Ann Redisch Stampler on AFTERPARTY
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Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. If not now, when?
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. I'm nice. I think it's a greatly undervalued quality. I remember teachers railing about the blandness, lack of specificity, and overall blah nature of the word "nice." But I beg to differ. As interesting as it is to observe cutting wit and clever meanness from afar, I like nice. I don't mean that it's good to be nice in the face of Horrendous Evil or to roll over and not stick up for yourself or to be saccharine without a sense of humor or irony. But in everyday interactions, with family and friends and total strangers, I think it's important and it makes everything...well...nicer.
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
Well, of course, swords hammered into ploughshares and Total World Domination by people who think peace would be a pleasant change. But on a more personal level, good relationships, good books, good food, good music, writing going well, kids catapulting toward what they love, good health, movies with popcorn, a walk in the hills with my husband, a drive up the coast, a rainy day followed by brilliant sun only the sand is still wet and the ocean is grey. Daydreaming.
Q. What do you regret most?
A. That I didn't commit to doing what I love sooner.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. I have so many of these that my propensity for pet peeves might qualify as one of my greatest flaws: bad drivers, people who cut in line or who save places for their 20 closest friends, people who are rude to waiters, people who are just rude, people who unwrap candies during concerts...lots of candies...endless candies, people who aren't nice to their dogs (While I was rewriting, during weeks of torrential rain, there was a gorgeous, sad golden retriever abandoned on the hill behind my house. We couldn't lure her into our house, but our neighbors finally caught her and rescued her and love her madly. But I actually wanted to hunt down her former owners and drop them off somewhere in the rainy wilderness.), people who park in two parking spaces, and all forms of snootiness.