10 Things You Probably Don’t Care To Know About Me

16 Nov

So there’s this thing happening on Facebook now where someone writes a few things about themselves that no one supposedly knows about them, and if a friend “likes” the post, the writer of the post assigns the liker of the post a number. The liker is then expected to write his or her own post chock full of facts that no one cares about. The number of facts they’re supposed to write directly corresponds to the number the writer of the post that they liked assigned to them. Confused yet? It’s really much simpler and more unnecessary than it sounds, but I actually find it to be kind of interesting. Who knew that so-and-so’s grandfather was one of the motorcycle cops riding alongside JFK’s limo when he was shot in Dallas? How interesting that that person knows how to change the brakes on her car! As fun as these things are to know, I’m not sure that Facebook is the forum in which to share them. It seems more like a thing that one would share in say…a blog. Like this one here. As opposed to posting it on Facebook where everyone is forced to look at it as they scroll past it, you can choose to read this or not here and you never have to look at it again. No harm, no foul. So…here goes.

1. When I was 5 years old, my family moved to a little village outside London, England, for my Dad’s job. Dad was the international quality control manager for Kentucky Fried Chicken in the early 80’s and we were relocated to a village called Bookham in Surrey for two years. I started school at Eastwick First School, where on my first day of class we went out to pick blackberries. The next day we made blackberry jam as a science project. Our headmistress was named Mrs. Rump. I don’t really remember her much, but whenever I hear her name, I have visions of Miss Trunchbull from “Matilda.” We were required to wear uniforms at Eastwick, which I actually liked a lot and I looked very cute if I do say so myself. Our gym outfits were another story for another day. (Always leave ’em wanting more, right…?)

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Me in my Eastwick First School uniform.

2. I have a very healthy respect/fear of authoritative figures, though I hate to be told what to do and have no tolerance for abuse of power. I believe it is possible to be an authority figure without being a bully or condescending. The second I feel you’re taking advantage of your position or condescend to me, I start bucking up and getting sassy. But if there’s any chance you might be able to throw me in jail, I will probably cry and be as cooperative as possible (See Below).

3. I have been investigated by the FBI. It’s a long story that I don’t have the time or energy to go into again, so just read the post I wrote about it this summer. The One About the FBI.

4. I am absolutely terrified of “haunted” houses, but I am fascinated by haunted houses. When I was 8 years old, my next door neighbor’s dad took some of us to a local radio station’s walk-through haunted house and I haven’t set foot in one since. Again – another post for another day. I am, however, fascinated by houses that may actually be haunted by spirits…not by people jumping out from behind things with chainsaws.

5. I am nearly 37 years old and I have never smoked a cigarette – tobacco or otherwise. I’ve also never done drugs and I don’t drink alcohol. None of it has ever interested me. Honestly, if I’m self-medicating, I’d rather have a cake or cookies. Also, I’ve seen and felt the effects of drug and alcohol abuse on my family. I’ll stick to Twinkies and pie, thanks.

6. My love of Disney began – and was temporarily halted – by my maternal grandparents. My grandparents used to take me to see Disney movies at the cinema when they were being re-released in the late 70’s/early 80’s. Specifically, I remember seeing “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and being terrified of the Evil Hag. My grandmother also took me to meet Mickey Mouse at a mall meet-and-greet in Lexington. A few years later, they took me to Walt Disney World and EPCOT, but I was so badly sunburnt from our trip to the beach in Ft. Myers the day before that I cried and/or vomited my way through Orlando. It was 25 years before I set foot in another Disney Park and now I’m obsessed, reliving my childhood as I wanted it to be the first time.

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Timidly introducing myself to Captain Hook at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom circa 1986.

7. I am a self-diagnosed misophoniac. According to Wikipedia, “people who have misophonia are most commonly angered, and even enraged, by common ambient sounds, such as other people clipping their nails, brushing teeth, eating crushed ice, eating, breathing, sniffing, talking, sneezing, yawning, walking, chewing gum, laughing, snoring, typing on a keyboard, whistling or coughing; certain consonants; or repetitive sounds.” Sounds that are particularly annoying to me include people who eat as if they are chewing cud, clicking jaws, nail clipping, unwrapping hard candies and the sound of hard-soled shoes and heels clicking on tile or concrete in an otherwise silent environment. Specific, huh?

8. When I was in 5th grade, I threw up in front of the entire school. It was during our Christmas show. The principal had just gotten up to give her greeting and we had just finished singing an interminable holiday tune during which I found myself slightly swaying back and forth. At some point during her speech, I tossed my cookies – or, more specifically, the broccoli casserole they’d served at lunch – down the front of my new holiday sweater. And yet I chose to pursue a performance career…

9. When I was in 7th grade, I began working in the school cafeteria to get out of gym class. Connie Fisher and I were the only ones who raised our hands to get out of P.E. In my opinion, coming home smelling like spaghetti casserole and spoiled milk was way better than coming home smelling like sweaty gym socks and B.O. In 25 years, this has not changed.

10. I am terrified of tornados. As a kid, my Dad told me a story about the tornados that ripped through Louisville in the mid-70’s. He was on his way home as the storm was building and, according to what I remember from the story, he basically saved his family’s house by opening the door and regulating the air pressure. From that point on, I would lay awake in my bed at night during thunderstorms, worrying that we would sleep through the tornado sirens and be blown away. I would even make sure that my stuffed animals slept on the side of the bed nearest the windows in the hopes that, should the windows be blown in, they would protect me from the flying glass.

On that fateful trip to Florida (See No. 6 Above), we got a flat tire and my grandfather and uncle had to get out in the middle of a storm to change the tire. I sat in the front seat with my grandmother and sobbed, begging my Popaw to get back in the car because I was certain he was going to die in a tornado. Ironically, the first show I ever did was The Wizard of Oz and I played Uncle Henry. I was the one who had to run onstage screaming, “It’s a twister! It’s a TWISTER!” Even more baffling is the fact that I chose to move to Oklahoma City – the very heart of Tornado Alley – to go to graduate school, just three months after the huge tornado outbreak in Oklahoma in 1999. I’m either incredibly brave or incredibly stupid.

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