Friday, May 11, 2007

You Sure You Want to Hear This?

Female FlaggerI've been in a few people's cross hairs this week and have been tagged by . . . let's see . . . Thea, Jenny and Moto Mom to revisit the "Things About Me" meme.

If you're new to blog-hopping and don't know what a meme (rhymes with dream) is, it's a blog game where you answer questions on a defined subject then pass it along (or "tag") other bloggers to do the same. Yes, we bloggers have much too much time on our hands.

I've answered this particular meme several times but it's been a while since I've given you anything with which to mock me and good memes don't die they just vaporize temporarily--rather like Hilary Clinton or Tom Cruise. Therefore, this will be my Seven Things About Me: Teenager Edition. Otherwise known as Seven Things That Happened to Me As a Teenager.

1. Most embarrassing job ever? Each summer I worked as a secretary/receptionist for a couple different construction firms in Anchorage and one year there was a small road improvements project going on near my high school. The boss thought it made perfect sense to tell me to fill in for the flaggers while they were on their lunch breaks so I had a rollicking hour standing practically next door to the high school holding up a "Slow/Stop" sign for an hour. As if I didn't feel like enough of a freak I got to stand in the middle of the road dressed in nylons and a skirt with a sign that might as well have said "I'm a dork" on it as my friends drove by. Good times.

Worst part was that I didn't get flaggers' pay for that hour (next time you see a flagger at a construction site have some respect, they're probably making more per hour than you are.) But lest you think I was ungrateful, it was really a fun job overall--just not the flagging parts.

2. I wore braces from fifth grade until I was sixteen. And not just braces, the full-Willie Wonka style headgear that makes me look as if I was in traction. Yes I was a popular child. I was usually able to get away with not wearing the full headgear in public--only at night--but I can now say with sincerity, "Thanks, Mom and Dad. I'm very grateful my teeth are straight."

3. When I was fifteen, going on sixteen (weeks before getting those darn braces off) my parents took my sister and I to Europe where we visited Belgium. I'd taken two years of high school French and wanted to show off my skills our first night at a fancy restaurant in the Hotel Mayfair.

I stared at the menu while the uber-chic waiter waited for our orders, the others waited for me to translate the menu and I waited for one of the words to look familiar. I finally found what definitely appeared to be a very swanky version of steak and potatoes. Hey, it's practically France, it's gotta be good, right? So I placed my order and the other three jumped on board right behind me. The waiter stoically took four orders for steak and fries but when he got back to the kitchen I'm sure there was plenty of laughter at the dumb Americans who couldn't read a menu and wouldn't know a flambe if it bit them on the bottoms. My French is a little better since then but not much.

4. I've always been rather clumsy, not just during the teenage years, and still have to watch myself around my kitchen knives. I've been known to cut of stray fingers. I've got two band aids on two different fingers right now.

5. When I got my driver's license I wasn't allowed to have a car but my parents graciously allowed me to drive the Family Station Wagon. It must have been something along the lines of a 1982 Chevrolet Impala--all I remember for sure was it was enormous. As in "seats eight comfortably" including the two back seats that faced rearward, and had beautiful fake wood paneling along the sides. It made quite an impression on those lucky days when they let me drive it to school. Friends used to ask me where I'd docked my boat.

6. I fell asleep in sophomore English class while we were discussing Homer's Odyssey. The teacher came to the part where Odysseus and his crew are hiding from the blind cyclops, Polyphemus, and the teacher asked the class, "What did Odysseus say when Polyphemus asked who was there?"

Then, in classic style, Ms. Hostetler called on me. I awoke with a start and with my eyes wide in fear said very hurriedly and surprised, "There's nobody here but us chickens."

I'm not sure where it came from, I was still in my half-dream state, I think the phrase was something my grandmother used to say but I'm pretty sure it didn't originate with Homer. Plus, I think I've established that I was a nerd. My answer brought the class to a halt and I got unanimous stares from twenty-five sets of eyes. Once I'd discerned that I'd said something really stupid--a "Did I just say that outloud?" moment--I wanted to melt into the floor.

7. I had Big Hair. Lots of hair. Lots of Big Hair. My hair isn't thick or coarse but there's lots of it and with an 80s permed and layered cut I could get my do to fluff up to roughly the size of a small Caribbean island, making it very difficult to pass through doorways without turning sideways (joking here). It's made for plenty of jokes at my expense in the intervening 20 years time. I'd post a picture but I doubt your screen is big enough.

***

That's all the humiliation I have time for today folks. As for passing the love along (and I'm going to stick with the teenager theme here) I now tag: Lucy, Julie, Chili, Lisa, Mayberry Mom, Karen and Julie. If one of you lucky ladies feels like joining me on my limp down memory lane, consider yourself invited.

If you'd like to see my previous memes click on the "Labels: memes" link at the bottom of the post. Clicking on the label tag of any post will take you to all other posts labeled with that same tag. Pretty slick, huh?

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30 comments:

Miscellaneous-Mum said...

"There's nobody here but us chickens"

That, seriously, just made me laugh so much!

Sorry!

Jenn in Holland said...

Ah, the hilarity!
From big hair, to driving station wagons, to crying out about chickens (which my grandmother also used to say), I commiserate with your embarrassments. I didn't ever get to wear awesome headgear, or hold out the "I'm a dork" sign. Sad for me, I think.
I am an accident prone nerd too. Usually manage a good burn once every other week, and have sliced my fingers deeply with the cheese slicer half a dozen times since our arrival in Holland.

Janet a.k.a. "Wonder Mom" said...

Even though you've done it before...there's still so much to learn.

;)

Blondie said...

I had that same hair. We would have been good friends!!

Becca said...

My first and only (so far) car is a 1988 chevy station wagon. I really love that car. Now then, the "chickens" answer wasn't too far from being right, was it?? That was really a great meme, the best I've read...and now I know how to pronounce it!

MotoMom said...

Fun twist on the theme! Thanks for playing along.

Melissa R. Garrett said...

#6 had me rolling! How did your teacher ever keep a straight face? I swear that was such a clever answer ~ LOL!

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

OK, I'm in, though I don't know what I can write that will compare with your answers. Too funny! I'll probably do this one on Monday...

CoachJ said...

I am rolling readin' about "you chickens" !!!

Mayberry said...

I drove a Crown Victoria one summer--that thing was huuuuuuuge.

OK, I'll be thinking of some adolescent angst to reveal... thanks for the tag.

Islandsparrow said...

Thank you thank you thank you!!!!

I never knew that "meme rhymes with dream"

All along I've been saying meme like femme in French.(good thing you took those lessons - you know how to pronounce that)

Fortunately I've never had to say it loud.

phew - you've saved me a lot of embarrassment :)

From another big hair person...

Damselfly said...

Hey, I was going to tag you, but now glad I didn't add to your meme burden, hee hee. ;) I seriously understand the "small Caribbean island" 'do (har!) and the braces because I went through the same things.

cheeky said...

Good idea on taking it back to the teenage years. This was funny.
I think I may have you beat on the first car though. I drove a 1968 Mercury Monterey. It was nicknamed "das Titanica" by a friend. I hated that car at first but it became the most popular car in town. I can now parallel park a navel ship if required.
Loved the description of your hair.

Ally Bean said...

there's nobody here but us chickens

What a great response to the question. Who cares where it came from. I haven't thought of that song in years.

Leslie said...

I've got to direct my husband here. He pronounces meme, Me-Me.

Loved this list. Very funny.

Lei said...

You are hilarious! I am the same way with knives. So much that my husband announces to everyone when I've picked one up. And I'll never not ever forget falling asleep in english either!

Fun twist on a familiar meme!

Babette said...

You had a classical education, yet you possess humility. I'm impressed.

chilihead said...

I would have been rolling at the 'chicken' thing.

Poppy Fields said...

In high school and college, I drove my step-grandma's 1970 gold Chevrolet Impala, not the station wagon version, but I could still seat plenty of friends for cruising the strip.
ps I had terrible big hair days, good thing we don't have a scanner for old photo evidence.

kailani said...

I remember having to wear the headgear. Luckily, I only had to wear it when sleeping. Talk about uncomfortable!

An Ordinary Mom said...

I used to joke with friends in college that I would be a flagger so I could make more money :) !!

I will play along. Give me a few days or a week or so :) !!

Daisy said...

I drove a station wagon like that, too! That is, until my parents happened upon our family "second" car, the infamous Ford Maverick. somehow, I managed to fit 8 teenagers in a Maverick, but then I scraped the bottom of the car every time I went over a bump!

Ni Yachen said...

I perfer "There's nobody here but us chickens" over "no man." It probably would have worked for odyssey too.

In high school I once had a trig teacher asked me if I had any questions. I blurted out "What is the average airspeed velocity of an unladed swallow?" The teacher will out blinking replied, "European or African?" Half the class was laughing the other half was confussed. I thought my trig teacher was really cool after that.

Patois said...

I'm so with you with the knives. I'm grateful I've still got 10 fingers, scarred as they may be. The worst? Cutting bagels before we finally broke down and bought a $7.50 bagel cutter. Bagels with blood on them. No flavored cream cheese "spread" can cover that taste.

Michelle A. said...

You had some seriously embarrasing moments, but don't we all! The chicken comment made me laugh out loud! Thanks for the silly moment.

Jennifer B. said...

You are such a good sport--this was fun to read. By the way, I love your kithchen and especially the action clip of the drawer--hysterical!

so grateful to be Mormon! said...

hi scribbit! this was so fun. thanks for making me laugh, especially enjoyed the chicken comment in school. dork moments are good. so real. real is good. ~happy mama's day to ya girl, kathleen :)

An Ordinary Mom said...

OK, I played along. My tag for this meme has now been fulfilled :) !!

Tim Appleton (Applehead) said...

bless you for devuldging all this personal info out here. It makes you who you are, and makes me keep coming back to read it! I am still laughing at the chicken story! oh my.

Robin said...

#6 you totally made up...right?

If not, one of the most hee-lair things I've ever heard (and I'm feeling your childhood pain, lol).

#7 "...fluff up to roughly the size of a small Caribbean island..." FANTASTIC imagery.

Bigger crush now :).

Robin @ PENSIEVE