Suzanne Grieco Mattaboni is a fiction writer, essayist, poet, singer and corporate communications writer living in the Lehigh Valley, eastern Pennsylvania. Suzanne is the author of Excuse Me, Waitress, Is That New Jersey? an ’80s-themed coming-of-age novel (women’s fiction – a FictFest and “Page 70 Pitch” winner), and the middle grade novel Taco Girl (a Pitch Madness winner). She was featured in the anthology “Chicken Soup for the Soul – Miraculous Message from Heaven” (October, 2013). Suzanne currently has a short story series on the online literary site Channillo.com, called A Run In My Tights.
Suzanne’s work has appeared in Seventeen, Newsday, Guideposts.com, Mysterious Ways, Child, Turtle, Humpty Dumpty’s, The Best of LA Parent, Long Island Parenting, Long Island Weddings, and a host of high tech trade magazines. She is a past winner of Seventeen magazine’s Art and Fiction Contest and a National Council of Teachers of English Award. She’s currently the Area Six Representative for the statewide Pennwriters group (Philadelphia/Lehigh Valley).
In the spirit of confessionalism (I just made up that term. My prerogative), I will share 25 Random Things About Me.
1) The guy who took me out on my first official date asked my mother out first.
2) I love irreverent novels like Tom Robbins’ and Douglas Adams’ and will find the time to write one of my own. Who else can build a story around a girl who lives in a box of cigarettes in an attic with a woodpecker? Seriously – read Jitterbug Perfume. Time will stop for you.
3) I did not truly fit into adult-size shoes until I was 23.
4) I attended the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute for one semester.
5) I can only say the names of certain foods with an Italian accent. That’s just the way my family taught them. Almost all the Italian words I learned as a kid had to do with food.
6) I make a brief and fairly unrecognizable appearance in the video for Buster Poindexter’s now-timeless wedding conga-line anthem, “Hot-Hot-Hot.”
7) I won “Miss Nassau County Fair” when I was six. I was the only kid not in a dress. Rather, I was at a park learning to ride a bike, wearing dirty shorts and sneakers (I fell a lot), and the pageant was going on in a nearby trailer. My mother grabbed an application and signed me up. Girls were bawling and petrified in frilly dresses and such, and I was just, there. I was the only one brave enough to yell “HELLO EVERYBODY!” to the audience.
8) The first time I fell in love (and I mean love love love love LOVE), I was all of 15 years-old. Overwhelming.
9) I jumped on my bed until I was 21.
10) I broke my bed (jumping on it) when I was 18,
and my mother refused to buy me a new one. I slept on a fold-out foam chair for half my senior year of high school.
11) I’ve known my husband since we were in math class together in seventh grade. We dated on and off since eleventh grade, sometimes seeing other people and sometimes not, and got married a decade later. Some people think this is crazy. Some think it’s cool in a Harry-Met-Sally-kind-of-way. It worked for us. We didn’t miss a thing.
12) I can drive a stick shift.
13) I wore one of the dresses in the “27 Dresses” wacky dress montage in a wedding years ago.
It was cute at the time.
14) My desk looks like the messiest one in the universe, but I know exactly where everything is at all times, so it doesn’t need to be neat. Until recently, I’d been able to put a file into my desk in no particular order whatsoever, not touch it for three years, and still remember exactly where that file is and what’s in it. I don’t alphabetize. I don’t color code. I don’t chart, except for other people’s benefit. And I have an outrageous work ethic, of which people have taken advantage for years.
15) I always wanted to be a blonde. No such luck.
16) My daughter is almost a blonde. Lucky thing. She has since become a redhead. Another thing I can’t do.
17) I was surprised in so many ways to learn about my grandparents and great grandparents and how many things that I spookily have in common with them. I had a great grandmother who used to make a living by selling her long, cool black Sicilian hair to make wigs. My grandfather had this almost photographic memory and used to count cards for the Mafiosas in New York City when he was a teenager, when he needed money to support his 11 brothers and sisters. My other grandfather rose to be partner on Wall Street by never allowing himself to have an “allowable” overage in any of his books – if something wasn’t right, he recalculated until he figured out where every penny was. Oh, yes, and my grandmother says that she and my grandfather and their brothers- and sisters-in-law always went everywhere together, laughing the whole time, and were always the loudest table anywhere they went.
18) There’s a rumor that Richard Grieco the actor is my cousin, on my father’s side, the side where nobody speaks to anyone else because they’re all mad at each other, so I can’t confirm it. But supposedly . . .
19) I’ve been to the top of the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower, seen the Mona Lisa, lived across the street from Harrod’s department store in London, walked through the red light district in Amsterdam, played with friends in an international Ultimate Frisbee tournament in Germany, drank in pubs in Edinburgh and Dublin, climbed ruins at Chichen Itza, and went scuba diving in Cancun. I think that covers it. Unless you count THE INCREDIBLE HULK roller coaster at Universal Studios, Orlando. (My son does.)
20) In my prime, I used to be able to hold a big, loud singing note for like a 22-count. I’ve sung solo in a Scottish accent in front of 300 or so people at a time. And I was murdered on stage once. More like 20 times, actually. Three times per weekend. Also, I can hit the high note in Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” … Can too.
21) I can recite the Preamble of the Constitution from memory. (Thank you, Schoolhouse Rock from the 1970s.)
22) I once got thrown out of Summers on the Beach, a bar on Dune Road in the Hamptons, for smacking a guy across the face who had literally bitten me on my rear end. While in my bikini.
23) When I was 12 years-old, my hair was so short (curse you, Dorothy Hamill!) and I was so physically tiny that people mistook me for a 10-year old boy, even though I wanted to look like Kelly Garrett from Charlie’s Angels.
24) My parents are still married. And I had two grandparents who were living large into their mid and late 90s, in Arizona. Amazingly lucky. I am not afraid of dying young.
25) I never had a single cavity in my teeth until I was 25.
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!