I am a Food Evangelist, pressing recipes on my friends until they cry for mercy (click here for my salsa, salad dressing and pasta sauces).
The longest I’ve managed to stay on a diet can be counted in hours and on one hand.
I am terrified of making phone calls to people I don’t know, even if it’s to get my washer repaired or my teeth cleaned.
I once successfully gave up drinking for three days until my children and husband begged me to just have one beer.
I have been kept alive, literally and figuratively, by the affection and support of my family and friends, whose sum total is my proudest boast and matters much more to me than my bank balance or intelligence quotient.
More on Sheila Curran
To make money I've written grants, waited tables, tended bar and worked in the admissions office at an alcoholic treatment center. I have two children, a Master's degree in Comparative Literature, a standard poodle who gets suicidal when I leave the house, and an annoying habit of either talking-too-much-while-speaking-too-loud or having absolutely nothing to say, sometimes within the same five minutes. If 1950s children had been tested for their sense of direction, I’d have been institutionalized at a tender age, which would have made for a great memoir, but nixed the happy childhood, the serial wardrobe of plaid, pleated Catholic school outfits, and many other aspects of growing up in a loud, loving family that moved too often.
I am the sixth of ten children. My father's job, first as a fighter pilot and then a professor, meant we moved a lot. Eight times in eighteen years -- to be exact -- which may account for the extraordinarily closeness of the extended Curran clan, as well as our openness to new ideas. If moving does nothing else, it certainly shakes you loose of pre-conceived notions. I remember moving from Athens, Georgia to Youngstown, Ohio in ninth grade, and quickly discovering my Southern rules for social life weren't going to work too well in an urban, ethnic Midwestern city.
Solidifying my fate as a rolling stone who desperately yearned for moss, I met my husband, an aspiring academic, in college. Despite my fantasy of staying put, I followed him to graduate school in Chicago and then to various teaching jobs in New York, Virginia, Boston, Arizona, England, and Florida.
As an Air Force Brat, and then Trailing Spouse, I've observed the many ways one's identity can shift depending on random circumstance and networks of support from friends and family.