Sunday, May 16, 2010

Eight things about me

posted Mon, 18 Jun 2007

Bocephus tagged me. Here is my list:

1. I don’t have a TV. This seems not so weird to me but some people get really bothered by it. I grew up without one (except for a few brief intervals, but even then, we weren’t allowed to watch it very much) and I haven’t had one since I was a kid except for when I was in graduate school, when thirtysomething was my Tuesday night ritual. I wouldn’t even answer the phone while it was on.

I don’t have a moral problem with TV; I just have no self discipline. I don’t have a TV for the same reason I don’t keep ice cream in my freezer – if it were there, all I would do is watch it (or eat it, as the case may be). I know this is true because when I visit SH and he’s working during the day, all I do is watch TV (“Trading Spaces,” “Bridezilla,” “What Not to Wear,” and re-runs of “Dharma and Greg”) and eat the Kopp’s frozen custard in his freezer. I gained five pounds on my last visit. It’s a good thing he doesn’t like skinny women.

2. I hate talking on the phone when I’m at home. I screen all my calls and only answer if a) it’s someone I want to talk to and b) I am in the mood to talk. If I do answer and begin to enjoy the conversation (which is what usually happens if it is one of my friends), I still grab a rag and start dusting so that I am not completely wasting my time.

3. My little toes curl up over the penultimate toes (the piggies that had no roast beef). My mother tried and tried to mash those toes down when I was a baby so I would have normal feet, but it didn’t work. I have a four-toed footprint, so if I ever commit murder, I better not do it barefoot or they’ll figure out it’s me from the tracks in the blood.

4. I believe that if I eat the dessert from someone else’s plate, there are no calories in it. Same thing about eating Captain Crunch straight from the box. It is the act of ordering or putting a fattening food into a bowl or onto a plate that impregnates it with calories. Even when my friend Anita told me she would buy me my own French fries at Wendy’s but not to under the pain of dismemberment touch hers, I couldn’t bring myself to order French fries.

5. I don’t smoke, but I love the smell of fresh cigarette smoke in the open air. Someone is smoking on the porch next door and the aroma is wafting in through my window. Delicious!

6. When I was in junior high, high school and college, I sewed most of my own clothes. Unfortunately, I did not have the great sense of style I do today, so I spent lots of time and some money on fabulous creations like the green crinkle-cloth jumpsuit with the D-ring belt, the white t-shirt with the black trains running across it (I wore it with the bright orange elastic-waisted polyester pants my mother had made for me), and the off-white linen wrap dress that I didn’t realize was see-through until I was at my college boyfriend’s Phi Beta Kappa ceremony with his mom and dad, who already thought I was a loser because I ate his mom’s salad once (solids on the right because that’s where my hand is made perfect sense to me – or is it solids on the left? Whatever – I ate his mom’s salad) and because when they took us out to dinner at the seafood place, I tried to open a crab leg by bracing it the way you do a tiddlywink and just as tiddlywinks do, that crab leg flipped up and over my shoulder with a mere press of the fork. It spun and flung butter on me, my friend Rebecca’s silk fuchsia blouse that I had borrowed, and, of course, my boyfriend’s mother.

My sewing skills have served me well otherwise, though. I still do my own mending and alterations and will do the same for boyfriends and friends. If I had kids, I would have to sew their clothes, I think, just because decent kids’ clothes appear to be very expensive and I would not be willing to dress my daughter in the more moderate prostitot line. I can also knit, embroider and crochet. All of this is thanks to my mom, who also taught me long division when I was in second grade and my math class was moving too slowly for me. Thanks to her, I also knew how to cut up a chicken and dice an onion properly by the age of 11.

7. I hate to be late and almost never am, even though I do not wear a watch. One of my biggest annoyances is when people are late meeting with me. I consider chronic lateness a character flaw and a complete disregard for other people. I just about went crazy living in Chile working with the Mapuche women, who don’t hold punctuality as a cultural value. To paraphrase something I read a while ago (in a Tony Hillerman novel?), for a Midwesterner, 10:00 a.m. means 9:55. For a Chilean, 10:00 a.m. means 10:15 or so. For a Mapuche, 10:00 a.m. means “while the sun is still in the sky.”

8. I have lived on three continents and visited three others. All that’s left is Antarctica. (Seven continents, right?)


  1. 5. Me too! Something about that smell tells me it's summertime and people are outdoors, and reminds me of amusement parks.