7 Questions With … Claire, In Honor Of The Frisky’s 7th Birthday

It’s our birthday, bitch! This week, The Frisky turns seven years old, and I thought an appropriately navel-gazing way of acknowledging this momentous occasion would be to more formally introduce you to the seven women, including myself, who make up this new era of The Frisky. Over the course of the week — as Stassi Schroeder from “Vanderpump Rules” would say, it’s our birthday and we’ll celebrate it for as long as we want! — they’ll be answering a short little questionnaire I came up with and ordered them to take. I confessed to having the urge to steal, Rebecca shared what it’s like to work for a Pentecostal chiropractor, and Robyn admitted she wants to bite a tube of lipstick — now let’s see what Claire has to say for herself…

1. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had (since it’s safe to assume working at The Frisky is the best, do not deny it)?

I’ve had jobs in the past that I REALLY disliked – selling overpriced throw pillows to Upper East Side moms, cleaning men’s bathrooms in a Detroit motor shop, serving lukewarm coffee to yuppies – all things that I objectively didn’t enjoy doing. The one job I look back on most and think “NEVER AGAIN” was objectively SO much better than all that crap, yet I dreaded it the most – my two stints as a Broadway flyer girl in Times Square. A marketing company tasked me and my coworkers with promoting whatever Broadway show I was assigned to that day, and I was to troll tourists with flyers and a matching promotional show shirt. I was to one-up the Chicago promotional team at all (professional) costs, because THEIR employees were all decked out in sexy showgirl gear and clearly had an advantage, but that’s neither here nor there. Theoretically, it was one of the more awesome jobs I’ve had – I got paid to talk about theatre all day, my company gave me free tickets to every show I promoted, my coworkers were some of the most supportive and vibrant people I’d ever worked with, I got to be outside in the fresh air, and I got the free entertainment of hearing vacationing families get into heated arguments over absolutely nothing (Times Square has that effect, after all). I vividly remember making a visit to New York with my mom around age 13, and when I saw a woman hanging around discounted ticket booth in the Theatre District preaching to a fascinated audience of tourists about the plot of each show currently offered so they’d buy a ticket they’d like, I proudly proclaimed to my mother that someday, I too would move to New York City, and I would make money talking about Broadway just like that woman. Well, CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR. Despite all its perks, I grew to hate this job because no amount of money is worth standing out in the elements for seven-hour stretches and just TALKING to people, most of whom want nothing to do with you because you’ve been assigned to pester them. I love to talk, I’m bubbly and all that jazz, but at the end of the day I’m the kind of person (ahem, introvert) who needs a damn break to think more often than most (considering this was a job held only by actors and other performers, this was especially magnified). The lack of structure in our shifts made the time pass painfully slowly, and standing outside in ten-degree weather when winter came was brutal. I dealt with it by wearing earbuds hidden underneath my hair and bringing the occasional hidden stash of wine/rum under my coat in the winter.

2. Who would you pop culture best friend be? EXPLAIN.

Does this mean fictional characters or real people or both? We’ll just go with it. I am indecisive so I’m choosing two. The first would be Shoshanna Shapiro from “Girls.” Admittedly, I haven’t watched almost any of this most recent season, but that doesn’t matter, because Shosh circa 2011 and 2012 is the Shosh that has most of my heart anyway. Her “what’s a butt plug” dinner table disruption, her crackcident, her hilariously timed insistence that women should not be president, and her general earnestness make her one of my favorite people on TV. Oh, and I also love her for the fact that despite being an outright ridiculous person she has a way more rational understanding of the world than her friends, all of whom are older than her yet much bigger idiots. My second (and more treasured if I’m being honest) pop culture BFF would be Debbie from “Knocked Up,” played by the fabulous Leslie Mann. She shares my grim-but-perky world view, she listens to Oprah’s advice, and she’d make me laugh 24/7.

3. What are the five most random things on your bucket list?

  1. Happen upon a crime scene and be allowed to lift the police tape and casually breeze in badass style, like cops/lawyers/Dexter do on TV. Just once, TO KNOW WHAT IT FEELS LIKE.
  2. Fly on the Concorde jet if it’s ever resurrected, or fly on whatever future copycats turn up in its place.
  3. View the Northern Lights from an igloo at this place.
  4. Wade around in the Dead Sea.
  5. Hang out inside the Kennedy Compound in Hyannis Port (I’ll make them invite me SOMEHOW, okay?).

4. How much do you hate men? Explain.

UGH, MEN. Okay but actually, can men just please be nicer? Men, if a smaller percentage of you were terrible, it would be easier for me to avoid blaming all of humankind’s problems on you for sport when I’m pissed about being late for the train or my wifi going out or whatever. Let’s be real though, if you are terrible I will dislike you regardless of your sex/gender identity. And if you are NOT terrible, I will be cool with you regardless of your sex/gender identity. I would just REALLY love to see fewer men both in my own life and elsewhere doing icky things to good people and encounter more guys like the select few incredible, hardworking, kind men with integrity who are in my life.

5. What secret urge do you get but never act on?

The urge to make snide remarks to snooty parents who I see either (a) letting their children run rampant, deface property, walk barefoot on restaurant counters, and generally wreak havoc in a grownup-centered public space and then having the audacity to call it “cute,” which they know is a strategic move because then any poor fool who asks them to discipline their own kid risks looking like a child-hating monster for not also finding the fiasco “cute,” or (b) screaming (and I do not mean your average scolding, I mean VENOMOUS hateful shouting that has no place being directed at a child, the kind most people wouldn’t dare unleash in public if EVER) at their crying child in public, especially when dragging them along for a totally unnecessary task like casually browsing Williams-Sonoma in the middle of the afternoon, when the kid is clearly exhausted and bored and just wants to go HOME. I love kids, I DON’T love obnoxious grown-ups who treat their kids like accessories instead of people. I am not super hostile you guys, I SWEAR.

6. What would the people who know you best say are your best and worst personality traits so, ya know, Frisky readers can be prepared?

My good and bad traits are two sides of the same coin. I’m very emotionally driven, and I’m extremely susceptible to the moods in a room. A good side of this is that even when I’m going through things that are shitty or am working through a lot of sadness, most of the time it’s fairly easy for me to cheer myself up on a basic level until I have time to process the heavier stuff – I know what little things make me content and I like to cultivate them. I’m extremely empathetic and when someone I care about hurts, I feel a hefty chunk of pain too. When someone’s bullshitting me with faux feelings or manipulation, I see through that shit very quickly. The problem, though (and my worst trait!), is that in the process of all those FEELINGS, I’m not so fab at expressing my own needs. Once I catch a person bullshitting, I don’t always DO anything about the fact that they’re a manipulator. I just disengage from that person and if they’re just an acquaintance I stop spending time around them, which sometimes works just fine, but in more intertwined situations, what’s really needed is a big line in the sand or a confrontation, and I avoid that. I’m also terrible at telling the people I love most when they’ve unknowingly done something to hurt me, which then means I allow epic amounts of resentment to build over a situation that started out as no big deal. And just as I can cheer myself up easily, when I DON’T put effort into being aware of my mood, it’s very easy for me to big up on negativity in my environment. All it takes is too grey of a sky or too many cranky people sharing a space with me, and I can easily get down for no reason and waste a chunk of time sulking when I could be accomplishing things.

7. What is your dream blog post that you vow to actually write and publish during your time at The Frisky?

Well, I really want to write a long rant/essay about how creepy/naive/fruitless it is to idolize your parents’ marriage (trust, you don’t know anything about what it’s really like even if you grew up with it) and/or to worship your father (if you’re a straight woman) as the ideal man and go on and on about how no guy you date could ever measure up to Dear Old Daddy. There are so many varying levels of why I object to that, BUT, I want to end this questionnaire on a positive note (because being cranky is no fun!), SOOO. My dream/promise is that I will one day write a lengthy post about the joys of musical theatre AND an ode to the aspects of suburban life that are most mocked, because those are the wonderful parts of suburbia I miss most now that I’m living in the city.