Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Does this Woman Look Like a...? (and chance to win)

I’ve given people the wrong impression a time or two. I remember that I’d been working as a computer programmer for a couple years (after a short stint as a technical writer) and mentioned a business trip I was undertaking in the near future to a group of friends. One of the guys, who I had known for over three years, stared at me. “You…you travel for business? You program computers?” For all that time, he’d thought my profession was pet-sitter (apparently the first time he met me I happened to be house-sitting for a work colleague and he’d made and continued with the wrong assumption).


In the last year, it happened to slip out to a writer buddy that I’ve known for a decade that I was valedictorian at my high school graduation (and also valedictorian at eighth grade graduation!). Once again, there was that “What are you doing with that second head?”-stare. Apparently I don’t look like high GPA material. Perhaps it is my (bleached) blonde hair. Or the fact that I’m partial to pink. Or because Anne Stuart once called me “perky” and I’ve never been able to flat-out deny the description.


But what happened over the weekend trumps both. Friday night, the presence of police and helicopters and news vans in our SoCal suburban ‘hood let us know something of note had occurred. Come to find out that five houses up the way, a woman had pulled a gun and shot her husband in the hip. Luckily it wasn’t life-threatening and we watched the local news as the arrest went down. The crawl at the bottom of the screen listed our town’s name, the cross streets closest to this couple’s home, and the facts of the shooting. I didn’t think much more about it until Sunday night when our across-the-street neighbors arrived for a BBQ. “Hey,” my friend Carole said. “People who walked by the house this weekend kept commenting on how happy they were to see that Fernie is fine.” (Fernie’s her husband.) “And they were all glad to know that Surfer Guy is okay too, because they were also worried that he might have been the man who was shot.” It took me a moment to puzzle it out, but then I realized that the newscrawl included the names of the two cross streets and both Carole and Fern and Surfer Guy and I live on the corners of those exact streets. It wasn’t a big leap for people nearby to suppose we were involved.


To suppose I was a woman who would shoot her husband!


After I got over my shock, I thought, well, I guess even perky pet-sitters might snap.


Assumptions cause conflict (and even danger) in my new book released today, Dirty Sexy Knitting. It’s the third and final installment in my Malibu & Ewe series and readers will find out that appearances can be so deceiving…and love undeniable. This is Cassandra and Gabe’s story and I’ll admit that I cried as I wrote the epilogue. I hope you’ll look for it.


So, anyone ever made the wrong assumption about you? A lucky commenter will win the first book in the trilogy, How to Knit a Wild Bikini, or if you’ve already read that, I’ll supply another Christie Ridgway book.

39 comments:

Maribeth Curry said...

Looks like I'm the first one here Christie... I'm a very bouncy bubbly person when I'm with people which leads acquaintances to think I'm just loud and bombastic whereas in actual fact I'm very sensitive and introspective and quite enjoy quiet. The bounciness is just may way of coping when I don't feel comfortable (which is a lot of the time when I'm with people)
But no one every assumed I'd shot my husband ;~) New plot idea eh?
hugs
Maribeth

Keri Ford said...

It's out! It came out today. Must see about ordering....

The only mistake people have made about me that's coming to mind was in the years after high school. While at work, people would often ask my 19-20 year old self why I wasn't in school. They assumed I was somewhere between 13-16 years old and couldn't figure for the life of them why I wasn't in school every day.

Maureen said...

Hi Christie,
How awful that your neighbor snapped like that and isn't it crazy that anyone could think that it was you. I remember when my mother, sister and 13 year old daughter were shopping for my sister's wedding dress and the sales lady thought my daughter was my sister. My daughter was so excited that someone thought she was older than she was.

Michele Hauf said...

You can imagine the assumptions people make about me, as a writer of dark vampire stories. It's really quite silly. I'm very white-bread. Honest. Mostly.

Pretty much.

Oh, heck yeah!

Beth T. said...

My nine year old daughter assumes there weren't any boyfriends before I met my husband when I was in high school. She assumes I never talked back, never drank alcohol before I was of age, never tried pot, and never, ever snuck out of the house. I'd like her to keep believing those assumptions! She's only 9, so she probably also assumes parents only have intercourse when they are trying to make a baby, but then I may be assuming how much she actually knows. Hmmmm, I think it's time to go have another talk. Do as I say...
p.s. - I am eager to read this new Dirty Sexy sequel!
Beth

Christie Ridgway said...

Hey, Maribeth! I'm like that too. In a crowd I'm outgoing which gives the impression I'm like that all the time. In reality, I'm more of a curl-up-with-a-book person.

Keri: That's a good thing now, huh? Being mistaken for younger!

And cute, Maureen, that it goes the other way, too. Your daughter wanting to be mistaken for older.

Michele: Do people ask you if you drink blood and such?

Christie Ridgway said...

Beth T: My parenting manual doesn't call for complete honesty. Some things are private (like how many times you snuck out of the house!). Or you save them until =they= have children.

Arkansas Cyndi said...

I posted...I swear. Obviously, I got the letters wrong!

I have been pacing the aisle at BAM waiting for Dirty Sexy Knitting. YAY It's time! I got a GC for Mother's Day (from the dogs). I've been holding on to it for something special...now it's here! I'll be heading to BAM today!

Emmanuelle said...

I have this best girlfriend. We've been friends for the last ten years. We've had our kids together and their like brothers and sisters really. One day she admitted to me that the really first time we met (I was at church with my DH and she with hers) she told her husband "see this couple, just the kind we'll never be friend with"... very funny considering we're like family now !!

Michele Hauf said...

Nope, they don't ask if I drink blood, but once in a while I'll get the emails from those who DO supposedly engage in the practice and just want to let me know that I got vampires right.

Yikes.

ForestJane said...

A little plug here - I've read and enjoyed 'Dirty Sexy Knitting' a bunch! It made me want to move to California, buy a place near the ocean, and meet a handsome hunk of a landlord. ;)

I haven't read the first two in the trilogy, but that didn't keep me from enjoying the third. In fact, it made me want to go buy the first two! The sex was nicely steamy, but didn't take over the plot of the book. WTG Christie!

As for your question - Yeah, I'm often misjudged. I'm 40+, fat, freckled, and friendly looking... so when people find out I'm a librarian with several degrees, do website design, proofreading, etc., they're always surprised.

Christie Ridgway said...

Yay, ArkansasCindy. Nothin' better that GCs for books.

Thanks, ForestJane! So glad you enjoyed DSK. So, what, do people not think friendly looking others can be so smart and energetic? ::now putting frowny face on::

Christie Ridgway said...

Emmanuelle: I wrote somebody into a book once that I only knew by sight. And then that person became a good friend. I always felt a bit guilty about it, because I used their looks and what I imagined was their personality (since I didn't know them)...and I made them a villain-type character!

Lisa said...

Hi Christie,

In the cyber world today it's very easy to mistake a dry sense of humor as unintended sarcasm. Many times I've been accused of being snide, when I was attempting to use humor. The whole "I only read what you write, can't see your facial expressions" syndrome.

I've never been called perky, and there are probably a few close friends who would totally believe I shot my husband:)

Cindy Gerard said...

Cristie - the first time I met you I thought to myself - now there's a woman who could easily be repressing a LOT of rage. I could see her getting a gun and shooting her hubby.
NOT!!!!
Your neighbors ACTUALLY thought you might have gone after Surfer guy with a gun? Too funny.
If you've never met Christie in person, folks, I'll let you in on a little secret: she IS perky. :o) And gorgeous and nice and obviously talented.
Good luck with Dirty Sexy Knitting! I have no doubt it rocks just like your other books.
Oh - and there are days when I know I've been mistaken for a writer. Today is NOT one of those days. the muse, like Elvis, has left the building :o(

Anonymous said...

Yeah. My soon-to-be-ex-husband assumed I'd never find out he'd been cheating on me for the past 4 years. Then he left an email open one day and tipped me off. Didn't take much to get into his email again later, especially when he kept all his passwords in a Rolodex on his desk. From there I found the hook-up website where he'd invite strangers to his hotel room for sex when he traveled on business.

He assumes I'm just a dumb housewife. Wait til my pit bull attorney starts dealing out the three-inch-thick stack of emails and screen prints that detail his indiscretions. He also assumes I don't have money for anything but legal aid. Tsk, tsk. A relative loaned me all the money I needed to hire the best divorce attorney in town. And of course he'll be repaying that loan for me.

Apparently he forgot I graduated not valedictorian like you, but #9, which wasn't anything to sneeze at considering #1 owns a huge pharmaceutical company,is worth a bazillion dollars and rubs elbows with the likes of Bill Gates.

Congrats on the book release.

Tori Lennox said...

I guess even perky pet-sitters might snapI think there's a story in that. :)

Debra Dixon said...

::snort::

Christie Ridgway...SHOOT...anyone?

That is so not happening. I'm LOL that people who know you could have for one moment thought your house was the shooting house.

That cracks me up.

You are terribly blonde, terribly perky, and generally kind. I believe a "guy" could be forgiven for assuming you were a pet-sitter by profession rather than a business traveler. (g) Women, on the other hand, generally know that appearances can be deceiving.

Still, I understand where you're coming from. I get the reverse of your perceptions. People find it hilarious when they get to know me and find out that the strong professional smarty-girl doesn't put gas in her own car because those pumps are just plain confusing. (g)

Christie Ridgway said...

Lisa: That =is= an internet problem...we can't see the winks and smiles or whatever. I try to do those emoticon things, but it's not the same.

Anonymous: I'm sorry about your situation, but I'll tell you, a little thrill went up my spine at the thought of the cheater finding out you're no pushover. Good luck.

Christie Ridgway said...

Surfer Guy wanted some help doing a little chore in the front yard yesterday and I couldn't get my buns out there fast enough...just to show all that there was accord chez Ridgway. Really, though, it's too funny (and I called my mom to give her a good laugh too).

I'm much more of a pet-sitter than I am a gun-wielder.

Kathleen Eagle said...

People have often *You?* look when they find out I write Romance, but I remember running into a friend from early high school years back who said, "Oh, yeah. I knew you would." And then she reminded me that she was one of about 3 people I allowed to read the stories I wrote then. I'd forgotten those stories.

Anonymous said...

It's funny you mention being mistaken for a petsitter- that is my job, and I have more than once been mistaken for the owner of the home by service people. That might make a good story- sexy new neighbor mistakes petsitter for homeowner, and gets a surprise when he writes a note laden with innuendo to the real homeowner, a 65 year old woman with a vicious persian and grumpy toothless, hairless chihuahua.

Christie Ridgway said...

Ah, Kathleen, I only let one person read my first "romance" stories...my best friend in 5th grade. Not surprised that your buddy remembered your talent!

Anonymous: Yes, nice set-up for a romance. I always like to see a hero stumble a bit on his way to True Love.

robynl said...

talk about some excitement in your neighborhood.

People always think I am not joking when I am and I constantly am saying "I was joking, you know".
Often people think I'm serious because I apparently look as if I might even be a bit angry but I'm not, honestly.

catslady said...

I wonder if anyone really knows all about anyone. I'm one person to family, another for friends, work and my children and husband. My husband and I were married young and waited 15 years for kids so we had some wild times - now that my kids are grown they've heard some stories but some will never see the light of day roflmao.

Virginia said...

A lot of people think I am a very friendly out going person, because that is how I act out in public, but really I am a quite shy person that would rather stay to myself. Give me a book and a quite room and I am a very content person. They also think I am very sweet but I can be and bull by the horns if you cross me the wrong way.

Christie Ridgway said...

Hmm, maybe Catslady is right and we're different people to different people. I'm like you, Virginia. Rather be with a book than at a big party, though I'll do okay there too. And don't cross me when it comes to Surfer Guy or the sons!

Robynl, I'm thinking you must have a good poker face.

Jane said...

People tend to think that I'm quiet and reserved. I tend to hold myself back when meeting new people, but when you get to know me you'll see that I'm not mousy and can be a loudmouth.

Linda C said...

I'm blonde, short (5' 2") and very perky. Always smiling. So people are really suprized to find out I'm a geeky accountant with a master's degree. They are also "shocked" to learn I have grandkids. (I so don't look my age) I just tell them I was a child bride LOL

Linda

Estella said...

My daughter kept a picture of me on her locker door----her friends thought I was her sister.
Now no one thinks I am a senior citizen---I have to pull out my drivers license to get a senior discount.

flchen1 said...

LOL, Estella, I want that problem when I get older!

Christie, I'm one of those people that others typically assume to be nice and quiet. My family would heartily disagree, but they're all too afraid ;) Ah well... In general, I don't bother to correct them--I don't need the world to know up front what a scary person I can be! Do I?

Christie Ridgway said...

I want to be Linda C and Estella!

And look, there's Jane and flchen1, posing as the quiet types when inside their something quite different.

Around writer types, who are typically more comfortable with books than in big groups, I tend to talk more than I do with a "mixed" crowd where often the more naturally outgoing keep things rolling. But I can really talk to just about anyone...I've found that if I keep asking people about themselves they will eventually open up and then I find out such cool things!

Ashnick93 said...

This is an odyssey! I wrote a long and winding something here and because I didn't have an account I had to go and create one and I lost everything! Suffice it to say I think I'm considered a push-over by people who don't know me well. One such person chose to deal with me instead of my more outspoken work partner because of this, but I stood up for myself. Yay me!

Helen Brenna said...

Chiming in later here, but I gotta say ... PERKY ... Christie, you own that one! LOL And, no, I'd NEVER in a gazillion years think you'd snap and shoot your dh. Me, on the other hand ...

No one can ever imagine that I used to smoke, and quite heavily too!

MarthaE said...

Hmm - can't think about assumptions for me although people used to be surprised that I was an attorney. People always think my DH is a party person but he would just as soon stay at home!

Christie Ridgway said...

Ashnick93...you are the WOman! I think it's cool to look nice and sweet and then have ovaries of steel.

Helen, you are perky right along with me. You know you are.

Christie Ridgway said...

MarthaE: My life is populated with attorneys for some reason, so I know they come in all guises. My dh is much more party animal than me. But he's also a music dude, so he can sit and play guitar for hours which suits me because I can read for hours.

He's now in this v. popular classic rock band, though, and he loves to think of himself as a rock star. Funny. I married a math teacher (which is what he is in real life).

Anonymous said...

wow
yea sometimes but say it beheind my back
congrats on teh book
kh

magolla said...

Well, you do write "those" books.
:-) congrats on the new release!
Margaret