Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Tagged to do a Meme

I don't really like memes. But I do like Patry Francis of Simply Wait and she tagged to write ten things about myself. I think I've written so much already that you all really know me. But I thought I share ten life stories that had an impact me on when I was growing up.

1. I was in kindergarden when my twin brother and I were separated for the first time and put in different classrooms (so we wouldn't compete with each other, per my parents' express request). But I cried and cried until the teachers opened a door between the classrooms so I could at least see him whenever I needed to.

2. When I was in 2nd grade I was the teacher's pet. I was singled out for praise and special responsibilities. In winter when she wore her heavy coat, she would come into the classroom and say, "R, would you like to hang my coat up in the teacher's cloak room?" Oh yes, I answered. She did this everyday, but after I while I started to feel sheepish about being so singled out, so when she asked me one morning to hang up her coat, I said, "No, I think you should give someone else a chance." So she did, and she never asked me again.

3. I once quit my Brownie troop because I saw the incredibly scary, dirty feet of the den mother. It made me afraid of what it meant to live in poverty.

4. I went to a Girl Scout overnight in a state park, where the several troops stayed together in a large cold cabin, sleeping in our sleeping bags on cots in a big room. After dinner, we were told to take our dinner plates and scrape them off into the garbage before we put them in the sink to be washed. For some reason, I thought it would be a better idea if I scraped my leftovers onto the plate of the girl scout leader's daughter, since she was heading over to the sink anyway. That did not go over quite so well, and I didn't return to Girl Scouts after that. I guess there simply was no badge for my kind of behavior.

5. My parents got tickets for the three youngest kids to go on the Bozo the Clown show in New York City. We were very excited, as my parents were able to watch the show from a small studio, while it was being broadcast. Bozo, as it turns out was a bit of a tyrant. Before the show he and the producers harassed us about not talking out, not shouting except when cued to, and never to wave at the cameras. They told us to yell only when Bozo's phone would ring, and he would run around pretending he didn't know where the phone was. We were told to shout out, "It's in your pocket. It's in your pocket." They reminded us again not to wave at the cameras. So, of course, as soon as we were live on air, I brought my hand up to my eyebrow and waved one little finger. I refused to shout when the phone rang.

6. When I was three, I took apart a small metal cash register, put a few screws into a cup, and drank them down. Yum. I told my parents and they took me to the doctor where I was fluoroscoped. The doctor saw the screws and told my parents that I would pass them, but that they should make sure by checking my poop. That fantastic job fell to my father who teased me every now and then for years later whenever I gave my parents a hard time that he had already gone through enough of my shit for me.

7. I broke my left wrist when I was six years old. I had been watching competitions for Olympic tryouts with my dad, and saw runners hurdling for the first time and thought I should definitely try that. I tried to hurdle a four-foot picket fence in the backyard. I didn't make it.

8. I got caught shoplifting when I was 15 years old. The store detective took me into a back room of the store and showed me a bank of TV screens and cameras, and told me how he had watched me hide some clothing under some other things. It was true. He told me he was going to call my parents, which was much scarier than when he told me he was going to write me up. I was very scared, but I was also defiant. I noticed that the detective had a tattoo that said "Born to Raise Hell." Richard Speck had recently killed eight student nursed in Chicago, and a big deal had been made about his tattoo, which also said, "Born to Raise Hell." I said to the detective, "That's an interesting tattoo." He said yes it was. I said, "You know Richard Speck has the same tattoo. What do you make of that?" He said that he really didn't know what to make of it. What did I think of it? I told him, I didn't know, but maybe people had the same tattoos for different reasons. He looked at me for a long time, and said that he wasn't going to call me parents afterall. He said, "You're a real fighter, and I like fighters. So, keep fighting, Tiger." And he showed me out of his office. I NEVER SHOPLIFTED AGAIN.

9. I once wore a mini-skirt to high school in 1969. It was so short that I was sent to the principal's office. He called my mother and asked her to bring me some attire that was more appropriate for school. So, she did. She brought me a lovely knit dress. After I put it on, I had to twirl around the principal's office so he could see how short and tight the dress was over my butt. He actually told me I should wear a girdle! I never wore a girdle in my life! Imagine saying that to a high school girl these days.

10. I dated a guy in high school who was half Puerto Rican and half African American. He was beautiful, played junior varsity basketball, played in a band, was very bright and talented, and was elected the senior class president. I still got called Nigger-Digger.

This is what I wrote instead of watching the president speak. I was happy to have the assignment.

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