My friend Kat tagged me for the 8 random things. I've done 100 things about myself and some other memes, and covered a lot of ground, but since this is "8 random things" I'm not going to talk about my idiosyncrasies, per se, instead, I'm just going to tell you 8 random stories from my life. If you know me well, in real life, you've probably heard some or all of these, but I think they will all be new to most of you. Some of them are sort of sad, some are funny, they all stick with me as meaningful moments in my life; times when I learned something about myself or about other people.
- As a very young child, my parents had cars with vinyl seats. In the hot days of summer, sans air conditioning, we'd drive to various and sundry locations and, inevitably, my skin would adhere to those seats. When time would come to exit the vehicle, extracting myself from the seat was often painful.
Come Christmas season, my parents put a cute little dress on me and brought me to the mall to sit on Santa's lap. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I got it in my head that, because I was wearing a short shirt, I would end up sticking to Santa's lap. The thought horrified me. As we neared Santa, I burst into tears. My parents had no idea what had come over me./li>
More after the bump
One day in kindergarten, I was playing with some plastic beads, by myself. I picked up a small yellow bead, about a centimeter long, shaped just like a lemon. I loved lemons, and thought it would be interesting to see if the bead were as tasty as they looked.
Looking around, to assure no one was watching, I popped it in my mouth. Unexpectedly it slipped down my throat, and I contemplated whether I should say something or not. I decided there was no point in it and continued on with my playing, carefully avoiding putting anything in my mouth.
A matter of days later, I had to go to the doctor with my father. I don't recall why, but, after my exam, I needed to have an x-ray done. I knew enough from cartoons to know that x-rays would show everything inside of me. Putting two and two together, I realized that the doctor would see I ate the bead. I thought my parents would be furious if they found out I put a bead in my mouth. As we sat in the waiting room, I turned to my father and tried to remain as casual as possible. I asked what would happen if the doctor found anything inside me. My father, having no idea what was going on in my head said, "They'd cut you open and take it out."
I burst into the most horrendous sobbing fit. My father never saw it coming. I still remember, being led back to the x-ray room, hysterical, legs like rubber, sure that the doctor would tell my dad I had eaten beads and that I would need to go to surgery. I'm not sure of which I was more afraid.
I've always snored. I think it's just genetic. Everyone in my family snores. As a child, my parents would send me to summer camp. One particular year, the camp I was sent to had tents pitched on little platforms. The tent was not secured well, on my side and as soon as I would drift off to sleep, my tent mate would push me out of the tent. I'd drop the foot or so to the ground, with a thud, trapped in my sleeping bag. It was generally raining, I was exhausted and miserable. I'd walk back inside, only to have my tent mate repeat this, any time she felt inconvenienced by my snoring. Of course, she never admitted to this behavior, but seeing as I've never rolled off a bed before or after, I can feel pretty confident that it wasn't self inflicted. God, I hated summer camp.
One day, in the first grade, we had a peanut hunt at school. Peanuts were hidden all over the playground and whoever found the red one would win a prize. As I was searching, a little bit of red caught my eye by the swing set. I made my way over and scooped up the little painted gem. Apparently, one of the more popular girls, who happened to also ride the same bus as I did, saw it before I picked it up, but not soon enough to get it herself. She felt entitled to the peanut and prize and demanded I relinquish it. Instead, I brought it to the teachers and collected my prize; a glow in the dark frisbee. On the ride home, this girl was relentless. She belittled me, she insulted me, she tried to appeal to my sense of reason but I held tightly to the frisbee. Finally, she asked if she could see it. I was leery but eventually I relented. I never saw the frisbee again. The funny thing is, I don't think either of us even wanted the damn thing. Still, I can't help but feel a little bitter and disappointed with myself.
One lovely summer day, my parents had a pool party at the house. There were loads of people over, all sitting around, enjoying drinks and snacks by the pool. My friend, Jenny, was over and we were running around the yard. At one point, I tripped and fell on the cement walkway to the pool. My knee popped open and a flood of blood erupted. I don't actually recall a lot of pain, just a moment where I was sure my parents would tell me that THIS is why we don't run on the concrete. It was clear to me that I needed to track down my parents. They sat at the farthest end of the pool party and I had to hop on one leg, holding my bleeding knee up as I went. There were two rows of lounge chairs, each filled with partiers, now gaping at me and my flesh wound. They formed a small hallway to the end, where my parents were chatting, unaware of my grand entrance to the scene.
After determining that this wasn't a band-aid kind of flesh wound, someone, parked near the end of the driveway, and thus able to get out, agreed to drive my parents and me to the emergency room. I don't recall much about the ride there or wait to be seen, but I remember reading a book while the doctor sewed me up and my parents looked on. At one point, they all remarked how surprised and impressed they were with how brave I was. This made me realize there might actually be something to worry about. As they tied up the stitches, I burst into tears. Had they not said anything, I probably wouldn't have even noticed.
I was pretty proud of my 3 stitches, after that. I still have a little scar on my knee.
Back at a job I had in Boston, many moons ago, I worked with someone who engaged in some behavior, at work, that I was not comfortable (he was drinking beer at his desk). I reported it and he was reprimanded. A few weeks later, he claimed he needed his desk moved, and his excuse was that I had told him I thought he was looking at my butt. My boss raised this issue with HR, who pulled me in and began questioning me about whether I was comfortable at work and if I felt people were ever looking at me. I was totally perplexed. I responded something like, "Um, I'm sure that there have been occasions when someone has looked at me. It's never been anything I've taken note of." I couldn't figure out what she was getting at and I was trying to figure out if I was in trouble, since one does not get called into HR for nothing. After much prancing around the topic, the HR woman finally came out and explained that this person had said I accused him of looking at my butt. It dawned on me what happened and I gave her the whole story. She then told me that I was not allowed to discuss any of this with anyone in the office. Unfortunately, the gentleman had already given his version of the story to all my colleagues; something along the lines of how he just minds his own business and I accused the poor innocent chap of this devious behavior and how he just wants to move his desk to avoid having to face anymore false accusations. It just killed me that I couldn't clear my name. Luckily, I got a much better job, soon after.
In college, my friend, Maria, and I both took a sign language class. We had a few books and she had studied a little bit of sign in the past, so we were able to communicate relatively well, in what would probably be considered pidgin sign language. We'd occasionally make up or misuse signs and there's no doubt our grammar was off, but it did allow us to communicate in loud places, like subways and clubs, without having to shout.
One day, we were riding a bus to the Braintree Mall. We're talking wholesome Massachusetts suburbia, here. We were signing away, discussing what we had planned for the day. Out of our peripheral vision, we noticed a young girl, in her tweens or early teens. She was accompanied by several of her friends, all of whom were scattered about, taking up seats near where we were seated. This young lady decided that we were, obviously, deaf, and, apparently, blind. She stared at us, and started aping the signs we made. At first, her friends found it vaguely funny, but after a while, as she grew more obnoxious, even her friends started to feel uncomfortable. Maria and I decided to continue to sign, to see how long she'd go on in this manner. For the remainder of the bus ride, the young lady continued to escalate her verbal jabs and wild gesticulations. Her friends implored her to give it a rest, to no avail.
As the bus pulled into the mall, Maria and I stood up. She turned to me and said, in a loud clear voice, "So where would you like to go tonight?" I responded, "Oh wherever, I'm up for anything." The bus went silent. The young lady turned red, and her friends, equal parts horrified and vindicated, ribbed her mercilessly as we departed the bus.
I have held only one party, in my adult life and I don't think I'll ever try again. After inviting 20 or more people, the only people who came were, my then boyfriend, and his roommate.
So thems my stories. I am not going to tag anyone, by name, but if you haven't played yet, and you wish to, consider yourself tagged.