In honor of National Redhead Appreciation Day, today's guest is the unsinkable and liable to do the unthinkable Tanzi Merritt. Tanzi is life-long Lexington resident and lover of all things local. Her day job is working as the "Happiness Engineer" with CirrusMio, a tech startup who's primary product is CivChoice, an online fundraising platform that streamlines corporate workplace giving and donor relations. She spends a lot of time volunteering with various organizations, from the Junior League to the March Madness Marching Band. Unlike most of the other Tête-à-Tête Thursday guests, she is not a writer, but she does like to tell stories.
The Bourbonista: Tell me about yourself in 50 words or less. At least one word must begin with the letter “X” and none can begin with the letter “S.”
Tanzi: I’m a Kentuckian through-and-through, a reformed librarian who has jumped head-first into the fascinating world of tech entrepreneurship and philanthropy, an overzealous volunteer, a lover of the curious (including the xiphopagus), an advocate of all things local, and a connector of people. I love to help everyone realize their dreams.
The Bourbonista: Were you one of those "librarian by day with the bun and glasses, and then vixen by night with the leather and stilettos" types? They can't be trusted, or so I've heard. If you were a circus performer, what would you be and why?
Tanzi: If I were really in the circus it would be one of those dark Victorian carnival affairs, and I would be the curator of the Cabinet of Curiosities, caring for the taxidermied creatures posed in human tableaus, shrunken heads, and Fiji mermaids of the world. Not only am I fascinated by eccentricities and oddities, I tend to collect them. And I don’t mean just odd possessions, but unusual people, unusual interests, and unusual and useless information.
The Bourbonista: I once dated a Lobster Boy. I made him wear mittens in the bedroom, and when he pissed me off I put rubber bands on his claws. So, what would you do if you won the lottery?
Tanzi: If I won the lottery I would probably do a bunch of practical stuff that would also be good for Lexington, like rehabbing some property on the north side and investing in both my company and other local start-ups, plus things like paying off debts and buying a nice little house and an efficient little car. But I would nurse a secret wish to own and operate a giraffe farm. Either way, giraffes or no giraffes, I would get a helper monkey. And I would take care of all of my people. Every one of my friends would get the thing that they really want but would never buy for themselves because it’s too indulgent.
The Bourbonista: Well, then I want a massage monkey to rub my feet at night. Now, seriously, If you were on death row…don’t act like you don’t know who you killed to get there…what would be your last supper?
Tanzi: I thought about this one for a long time and finally decided to go with my friend Mike’s answer: dodo a l’orange. I would die of starvation while waiting for it, but that might still be better than visiting Old Sparky.
The Bourbonista: Nice. You could also ask for a pterodactyl egg omelet accompanied by a Tasmanian Tiger steak just to be safe. Now, if you were to write a short “Thank You” letter to your future self for all the cool shit you’ve done twenty years from now.
First, congratulations on still being here to read this. Second, thank you for being religious with the sunscreen. Even though you’re almost 60, I’m betting you still look about 10 years younger than you really are.
Now, if you haven’t already done so, it’s about time to forgive yourself for the mistakes you made in your 20s and early 30s. Some of it really sucked, but I bet you’re doing just fine now. I guarantee that you’re happier than you would have been if you’d walked the straight and narrow.
Thanks for getting above your raisin’ and getting a good education. Thanks for ignoring the “shoulds” and “have tos” from childhood and doing things that stretched you, like joining the kick-ass punk rock March Madness Marching Band, or things that just might not have made your parents happy, like being a part of the Lexington Tattoo Project. Thanks for throwing your lot in with that bunch of young geniuses, because you’re certainly all billionaires now, right? (Right?) Even if you’re not, I bet you still love going to work every day. Thanks for speaking up for others when you see something wrong, no matter how uncomfortable it is to do so, and thanks for speaking up for yourself. Thanks for being a great friend to so many people, and finally figuring out that love is far better than success.
Thanks for going to the gym all the time and loving it, saving those millions of dollars for your retirement, and for having the foresight to realize that marrying George Clooney would be a great idea, even when people said he had a fear of commitment. Nice job.
(OK, so that last part is me practicing “The Secret” in a public venue. I mean, if you tell the universe what you want, it’ll send it to you, right?)
The Bourbonista: Saying to hell with the "shoulds" and "have tos" is the first step to perpetual peace and impenetrable joy. That, and embracing a FWPT attitude (for explanation CLICK HERE). Lastly, if you were a booze, which booze would you be and who would you want to drink you?
Tanzi: I would be champagne, preferably peach. Bubbly and
effervescent and kind of sweet, but with a bit of a kick.
the bourbonistA, Promoting Debauchery and stamping out political-correctness one blog at a time.