I’m no stranger to memes as most of you know. I’m an attention whore and when any sort of award or recognition comes my way I take that shit and run like a convenience store thief. But just like stealing, recognition always comes with a price.
Mr. London Street has named me one of his Bloggers to watch for 2010 and I’m greatly pleased. The only downside is that I have to follow in his footsteps and write a post including 10 things you stalkers don’t already know about me. The man that doesn’t do memes has set the bar high. There’s also the little fact that I’ve already shared so much of myself with you, I’m not quite sure what’s left. But I’ll give it my most valiant effort.
Let’s do this.
1) I might be a lesbian.
When I was a kid I would stay home alone in the summer while my parents went to work. Being surrounded with family for neighbors it was hard to get in trouble, but somehow I always managed. My cousins lived next door and we were forever sneaking around the neighborhood causing mischief.
One afternoon my sidekick Ben came over. We were sitting in the living room watching TV when he noticed the big, white child lock on a low cabinet. “What’s in there”, he asked.
“I don’t know. Some breakable junk of Mom’s I think.”
“Let’s open it!”
If Ben suggested it, it was as good as done.
He opened the lock designed to keep my little sister’s grimy paws off things, set it aside, and threw the doors wide. Sitting Indian style in front of the cabinet, we started digging through odds and ends.
There were vases, candlesticks, pictures – all manner of uninteresting plunder. Then Ben stuck his hand into the dark recesses and hit pay dirt. A collector’s edition Playboy magazine…featuring none other than Ms. Marilyn Monroe.
Of course I knew shit about Marilyn Monroe back then. The only thing I knew was that I was holding something forbidden and if Ben’s attitude was any indication, something really cool.
Silently flipping pages, we stared in openmouthed fascination at naked skin. I was every bit as absorbed as he was.
“Let’s take it to the clubhouse”, he said.
“We can pull the pictures out and put them on the walls.”
And once again if Ben suggested it…
We had an old camper hatch that we called “The clubhouse”. There wasn’t enough room to stand up and you had to climb through the sliding glass window to get in. That afternoon we took the magazine, pulled out the pages, and taped them all around the metal walls.
It took my dad about two weeks to realize it was gone. I forget how he found out the magazine’s fate exactly, but find out he did. That might have been the worst ass whipping I’ve ever had in my entire life. Of course Ben walked away scot free. He was a boy, after all. He was just doing what came natural. I, on the other hand, not only stole something worth a great deal of money and bragging rights, but I ogled naked women’s bodies. My dad was a bit of a homophobe.
Looking back on it now, he should have beaten me harder. I probably would have inherited the magazine since I’m the closest thing to a pervert there is in our immediate family. As I vaguely recall those glossy pages full of delicious curves, I want to smack myself.
2) I was a very active kid…mostly by protest.
As most of you know, the only activities I find worthy of excess movement are swimming and sex. It’s not that I’m lazy per say, it’s more that I’m uninterested. Why should I chase after a ball or run around a track when I can watch someone else do it? Not only that, but I’m inherently clumsy. My mother just couldn’t grasp that concept. She wanted me involved in sports and groups, bodily harm to myself and others be damned.
I started with karate, which I actually enjoyed. But like most good things it came to a premature end. She didn’t like that I was the only girl in the class and that the fathers of the other students were picking fights with dad because I was kicking ass and taking names. Getting your ass handed to you by a girl is, I gather, a tough pill to swallow, but it sure made my dad proud.
Then there were dancing lessons. It started out with jazz hands, soft soled shoes, and spandex creations of horror and continued with cowboy hats and tassels right up until my senior year in high school. It was a closely guarded secret and for all my independence, I never could quit until after I graduated. My dance teacher and her family became close to me and mine. The ties that bind and embarrass are hard to break.
I also played soccer for several years. I was the kid no one wanted to pass to, the flower picker daydreaming down field. I didn’t set out to be bad at it, but I was all the same. My cousins were on the team too so I had plenty of ribbing at home as well as at practice. During that time, I started wearing glasses. Huge, round, red affairs that made me look like an even bigger nerd.
There was a guy named Geoff that I had the biggest crush on. He was gorgeous so of course I didn’t even come across his register. He only really noticed me twice. The first time was when my mom packed me a t-shirt with a pink cartoon elephant on the front for practice. Doing warm up laps around the field in that get up was probably one of the most brutally embarrassing moments of my life. She might as well have written “Point and Laugh” across my chest.
The second time was when the coach insisted I play goalie during practice because “sigh, it can’t hurt to try”. Translation: “You suck at every other position and this is the only one we haven’t tried.” I was absolutely terrified when everyone lined up to take a shot. I don’t remember how many I blocked/caught and how many got past me, but I’m sure the numbers weren’t in my favor. Then Geoff came up. He was one of the best players on the team and I knew he’d try to smoke me.
I’m not sure if I wasn’t paying attention like I should or if the ball just came at me too fast, but it popped me directly in the face WHAM! and knocked me out cold. When I came to my face was stinging and throbbing. For a minute I thought it had affected my vision, but no, my glasses were knocked off. Everyone was crowded around me, a blurry Geoff the closest.
He was apologizing and the coach was trying to shoo him away. They decided I was fine, but should sit out the rest of practice. After the initial shock had worn off and everyone could tell I wasn’t brain dead or suffering any serious injury, Geoff wasn’t very contrite anymore. It became yet another team joke.
I then dabbled in a bit of softball, which I was pretty decent at and would have played it longer if it wasn’t for the whole running thing. It was the batting I liked. Aggression issues and all.
But yeah, sports and me...not so much.
3) I once shaved off my baby hair.
Everyone knows how irritating those pesky baby hairs across your forehead can be, right? They don’t lay the right way and they make you look like you decided to grow bangs and changed your mind.
I have no patience. If something isn’t going my way immediately, I sometimes act less than rational.
One day I was attempting to fix my hair and I couldn’t get those fucking things to cooperate. They were behaving way worse than usual, not even allowing themselves to be covered by a deep side part. (Which was attractive, let me tell you. Deep side parts are the coolest. Like tie dyed scrunchies and hot pink taffeta.) I used all the hair products I could find, but I just ended up looking like I had a horizontal forehead mohawk with a comb-over.
Frustrated, I looked around the counter for something else to use. That’s when the little trimmer my mom uses on her eyebrows caught my attention. Without even thinking I picked it up, held back the rest of my hair, and started shaving all the baby hair off at the hairline. And it worked. Once I was finished, I was completely satisfied with my appearance.
It wasn’t until a few days or so later when my mom said “What the hell is wrong with your head” that I realized what I’d done. It looked like one of those military buzz cuts across my forehead. It took months for my hair to look decent enough to wear pulled away from my face and YEARS for the baby hair to grow back out to a normal, non-freakish length.
4) I’m kind of a murderer.
Living in a house with only women for five years (with the exception of the past few months), you can imagine how silly it can get. There are times when one of us has to “man up” and take care of something that we feel just isn’t a woman’s job. (And I don’t want to hear any shit from you feminists. Why don’t you go out and split a few logs, Paula Bunyan, and quit bothering me.) I don’t consider myself a girly girl, but I cannot stand a bug, lizard, or small, hairy undomesticated creature of any kind. For some reason, I’m always the one elected to deal with any unwanted invasion.
“Al! There’s a bug in here!”
“Al! Get the vacuum and suck up this bug!”
“Al! Al! Al!”
Listen bitches, I’m not a dude, no matter how you say my name.
Inevitably there’s a lot of squealing, cursing, and the sound of someone’s feet dancing on a chair.
Years ago, I think I was about 16; we got mice. My dad was working out of town so mom put glue traps out until he came back and figured out how they were getting in. One night I was lying in bed and she started screaming for me. “Al! Al! Get the dust pan!”
I refused to get up, instead yelling back, “What do you want? Get the dust pan yourself!”
“I just saw it run through here! Quick! Get the dust pan and whack it on the head!”
“Are you serious?! You want me to chase down a mouse and whack it in the head with a dust pan?!”
But she continued to harass me for the next 10 minutes. I knew she was never going to let me sleep, so I finally got up and went to my door. I peeked out across the dark kitchen, the only light coming from my mom’s room up the hall. I had to go to the laundry room at the half way point and get the damn dust pan.
I’d only taken two or three small, cautionary steps across the hardwood (twss) when I thought something ran over my foot. (I realized later it was just the tie from my bathrobe.) I jumped, screamed, and took off running through the kitchen. It was probably the shortest run in the history of runs, because I tripped almost immediately and went crashing to the floor. When I fell my right knee took most of the impact, but it wasn’t just with the floor.
There was a sickening CRUNCH and my knee was bathed in warm liquid. I knew what happened right away, but I kind of blacked out for a minute. My mom says that I was shrieking so horribly she thought I’d broken a leg.
She helped me to her bathroom where I took my first look at the carnage. Hair and blood and blech, gag, mouse guts were stuck to my knee. I wailed and cried while she cleaned it all off. I kept hearing that CRUNCH replayed in my head, over and over and over.
I’d barely calmed down before it turned into the new “guess what she’s done now” story. She immediately started calling people and relaying the brutal tale. It’s still, of course, a common joke among my family. “Did you hear about the time Alyson crushed that mouse with her knee?
(In case you haven’t noticed the trend, there’s a long list of things I’ll never live down. The post didn’t start out to be that way, but whatever.)
5) I’m often tactless.
In the past several months we’ve been learning how to use a new database at work. This means we’ve been spending a lot of time with new consultants and calling them when questions crop up. We haven’t completely transitioned from the old to the new so everything has been a bit muddled lately.
About a month ago one of my bills was late, as usual. Of course they started calling my work phone every fucking hour. Of course I didn’t answer. Sometimes they get sneaky and call switchboard and it comes up without an actual phone number on the screen, but I’ve gotten wise to that. Ha!
That particular day I was feeling a bit paranoid, so when the phone rang with a number I didn’t know I debated on picking it up or not. I finally snatched it up at the last minute, deciding I just wouldn’t answer using my name and see who it was first.
“Name of company and department." Pause. "How may I help you?”
“Yes, I’m calling for Alyson.”
“Erm, she’s not here...can I take a message?”
“Yes, tell her this is So-in-So the consultant returning her call about the questions she had on blahbity blahbity blah.”
I REALLY needed to talk to him so I had a quick internal debate: I couldn’t call him right back because I wasn’t supposed to be there. I couldn’t pretend to be someone else and say “Oh! Here she is!” because he’d recognize my voice and have to pretend he didn’t which would make things really awkward. Or I could tell him it was me and I was sorry for misleading him.
“Um, ha, So-in-So? This is kind of embarrassing, but this is Alyson...me. Your number looked like someone’s that I’ve been avoiding so I...wait, I mean...”
He immediately burst out laughing.
“I’m so sorry...wow...um”
Still laughing, “That’s ok. Ha!” Then he started answering the questions that I’d left him a message about.
I’ve spoken to him twice since then, answering the phone correctly both times. The last one being this past Thursday:
“Thank you for calling Name of Company and Department. This is Alyson. How may I help you?”
“Oh, so it’s you today? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!”
“Yep, it’s me. Heh, heh. Funny.”
“I’m never going to live this one down, am I?”
“I’m so professional.”
Did I mention he’s cute and single? No? Well he is, damn it. We have a meeting at his office across town coming up soon. I’m hoping he doesn’t embarrass me in front of everyone, including my boss who I never told about my lapse in professional demeanor. She’d be shocked, I’m sure.
Obviously I’m going to have to split this into two separate posts to keep you from restless eyeball syndrome.
To be continued with five more things you don't know about moi and my top seven bloggers to watch for 2010.
Sunny Side of the Street
3 days ago