Sunday, December 18, 2005

A 12 year-old girl, e-mail forwards, and my Seven 7's

When my family first got e-mail when I was 12, I was in a group of about 8 girls who e-mailed back and forth. We gave personal updates by e-mail, but mainly we swapped forwards and surveys. Over the months I accumulated (digital) files upon files of e-mail forwards with touching poems, heartwarming stories, and funny pictures that I could not do without.

I enjoyed the pretty pictures people had created using only a qwerty keyboard, and I enthusiastically perpetuated the "virtual snowball fight" that came my way. My e-mail life was deeply changed with every inspirational poem or testimony I read, and I automatically hit forward like any dutiful middle school e-mailer. My friends knew they were my friends because of the cute teddy bear I forwarded them; I knew they were my friends when they followed the instructions at the end of the e-mail to send it back to me. I proclaimed my faith by forwarding "Jesus Loves You" e-mails, not daring to not send them on, since that would be "denying my faith", as the end of the e-mail threatened. I also stopped the spread of untold numbers of viruses by warning my friends of their existence. I helped raise money for cancer research, for poor people in Africa, and for orphans in the Amazon. I was one busy humanitarian, all with the click of my mouse.

. . . And the chain letters that promised rewards. I did become dubious of those relatively quickly, after my forwards did not yield 70 postcards from around the world, $100, a free trip to Disney, or a partridge in a pear tree. Some of them were hoaxes, no doubt, but they couldn't have all been fake!

Microsoft never even followed through with their promises of cash for every friend who I forwarded their e-mail to, and each person my friends forwarded my e-mail to, and each person those people forwarded their e-mails to, on down the line. Hey, I knew my math, and I could work exponentials. There was tons of cash to be had using this payment method, but not a penny did I receive, even after all the trouble I went to in helping Microsoft test their new e-mail tracking software. Believe me, when my brother starts working for them in February, I'll make sure he gets old accounts settled.

Then there were the surveys. . . I think in the course of about one year I filled out every survey known to man (er, middle-school girls) at that time. I've always loved sharing personal information in a question-and-answer format, so I reveled in all the surveys that came my way, even writing a few myself - the lengthier the better. I spent hours and hours filling surveys out and reading them, until I realized how much of a time-waster they were and how similar they were all starting to look :). It must have been about the time I answered the question "What is your favorite entree?" for the umpteenth time that I started thinking:

You know what? This is getting old. Everyone I am sending this to already knows my favorite entree (umpteenth times over) as well as my favorite side dish and dessert, and they know that I prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate or white.

It suddenly occurred to me that I didn't have to fill out another survey; the world would keep spinning, the birds would continue their tweeting, my computer would still deliver my e-mail, and my friends could even deal with not knowing the answer to the single, solitary new question on the latest survey. I've often wondered since then if Lydia, Angel, Brooke, Jessica, Christy, Sarah, or Sarah ever led a harder childhood because they never found out whether I put on my shoes and socks in a sock-shoe-sock-shoe order, or a sock-sock-shoe-shoe order. I can only assume they have forgiven me.

Okay, but in all seriousness, I did outgrow my excessive e-mail forwards phase after a while, and I can look back on it now with a laugh. I've since that time sent on very few e-mail forwards and filled out very few surveys. I've nicely reformed my e-mail habits, thanks to a few sessions of e-mail forwarders anonymous (EFA).

My name is Susan, and I am an e-mail forwardaholic.

A part of me still loves to fill out surveys, though. I admit to liking those online quizzes that calculate your IQ, personality, or the character you are most like from a book or movie. Mind you, I don't go around searching for them on a regular basis, but if someone links to one I am apt to take it.

I'm Peter in the Chronicles of Narnia, by the way.

The umpteenth identical e-mail survey sent to the same friends is pretty pointless, but I think a good, basic, short survey is a good way to get to know people. That is why I was glad when Lydia Hayden tagged me in the "Seven 7's" survey. I'd seen the survey on a few other blogs and thought it looked interesting, so without further ado, here are my seven 7's (some of these shameless stolen from Lydia).

Seven 7's

Seven things I hope to do before I die:

Have a more disciplined lifestyle
Have a meek and quiet spirit
Practice a consistent, meaningful quiet time with the Lord each day
Be wed to a godly man and raise godly seed
Live to see my children's children serving the Lord and raising up godly seed
Mentor young women
Create a home environment that is warm and inviting, and practice hospitality as a lifestyle

Seven things I cannot do well:

Play sports
Be spontaneous
Fake my emotions
Tell a lie
Be really confontational in person
Drive a stick shift ;)
Hold my tongue

Seven things that would attract me to my future husband:

Tall stature (at least 5'10" but over 6' would be better)
Love of the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength
Intelligent (especially in the fields of math, science, and theology)
A gentleman in dress and manner
Down-to-earth (can laugh at himself and acknowledge when he's wrong)
Understands and holds to sound Biblical doctrine
Has a vision for his life and his family and wants a whole lot of kids :)

Seven things I say often:

"Right. . . "
"Isn't math wonderful?"
"Does that make sense?" (tutoring situations)
"Why?" (tutoring situations, getting students to clarify their reasoning)
"That's another one of my soapboxes. . . "
"But I digress. . . "
"There's nothing I would rather do."

Seven authors, books, or series I love:

Bible (especially Genesis, Romans, I and II Corinthians, Phillippians, and Hebrews)
Elisabeth Elliot (especially The Mark of a Man)
Elizabeth Prentiss - Stepping Heavenward
Corrie ten Boom (especially The Hiding Place)
L.M. Montgomery (especially the Anne books and the Story Girl books)
Jane Austen - any and all of her writings
Louisa May Alcott (especially An Old-Fashioned Girl)

Seven movies I watch over and over again:

The Andy Griffith Show (Do tv shows count?)
Pride and Prejudice (1995)
Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea
The Lord of the Rings trilogy
(extended editions, of course)
The Sound of Music
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Seven people I want to do this (in alphabetical order, of course):

Mrs. B

Those without blogs, feel free to comment to this post instead. Anyone else who would care to participate can share their responses in the comments section.


Hannah :-) said...

I didn't know non-bloggers were allowed in on this thing. ;-)

Seven 7's

Seven things I hope to do before I die:

-Have a more disciplined lifestyle
-Develope a humble, selfless spirit
-Practice a consistent, meaningful quiet time with the Lord each day
-Learn French, Spanish, Chinese, Greek, Hebrew, and Sign Language (this doesn't have to be likely, does it?)
-Visit underground house churches in China, visit or live in countries in Africa, Europe, and Asia.
-Make an impact wherever the Lord places me
-Learn to play the guitar

Seven things I cannot do well:

-Talk to people
-Control my emotions, outwardly or inwardly (namely anger, jealousy, bitterness, grumpiness)
-Tell a lie (I always lose at poker)
-Hold judgement, especially when I see the way people handle their money
-Be content
-Pray continually
-Take correction

Seven things that would attract me to my future husband:

Hahaha, well, considering I don't want to get married... but I'll fill this out anyway...

-Love of the Lord with all his heart, soul, mind, and strength
-Giving of his money and time
-Outgoing and able to discern (since I'm neither)
-Teachable and able to teach and lead me
-Understands and holds to sound Biblical doctrine
-Loves music (not necessarily playing or singing well) and being active (sports-wise; running, etc.)

Seven things I say often:

-"I want to move to Narnia!"
-"I want to move to China."
-"I want to live in a tree." (always after reading My Side of the Mountain)
-"I want to live in the country."
-"I love French!"
-"People are so weird."
-"I'm so stupid."

Seven authors, books, or series I love:

-Bible (especially Lamentations, the Gospels, Hebrews)
-Revolution in World Missions (get it free at!)
-Tortured for Christ (and others by Richard Wurmbrand)
-The Hiding Place (and others by Corrie ten Boom)
-God's Smuggler (and others by Brother Andrew)
-L.M. Montgomery (the Anne books and the Story Girl books)
-Heroes of the Faith books
Wow, that's 7 already...

Seven movies I watch over and over again:
(these are the same as yours, Susan)

-The Andy Griffith Show (Do tv shows count?)
-Pride and Prejudice (1995)
-Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea
-The Lord of the Rings trilogy (extended editions, of course)
-The Sound of Music
-Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (that even fits with the '7's' theme!)

Seven people I want to do this (in alphabetical order, of course):

I guess this part isn't for a non-blogger. :-)

zan said...

Susan, I am honored. You thought of me :) I got to think about this one for a minute.

Seven 7's

Seven things I hope to do before I die:

-Raise Godly children
-Visit Ireland
-Be a more organized, hard working wife.
-Have regular personal and family devotions
-Have a house in the country with a barn, perhaps, and some goats and chickens.
-Write a book (not sure if it would be a novel or self help book. right now I am not qualified to really give any real advice, but it would be cool to write a book.)
-Learn to speak a different language (french, spanish or gaelic)

Seven things I cannot do well:

-Argue my point
-Be organized
-Decorate the home, originally
-Pray continually
-Hold my temper
-Keep secrets (so anyone reading this, never tell me anything in confidance!)

Seven things that would attract me to my future husband:

Since I am already married I will tell you what attracts me to him.

-No improper pride (I stole that from Pride and Prejudice.)
-Blue eyes
-Incredible kindness, gentleness and understanding
-Stubborness (this is actually a good trait, especially for me who can be persuaded one way or the other very easily.)
-The way he provides for my every need by working and making me so proud of him.
-His Christian faith. I think it is stronger than mine. Probably because he has been through a lot mor than I have.
-His height. ( I never thought I would marry someone tall, but I just love the fact that he towers over me. It is also very helpful to have a walking stepladder around for my convenience.

Seven movies I watch over and over again:

-The original Star Wars
-Anne of Green Gables and the Sequel
-Lord of the Rings Triology (extended version)
-Holiday Inn
-The Quiet Man
-Friendly Persuasion
-Pride and Prejudice (though I haven't seen it in 2 yrs. Not my husband's favorite movie. I used to watch it all the time when I was single.

zan said...

I forgot.

Seven things I often say:

-"Go be a little man," (you have to know me to understand my baby talk to my son. My husband doesn't understand a lot of what I say to my toddler.)
-"I'm hungry."
-"No,no, no" (talking to my son again)
-"You listen to me the first time!"(my son, again)
-"no touch" (you see a pattern developing?)
-"Mommy gonna be right back"
-"Not now, honey, mommy is sooo tired." (yep, basically those are what I say the most now. I'm sure mothers can relate.)

Seven books, authors...

-Charlotte Bronte (Jane Eyre)
-Emily Bronte (Wuthering Heights)
-William Shakespeare (Henry V)
-Jane Austen (especially "Persuasion")
-L.M. Montgomery (especially the "Pat" series.
-Ann Coulter (especially "Slander")
-The Bible (especially the four gospels)

(The above was a hard section for me because there are so many books I love to read.)

Susan said...

I was wondering what happened to the other two sections, Zan. Glad you realized you forgot them :). The book section was the hardest for me too, since I could have easily made a list of my 77 favorite books :).

My name is Susan Garrison and I am a bibliophile.

I like the L.M. Montgomery's Pat books also, and can relate a lot to Pat. A few years ago I got into reading all of LMM's lesser works.

Mrs.B. said...

Wow Susan, Thanks for thinking of me! (o:

Seven 7's

Seven things I hope to do before I die:

-Have a more disciplined lifestyle
-Have a meek and quiet spirit
-Practice a consistent, meaningful quiet time with the Lord each day
-Be consistent with exercise
-See my Mom get saved
-Learn Spanish and Sign Language
-To consistently practice not always giving my opinion, unless asked (I realize commenting on people's blogs probably doesn't help this to happen:)

Seven things I cannot do well:

-Speak or sing in front of people
-Finish what I start
-Fake my emotions
-Be confontational in person (it's hard for me to not get defensive but I'm working on it:)
-Be disciplined in my eating )o:

Seven things that would attract me to my future husband:

Like Zan, I'm already married so I will type what attracts me to him:

-Tall stature -he's 6'4"
-He's a GREAT preacher
-He's SMART! (thankfully he's good at math since I am not (o;
-he's a gentleman--we've been married for 14 years and he still ALWAYS opens my car door for me when I'm getting into the car
-His GORGEOUS green eyes
-He's good at almost anything he tries.
-He likes that I stay home even though we've never had children
-He Understands and holds to sound Biblical doctrine
-He's always for the underdog and can't stand bullies --Ok, that is 9 things but I could go on and on.....

Seven things I say often:

-"Are you kidding me???"(when someone tells me something outrageous)
-"Caleb NO!! (he's our 7 month old puppy)"
-"Do you know what I mean?"
-"How should I handle....? (when asking my husband's advice)
-"What time will you be home for dinner?"(the time varies quite a bit)
-**to my husband**-"What's your schedule this week?" (mainly I'm trying to figure out whether he has to go out of town any nights of the week or have any dinner meetings, if he'll be working in or out of the office.
-"Do you want to eat out tonight?"(since it's just the two of us we like to go out to eat)

Seven authors, books, or series I love:

-The King James Bible (especially Genesis, Proverbs, Psalms, Nehemiah, 1 & 2 Timothy, 1 & 2 Peter, & Revelation)
-Janette Oke
-Elizabeth Prentiss - 'Stepping Heavenward'
-Corrie ten Boom - 'The Hiding Place'
-Biblically accurate books about being a good wife
-Noah Webster's 1828 Dictionary
-Keepers of the Faith reprints from the 1800's and 1900's, especially: 'Judith', 'Little Homes and Big Hearts', 'Princess in Calico', 'My Little Corner', 'Parlour and Kitchen' and 'Are You Serious About Marriage?'

Seven movies I watch over and over again:

-'The Sound of Music'--I LOVE that it portrays a Father (then later husband) who is a leader and in charge of his family--one of the lines he says "'I' am the head of the Von Trapp Family"--in most movies and tv shows, these days, Fathers and Husbands are portrayed as idiots and bufoons.
-'The Sarah Plain and Tall movie series'
-The Young Pioneers & The Young Pioneers Christmas
-'Love Comes Softly' series
-'Apollo 13'
-'Jurassic Park 1' & 3 (even though they CONSTANTLY talk about 'millions of years ago' and evolution--both of which are false)
-'Gone With The Wind'(the book is better though)
-'The Hiding Place'
-'It's a Wonderful Life'--at Christmas time I like to watch this

Ok, so maybe I should have put 'being decisive' in things I'm unable to do because I went over the number '7' in MANY categories. (o;

Jessie said...

Well here's mine, as given on my blog. I realized this morning I left out Jane Eyre from my favorite books list. And probably more. And I could add a whole 'nuther 7 things I can't do well : )

Seven things I hope to do before I die:
have my own sewing business
plant a successful garden
marry a Godly man
have several chickens and a Jersey cow named Daisy
live on a small self-sufficient farm
buy very few things
raise as many children as the Lord would give us (in cloth diapers) ; )

Seven things I cannot do well:
respond promptly to e-mails (right Susan??) : D
play sports
get to bed on time (*ahem*)
live for more than 2 weeks without some minor injury
keep my room as orderly as I'd like
talk about how I feel deeply about things without crying
keep anything straight about LOTR. I just don't get it.

Seven things that would attract me to my future husband:
has blue eyes and sings bass
has strong muscles because he works- not because he works out
helps in the kitchen!
loves the Lord
loves children
is tender and peacable
doesn't think I'm silly for wanting chickens.

Seven things I say often:
"It's so loud in here!"
"West Davidson Public Library, the very best place to start. May I help you?"
"Yes, I will."
"I'm in the sewing room!"
"How much water have you had today?"
"You know, people haven't had ______ but for only __ years."
"You know, (name) said (some item or technique) was good for when you're (sick, cleaning the tub, cooking, etc.)

Seven authors, books, or series I love:
The Bible (Isaiah especially!)
Elizabeth Prentiss
Jeremiah Burroughs
Silas Marner by George Eliot
The Anne of Green Gables series (especially Rilla of Ingleside)
Sue Gregg cookbooks
The 641 and 745/ 746 sections of my library ; ) If you don't know your Dewey decimal system... well then you just need to spend some more time at your library!

Seven movies I watch over and over again (in order of frequency):
Sense and Sensibility
Princess Bride
Pride and Prejudice
Ever After
Jane Eyre
While You Were Sleeping (fastforwarding through a few places)

Seven people I want to do this:
Kelly and Andrea (they count as two)

Susan said...

Thanks, everyone, for all your responses, here and on your blogs. I especially enjoyed hearing responses from those who are blogless, as I don't get to read as much from them usually, except in relatively short comments :).

I loved reading what attracted you to your husbands, Zan and Mrs. B. That was sweet :).

Jessica, I think I liked everything you put on your list :). We really are so much alike! Many of your responses would have been on mine if there had been more room ;).

Esther said...

Hmmm...I'm playing the game right, am I? You tag me...and I haven't moved a bit. Hmmm...maybe I should change that. It is late, but come on, what's late to me, right?!