lengthy correspondence....

A snippet of my lengthy correspondence with the folks at FitBit….

9. My ADD. Since my unexplained, weirdly allergic reaction in the hospital caused a brief episode of V-Tach (and I’m told it could have killed me), I’ve been banned from taking my beloved ADD meds. I’m working on amending this ban, as it was clearly an anomalous confluence of events, but I admit I rather enjoy the random, creative daydreams I have several minutes of every hour. On the ADD meds, they just came quicker. However, I’ve noted that Dave doesn’t enjoy me daydreaming while he’s trying to tell me something.

I miss you, old friend. The three pots of coffee I drink daily just can't take the place of you...

I miss you, old friend. The three pots of coffee I drink daily just can’t take the place of you…

10. Performing micro surgery every time I eat a chicken breast. Those random, ugly red veins, remaining snippets of chicken skin, and God forbid, bones!, may be invisible to the rest of the world, but to those of us with bird phobias, they are nauseating. And if you try to slip ground turkey or turkey bacon into my diet, I will unfriend you. Fried turkey bacon smells like wet dog hair to me. Want to test my love for you? See if I will make you anything with foul, or stuff your turkey. I’d have to really love you to perform that miracle.

See that red speck on the left? Yeah...I won't eat that. I would surgically remove it.

See that red speck on the left? Yeah…I won’t eat that. I would surgically remove it first.

So how about you? What are your Top Un-Resolutions in 2016?