1. What's something people cautioned you against that turned out not to be dangerous or bad at all?
Alcohol. Before I left for college, my good Christian dad made sure to impress upon my good Christian self that alcohol (then legal for 18-year-olds) was a thing best left untried. Oh, one drink might be okay, but who can drink just one, given that the first inhibition you lose when you drink is the one that keeps you from drinking more? By the time I finally tried it (it was wine; I was 20), I wasn't sure what I was expecting, but the experience was pretty tame (and I easily kept myself to only one).
Alcohol was no Waterloo for me, and I still enjoy the occasional glass of wine. Too bad I was not warned with equal gusto (back when it might have made an impression) about the dangers of overeating. Talk about your sins of the flesh!
2. What's something you wish someone had cautioned you about?
Okay, so there's the thing I just said, but I have a better answer, one I think about a lot.
I wish there'd been someone I respected, back in the day, to warn me about Internet networking communities, and to tell me that maybe it's possible to be *too* cool about your husband's getting close to a mixed-gender group of friends that you're not part of, and to somehow make me see that even the best man in the world is still only a man. I suppose this means that I still cherish the belief that I could have saved my family, had I understood sooner what was going on.
3. What's your favorite non-English word of warning?
"Attenta!" It's part of a well-known (in my circles) Sherlock Holmes quote, so we (in those Holmesian circles) use it all the time (albeit usually just to call a room to attention, 'cause how often is anyone actually in serious danger?).
4. What's a really stupid thing you've done that could have resulted in your demise?
I've walked alone very late at night in foreign cities. Okay, it's probably not safe for a woman to walk alone at night in any city (including the Disneyfied Manhattan of the past decade, where I've also done it), but I'm specifically thinking of my time in Oxford in the mid-1980s. I was in my 20s and pretty helpless (in terms of self-defense skills), yet I routinely walked myself home (to lodgings a mile or so outside of college, during my first term!) after very (very!) late evenings talking philosophy or theology in someone's rooms. Those streets, I now realize, could not have been entirely safe for a girl at 2 a.m., yet there I was.
5. What should you probably stay away from this weekend?
Sweets. My sugar numbers are up again, yet I bought a cherry pie for Pi Day ... and there sit the substantial remains of it, in a box on the counter, taunting me ...