I'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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