"do I know you?" interview eleven: erica & cher s.

Fridays around here are going to be full of more awesome facebook friend interviews. "Do I Know You?" has been such fun for me, and I hope it has been for everyone else involved. I have gobs more completed interviews to post, so I'm calling Fridays the day for it, with a new interview posted each week. (If you answered the interview and haven't seen your post, don't fret, Babette. It'll be up soon.) If you'd like to see all of the previous interviews, just click here for a complete list. There will always be a tab at the top of the blog just under the title that you can click on to access the list of interviews any time.

One of these two gals was a birthday girl this week. The other gave birth to her. Both of those things are pretty outstanding to me, so this week's interviewees are my niece Erica and my sister Cher S. Of course the purpose of the interviews is to get to know friends from facebook that I might not otherwise know all that well. Obviously I know these two folks pretty darn well to begin with, but just like with each of the interviews before (including my parents'), knowing someone even an entire lifetime still doesn't make you an expert on them. I like the surprise of some of the answers. Cher's and Erica's answers helped even me know them a little better.

Now it's your turn to get to know them . . .

Erica S.
A few words about Erica: When trying to think of things to say about family members, it's a challenge to not swing the words too far into sap and sentimentality or be too silly and snarky. I'm going to try to not even think about any of that. Erica is precious. I mean, just spectacular. She is the only girl in a sibling group of four, and for seventeen years (until only two years ago) she was my one niece. I was there when she was born, sweet "baby E". She's quiet, and that gets confused for meaning a whole bunch of things it doesn't actually mean about her. But she has plenty to say, and I like to hear it. Erica is hilarious and so fast with her whit that you almost never see it coming. She hails from a long line of singers, but when she opens her mouth to sing herself it is uniquely Erica. She's never been one to push her way into limelight, but the tough thing about that is how long it sometimes takes for others to see you can shine. Shine she does. Erica just turned nineteen. She's a woman now. Tears fill my eyes just to type that, but she is. The older she gets the more I want to know her. I love her so, and I really, REALLY like her, too.
fuzzy faces of Erica and me a bazillion days ago
Cher S.
A few words about Cher: Good grief, what can I say? It is absolutely not dispensing of platitudes for me to say there is no other in one's life like a sister; simply no other relationship like it. Cher is my older sister and for a very, very long time she has been a dearest friend. I have always known that she loves me fiercely, that she is for me, that she is there for me. There's enough age difference between us that we were never in school together. We were never in competition with or against each other for anything. We've just always been the "Ross girls", the only daughters of Terry and Susan, and it's a kinship we both adore. She let me tag along (mostly) growing up, and her friends became my friends, too; our friends. We borrowed clothes from each other and still clean out our closets from time to time and take the loot to each other. It's difficult to adequately explain the ease of relationship I have with Cher as we continue to "grow up" and live our adult lives as women, wives, moms, and the thousand other roles in between. Just the other night I got off of the phone with her (which is rare because I loathe the phone and try never to talk on it...I know, I'm weird) and thought to myself how easy a conversation it was. The content is not always easy because life keeps throwing its punches, but the way we talk, the way we listen, is aging so well. We just get to be us. There aren't many places in the world like that, and it's priceless to me. Cher is so talented in countless ways. Some of the talents are right out there for the world to see like singing and acting, but these just scratch the surface of her abilities and giftings. She is funny - especially when telling a story - and smart. She is loyal and thoughtful and kind in so many ways. She has been a good wife to a good man for twenty-four years. She has raised - is raising - three sons and a daughter that are becoming phenomenal people. I could just go on and on, really. But at the end of the day what I think impresses me the most about Cher is that she is mine; my sister. In all of her other roles and titles no one else will ever call her "sister" but me. And I could never ask for one better. I love her.

Without any further ado, their interviews . . .

1. Occupation?

I am a hostess in the Savannah Room at the Georgia Center.
Cher: It depends on the day.  Most of the time I’m a mom and wife, but sometimes I pose as a music minister and a theatre actress.

2. How did we meet/how do we know each other?

Erica: I'm guessin' we met in the hospital after I was born. You're my favourite aunt, duh.
Cher: It was a dark night and all I know is I was whisked away in the middle of the night to go stay with my babysitter while my parents went to the hospital to have a party without me, from which they brought home a prize of a person called a sister.

3. Single or married?

Erica: Not single, not married.
Cher: It depends on the day. Ha! I’m married for almost 24 years.

4. What’s the greatest thing about being single or married?

Erica: Being single is for losers. Kidding. Being married sounds fun but Lord knows I'm not ready for that.
Cher: To know that someone really loves me, that there is somebody there for me, with me along the way.

5. What was your first vehicle?  Love it or hate it?  Why?

Erica: I may never know. *cries*
Cher: My first vehicle was a 1980s blue Oldsmobile.  I got it when I got married.  I didn't know any better so at first I loved it.  But when the ceiling fell and dust flew and the steering wheel started to smoke, I began to loathe it.  It didn't help that “Just Married” was permanently etched into the side of the car where shaving cream had eaten away the enamel on our wedding day. 

6. Beach or mountains? Why?

Erica: Beach. It's tradition and there's so much to do.
Cher: Beach because it is a place from our childhood, and because of the generosity of our grandparents allowing us to use their condo I’ve been able to take my children there basically their entire lives.  But I prefer the clothes you wear at the mountains.

7. Darkest time of your life?

Erica: The dark times seem to come and go but don't ever really go away. Since high school I've struggled with self harm and self esteem issues. I suppose junior and senior year was the darkest time though. Kids are brutal and going to school just made it harder to cope with what I was already feeling. I also was far from God at that point and dealt with things in ways I shouldn't have. Dark times still surround me sometimes and I feel so depressed and could easily slip back into the way I was in high school, but those times are temporary and God's always there to pick me back up when I fall. He's a constant light that just shines brighter when it gets gloomy.  
Cher: I don’t know that I have a darkest time.  Yes, I have had a lot of things happen to me in my life. I just think that my darkest times come when I lose focus so that when my head hits the pillow I am beating myself up and thinking negatively about myself or my life.

8. Happiest childhood memory?

Erica:  Haha seeing Raven Symone at Six Flags. It was one of the coolest things I ever got to do. But there are many memories from childhood that make me happy.  
Cher: Days when we would record songs and radio shows on the little red cassette tape recorder, pile on mom and dad’s bed, stay up late to watch Night Trax, even getting Jessi in trouble.  My happiest childhood memories always involve Jessi 

9. What would people be surprised or shocked to know about you?

Erica: People that I've opened up to have found it shocking that I was never really happy during high school because I was usually the dork making jokes and laughing. Really though there's nothing shocking about me, I'm usually pretty open.
Cher: That I’m shy.  Nobody believes that. And I adore cats.

10. What work of art (book, music, etc.) has heavily influenced you?  Why?

Erica: Ellie Goulding and Demi Lovato's music has changed my life. Ellie's music is so positive and just good, it makes me feel better and inspires me. Demi's music usually tells a story, some that I can relate to and it's such a help to know that I'm really not alone in how I feel sometimes and I can sing about my feelings without having to feel like I'm straight out of High School Musical.
Cher: I can’t go a day without music in general.  When I feel down or dark music is my go-to. I genuinely feel closest to God when I sing.

11. Favorite place you’ve traveled to? Why?

Erica: South Korea. I love the place and the people. I don't have a specific reason why I love it so much but I would go back in a heartbeat.
Cher: Amsterdam, Holland. Even though it was just for a whirlwind day, it whet my appetite to go back.

12. What brought you to the city you live in now?

Erica: My dad's job and switching to the school he teaches at.
Cher: My husband has taught school there for nearly 30 years, and we finally took the plunge to live there six years ago. We live in the "red light district": down the street with the only red light in our town.

13. What is your favorite trait about yourself?  Why?

Erica: I like that I'm funny. I'm usually really insecure but I know sometimes I'm dang funny and I love to make people laugh and laugh myself. I'm a female Jerry Seinfeld.
Cher: It depends on the day, for real. Sometimes I like to pride myself in being intuitive…

14. Vintage or brand new?

Erica: Vintage. I used to be so against it but now I'm like ayyyyy (Fonz voice)  
Cher: Vintage, or brand new and then I turn it into vintage.

15. Fill in the blank: It’s quiet and no one is around.  I think I will __________.

Erica: . . . walk around the house singing like I'm performing for a huge crowd and/or blast all my embarrassing music that I would otherwise get made fun of for.
Cher: . . . sing.

16. What would you describe as one of your biggest triumphs in life?

Erica: Overcoming self harm and graduating. Two things that no one really thinks twice about were two of the biggest obstacles in my life. I honestly thought I wouldn't make it to graduation because of how dark I thought things were.
Cher: Probably that I have been married as long as I have and that I have four kids that are seemingly great people and don’t need therapy…yet.

17. City or country?

Erica: City.
Cher: I love the city, but I prefer to live in the country.

18. If today was your last, what three things would you do?

Erica: Spend all my money on a plane ticket somewhere with the people I love and eat sushi till I want to vomit.  
Cher: I would want to be with ALL of my family. I would want to listen to good music, maybe even family singing together. I would like to hold Eric’s hand while I die.

19. Fast food or “just say no”?

Erica: Sometimes you just need a huge heap of extra salty fries from McDonalds.  
Cher: Oh, yeah, I gotta have a little bit of both in my world.

20. If you got a tattoo (or another one) what would it be?

Erica: The next tattoo I want is Micah 7:8. "Though I fall, I shall rise; though I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be my light." 
Cher: It would be a big ol’ tramp stamp.  No.  I could never get a tattoo.  I’m afraid of needles.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous6:24:00 PM

    Double love this post. I love you, Blondie. Keep writing.



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