Gini is another one of my friends that I initially met via Twitter more than 7 years ago and I was immediately taken with how amazing she was. She was like Girl Boss before Girl Boss was a thing. Gini is well-known and well-respected in the PR and marketing world and has created a successful company based in Chicago – Arment Dietrich. She and her team pens one of my favorite industry blogs, Spin Sucks, which you should totally subscribe to if you’re in PR or Marketing. Somewhere along the way, Gini and I became friends and I consider her not just my friend but a mentor (she may not like that job but hey.. she’s stuck with it now) and whenever I need some proverbial tail-kicking, I know just who to call on. And she does it in such a way that I can do nothing more than nod in agreement and say “I know, Gini. You’re right, Gini. I’ll get my act together and show you I can do it. Just watch me, Gini!!”. Those that know me personally, know that it’s really hard to do that with me. Love this woman and I know you’re going to, as well.
Plus Gini’s got a mad crush on Robert Downey Jr. (I mean, who doesn’t?!) so if you ever want her to notice you, drop a RDJ meme to her on Twitter. Or a squirrel one. Both have immediate responses – just of an opposite degree.
Love this woman and I know you’re going to, as well.
1. What food will you absolutely not, under any circumstances, eat?
Broccoli. It is vile, disgusting, and has no purpose. It doesn’t even have any calories so it serves zero purpose. I mean, for most people to eat it, they have to smother it in cheese. What’s the point? I guess it’s not entirely true it doesn’t have calories. It has some calories, but still, zero purpose, except to get caught in your teeth.
2. If you are in a bad mood, do you prefer to be left alone or have someone to cheer you up?
Oh my gosh. Leave me the heck alone! Mr. D always tells me how pleasant (not) I am at 5 a.m. WHY ARE YOU TALKING TO ME AT 5 A.M.?!? I have one purpose that early and it is to ride my bike. Alone. With my thoughts (and Netflix right now because I live in Chicago and it’s too cold to ride outside). Do not speak to me. Thankfully he’s not often up that early.
3. What advice would you give to your 18-year-old self?
I would love to say it’s something to do with business or life, but it’s about body image. I have been stressed about my body my entire life. Actually, that’s not true. I can remember not really thinking about it through high school. And then wham! I gained the freshmen 15 and so it began. It wasn’t until I turned 40 that I got comfortable in my own skin, which I think is really true for most people, especially women. So my advice to my 18-year-old self is to just chill. Yes, you should eat well. Yes, you should exercise. Yes, you should create a healthful lifestyle. But it is impossible to have a perfect body. No one does. So chill.
4. Why are you so afraid of squirrels?
I’m not afraid of squirrels. I hate squirrels with every bone in my body. A few years ago, I spent an entire Saturday planting 800 tulip bulbs I had ordered from Holland. I was extraordinarily particular about them, spaced them exactly right, and envisioned exactly how they’d look come spring. The next morning, we were leaving for the Bears game and I saw a squirrel scarring across the top of the fence. He had something in his mouth. I said to Mr. D., “Oh, look! He’s gathering nuts for the winter.” And then I realized he wasn’t gathering nuts. HE HAD ONE OF MY TULIP BULBS IN HIS MOUTH!! I rushed out to the front yard and it looked like a frat party had happened the night before. There were bulbs and the skins strewn everywhere. I am not exaggerating when I say there were squirrels lying in our front lawn, bellies up, because they were so full. Little jerks (I have a different word for them that isn’t fit for publication). Do you know how many bulbs came up that spring? Six. Six out of 800. Six. SIX. I HATE SQUIRRELS.
5. What was one of your most defining moments in life?
Two months ago, we were finally able to go public with the fact that we adopted a little girl out of foster care. Though she’s been part of our family since she was six months old, it took the system three years to make her legally ours. During our fight—and it was a fight—to adopt her, I said to my mom, “What am I supposed to be learning from all of this?” She said, “Nothing. You are saving a little girl’s life.” And that was one of the most defining moments of my life. This little girl is my little bestie, even though she said to me this morning, “Mommy, will you please not sing my favorite Moana song?”
+1: What’s your favorite quote and why?
When the Great Recession hit everyone’s business, I was not immune. It was the hardest time of my professional life—and I took a lot of what happened very personally. I was ready to throw in the towel and call it quits when I happened upon a quote by Confucius. He said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but rising up when we do.” That helped me realize that failure is OK and I needed to put my big girl pants on and try again. So I did.