Behold, the lovely Christina Olson, author of Before I Came Home Naked. She’s the Poetry Editor at MidWestern Gothic, and the brains behind the collaborative effort of a reading that will be taking place TONIGHT at the HIGHLAND BALLROOM. She let me interview her awfully.
Okay Christina, I have to ask: how often to people ask you if you’re related to the Olsen twins?
These days, not so much. In college, in 1999, when I went by “Olson”? ALL THE TIME.
You went by Olson? Do you kind of miss it?
Also, how different do you think your life would be if you were related to the Olsen twins?
Yeah, when I went to college, I ended up in a “suite” (really just a hallway with four two-person dorm rooms and a shared bathroom, and there were four other girls in the hall with C-something names. I sort-of jokingly said that they could call me “Olson” to keep the Christinas straight from the Chrissys and the Charlenes, and then that turned into me being dubbed Olson, and then within the first two weeks, I became friendly with a guy who knew everyone, and presto: by the end of the month, I was Olson. Literally, within one weekend. I went to two parties with this guy and somehow met everyone and just became Olson.
When I say, everyone … the guy I ended up dating for three years of college only called me that. So did his parents. It was quite, quite ingrained. Then I moved to Minnesota, and met my now-husband, and within a day of meeting me, he was like, Yeah, I’m not calling you that. I do sort of miss it, but like a lot of undergrad, it’s probably best left in 2001.
To answer your other question, if I were related to the twins, I think the whole story above would have still happened, only at NYU and not a little state school in western New York. And there would be more hobo bags. Weren’t those girls always carrying hobo bags for a while?
I think they did! I think they made a habit of carrying around purses they they themselves could fit in for a while. Question – have you ever daydreamed about having a bag like Mary Poppins’? I do, often. If you had one, what would you keep in it? More importantly WHAT WOULDN’T YOU?
This is a tough one, because I rarely carry a bag. But I WOULD want the bag around if it were magical, so I’d make an exception. Here’s what I’d keep in it: the same stuff I normally carry, like a phone and money, but also my dog, because he is awesome and every situation improves with his addition. Also, hot sauce. It used to be Huy Fong but now I’m on a big Cholula kick. Of course, since the bag is magic, the hot sauce is never going to leak anywhere. Also, because dogs and hot sauce are sometimes things people actually carry around, I’m going to say an ankylosaurus, because it is my favorite dinosaur.
Oh, and a book, I guess. I should have said a book. Bad writer. Oh, I should have said MY book. AWFUL WRITER.
Which is more awesome: an ankylosaurus or this Friday’s reading?
Let’s see. The ankylosaurus was one of the gassiest dinosaurs, since his was a primarily plant-based diet. He had a club for a tail and was probably fairly stupid.
The Friday reading, meanwhile, features six transplanted Midwesterners and/or Atlanta-based readers, all of who kick ass, and it’s going to be a lovely autumnal evening in Atlanta.