This summer, one of the things I promised myself was that I would absolutely, positively get my website done. And, by that I mean find someone else to get my website done. I mean, what do I know about websites, except that everyone always asks me if I have one, and apparently you can’t lie about that, because people ask you for the Web address, and then they look it up and find nothing, and your credibility … not to mention your sanity … is increasingly in question.
Anyway, the first thing I did here in the mountains was to find a student at Appalachian State who knew how to make a website — because, normally students are young, energetic, hungry and cheap — and he got started right away on VickiWentz.com. His name is Jacob.
The first thing Jacob asked me to do was to forward him a picture. I sent him one of Shania Twain. However, although I assured him we are like twins, he had some weird moral problem about using it, so I sent him one of me, at which point he almost overcame his moral reluctance.
The next thing he asked me to do was to write a bio for the first page. He said to keep it brief and to the point … he hadn’t met me yet … and this bio has caused me so much anguish that I vowed to run it by ya’ll before we used it.
"Vicki Wentz was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, and moved to Chapel Hill, N.C., in 1989. She now considers herself full of Southern Pride and Fried, but she’s also very much Italian (hence the emotion) and a little bit German (hence the disapproval of the emotion).
"Vicki is the mother of two grown children, a daughter and a son. She also has two dogs, and has spent hundreds of dollars in fruitless attempts to train them (although they did better than the children). Both dogs and children have provided endless material for her columns. She has been a teacher for 21 years, as well, teaching both drama and English in every grade from kindergarten through high school, which has also supplied her with hysterical stories into the next millennium.
"In 2001, Vicki stopped teaching and began to write — her head was so full of hilarious commentary that she had to write it down or it would have started spilling out of her ears. Since then, she has been doing weekly humor columns in newspapers everywhere. She presently claims a sizable group of devoted fans … who, nevertheless, sometimes don’t write, they don’t call, but whatever …
"Having achieved a post-graduate degree many years ago (when it was much harder), Vicki is regularly invited to speak to various groups from ladies clubs to civic associations to student nursing classes, on a wide range of topics (local, national and even global) because of her ability to do so in a high-spirited and comically entertaining way … and also because she bears a striking resemblance to Shania Twain.
"Vicki continues her quest for the perfect diet and exercise plan — one which will include large vats of chocolate and absolutely no sweating. (In the summer of 1991, Vicki walked 217 miles alone, from her home in Chapel Hill to Grandfather Mountain, in Linville, N.C., to raise money for children’s cancer research, in honor of a close friend who had recently died of cancer; being a single-mom teacher, she obviously had no money of her own to donate. This made her a minor local celeb for a while, but it also made her sweat more than she thought humanly possible. She considers this to have been her perspiration quota for life.)
"Vicki has now reached middle age, where she intends to stay. She has no time for a midlife crisis, which she considers unfair in the extreme. The children are grown, and in her serene journey through menopause, she finds herself screaming at household appliances, making desperate plans to sing in a Broadway show and crying whenever she’s out of milk. She spends entire days on the phone with cable TV companies, or computer tech-assistance departments, just waiting to speak to a live person, so months can pass where she doesn’t get out much, except to walk down to the mailbox to see if her children remember she’s alive. It’s the only fresh air she gets, so for the sake of her health she’s hoping the kids feel guilty enough to write now and then.
"And now, Vicki welcomes you to her website. She hopes you enjoy your time here, and wants to thank you for finding more to laugh about in her life than she does."
So, whaddya think?
Vicki Wentz’s column, which appears here on Sundays, is published in newspapers across the country. She is a high school teacher who lives in Chapel Hill, N.C. Readers may contact her at email@example.com.