Frisky Reader Revealed: It’s A Pleasure With Vanessa

Hands down, the best thing about working at The Frisky is our amazing readers. We so heart all of your witty, thoughtful, and informative comments — heck, we even appreciate the mean ones. Sometimes, we can’t help but wonder about the faces behind the avatars. So we decided to bring back our regular column where we learn all about a Frisky reader. After the jump, meet Vanessa!

(And if you’re interested in being featured as a Reader Revealed, shoot me an email with “Reader Revealed” in the subject line!)

Please state your name, age and location for The Friskyverse.

Vanessa Saxton, aged 36, and Grove City, Pennsylvania.

How did you find the site? 

I found this site through an “online friend,” I guess you could say. Several years ago finding myself at a crossroads, I remember longing for my childhood. I did an online search for the book series Sweet Valley High, and found writer and blogger Robin Hardwick’s page titled, “The Dairi Burger,” which gave re-caps of the teen book series. I followed her blog religiously, and thought everything she wrote was pure gold. At some point in her blogging she mentioned that she was a guest contributor on The Frisky, which I quickly began reading, and the rest is history.

What do you do all day, other than follow The Frisky, which is totally condoned? 

In between reading The Frisky, I teach 8th-graders to read, analyze, and interpret literature. I am an 8th-grade reading specialist at a public school. I model the importance of becoming a lifelong reader, and I have a daily ritual of reading during my “down time,” which is a total misnomer because there is never any down time with middle school kiddos. The Frisky is part of my daily reading repertoire, and my students are fully aware of my addiction to this site.

What is your fave post in recent Frisky history?

My favorite post in Frisky history has got to be the post about Diet Coke. It was titled “The Social History of Diet Coke.” I was a huge Diet Coke fan until I learned it was bad for you. :-( I  have cut down my consumption, and instead I began making my own sugar free, chemical-free sparkling water. You probably didn’t need to know that last part.

I have to say although I love the Diet Coke article, I really enjoyed Robin’s article about Sweet Valley High. (She was Robin Hershkowitz at the time). So it’s a toss up between the Diet Coke and Sweet Valley articles.

What are your pop culture guilty pleasures?

Kim, Kourtney, and Khloe. Yes, I keep up with the Kardashians!

Can you share your most embarrassing dating story? We always share ours. It’s only fair. 

See, this is hard because I am a serial monogomist. I don’t really date. After being in a relationship for 11 years (and getting dumped in the worst way possible), I quickly got back into another long-term relationship that has lasted two years now, and will probably result in marriage. I have been very lucky in love.

I would say my most embarrassing date was quickly after I graduated college. I had a degree in both Journalism and English and I wasn’t sure I wanted to become a teacher because of the political nonsense I witnessed. So I met up with a former professor of mine for coffee and to kind of go over some life goals. At this point I was 29 and he was in his early 40s. I felt really good about our meeting so we decided to make this a weekly thing. We ended up meeting at a bar after we had already made this a routine meeting. I had mentioned I was going to see a friend at an open mike night and this professor said he’d love to go and asked if we could sit together. He ordered me a drink from the bar and before I knew it I drank 3 vodkas in an hour. He then took me out to get something to eat because I was beyond tipsy and couldn’t drive home. He then leaned in to kiss me and I pushed him away and it was so embarrassing because I was so confused at what had just happened. He told me he thought he knew we were dating and I had no idea he thought that. I was a bit naiive and since I never really dated I didn’t realize that a lot of guys, even the ones you thought you could trust, could be jerks.

Needless to say that was the last time we hung out. Then, two years ago I saw him at a poetry reading at my alma mater. He completely ignored me. At the reading I met a guy who asked me out and I declined. He was not my type and I just didn’t see it going anywhere because I was interested in someone else (my current boyfriend). I did end up accepting a date with this guy because he would not leave me alone. We went out to dinner, he was weird, I didn’t like him at all but he was very into me. I never heard from him again after that night. I later found out that this professor told him I was psychotic and to stay away from him.

So the professor story is probably my most embarrassing dating experience. It’s probably not typical in any way shape or form, but I guess I am not typical either.

Do you consider yourself a feminist? Why or why not? 

I definitely consider myself a feminist. I believe women should be treated equally in every way. Sadl,y I feel as though I get a lot of negative feedback regarding my beliefs. I am not afraid to speak my mind, but when I do I feel as though I am labeled “irrational” or “bossy,” or “some crazy feminazi,” which I absolutely cannot stand.

If The Frisky staff came over for dinner, what would you serve us?

I would love for the staff at my favorite webzine to come to my house for dinner. When can I expect you? The offer is open for anyone at your office who is ever in the Western PA / Pittsburgh area! I love to cook. I would probably make something fun and comfort-foody with a unique twist. To entertain the staff of The Frisky, I would probably do small plates of fun foods. We would start with a veggie platter of raw and grilled vegetables.I would make an array of gourmet sandwiches: gourmet grilled cheese with a side of homemade tomato soup to dip, turkey burgers with white Vermont cheddar, ABC sandwiches (apple, turkey bacon, cheddar) grilled sandwiches, Monte Cristo sandwiches. I would make homemade baked french fries, homemade chips with homemade french onion dip. (Nearly everything I make is homemade from scratch). For dessert we would have your choice of carrot cake with cream cheese frosting, Oreo cupcakes, or double chocolate chip cake (all from scratch).

What type of skivvies do you have on right now?

I am wearing Hanes boy cut shorts. I was out of town in November and forgot to pack underwear. Who does that, right? So I ran to Walmart to pick up whatever they had. I bought Hanes boy cut shorts because they promised to be “wedgie-free.” They are. I have fully converted to this style and brand.

What is your secret talent?

Making icing from scratch. I don’t know why it’s so good, but it is. I am famous for my icing in these parts.

What’s an amazing book or or movie that Frisky readers absolutely must get their hands on right now?

This is probably the most difficult question because I am a reading specialist! Books are my life!  I would have to say Justina Chen Headley’s North of Beautiful is a book everyone should read. It’s beautiful in every way possible and does not get the recognition it deserves.

The best movie would have to be the most recent one I watched on Netflix. It was called “Stuck in Love.” It was so good in so many ways and like the above mentioned book it did not get the recognition I felt it deserved.

Which celeb would you most want to get in bed with? Which celeb would you most want to marry?

As a kid I only ever had one star struck crush and it was Jonathan Brandis. Sadly, he died. I would love to bed P. Diddy. I don’t know what it is but I find him to be unbelievably sexy. If I were to marry a celebrity I would have to say David Conrad from “Ghost Whisperer. He’s absolutely gorgeous and I have had sort of a crush on him for years. Plus he’s from my hometown, so I think he would “get” me.

What’s something you hope to see more of on The Frisky? 

The Frisky is great, so keep doing what you are doing! However, I think a cool addition would be a “best blog” feature. I find blogs way after they have been around for awhile and I wonder why I never heard of them before. Some of my favorites are Robin Hardwick’s blog, and then I just recently found My San Francisco Kitchen. There are so many awesome blogs out there, but it takes awhile to root through the bad ones to find the good. If you are looking for a contributing writer to do this then I am your lady!

If you would like to be featured in Frisky Reader Revealed, email [email protected] with “Reader Revealed” in the headline.