When I was 15, I loved filling out surveys. LOVED. Would happily have born their children, etc. I considered myself very clever too, filling out my age as 15.333485 and my eye color as “pond scum.” As was done back in those days, I circulated my very clever surveys to all my friends and chuckled to myself at what they would think when they read that my preference between chocolate and vanilla was “Hello, do you KNOW me?” (Chocolate and I had quite a reputation back then.)
Then I found maturity at the ripe old age of 15.792144 and destroyed all those surveys that I had poured all my very clever immaturity into. I became a… Meme Snob. The experience is not unlike discovering crème fraîche, fresh Asiago, and cavatappi al dente and then turning up your nose at Kraft Mac ‘n’ Cheese forever after. Only, sometimes, you still secretly crave the taste of orange powder and soggy noodles. Come on, ‘fess up.
Today, I found myself craving a soggy orange meme… and instead of ignoring it sanctimoniously like usual, I decided to be 15.333485 again and enjoy it. (Plus, I had nothing else to write about today.) This is for you, Kelly!
6 Random Things About Myself (why does it feel like I’m starting a 3rd grade essay?)
1. My favorite food in this or any other universe is fried okra. Which pretty much limits me to the southeast quarter of the USA. Oh, and Cracker Barrel! But sadly, Cracker Barrel has yet to set up a franchise in Italy…
2. No one can deny that I’m a disgrace to my Texan upbringing. I start to melt at 85 degrees or medium salsa, whichever comes hotter. I own neither a pickup truck nor a shotgun.* Country music fills me with fantasies of puncturing my own ear drums. Need I continue?
However, though I’m not officially admitting it, I often miss the landscape of Texas… Those rugged oceans of sandstone and grass that manage to look safe in their rampant wildness… Red bluffs crowded with stubby pine trees overlooking friendly fishing lakes… Fresh-baked prairie and wide open spaces in every direction… Those Dixie Chicks were onto something (country music notwithstanding).
*Nor a rifle, a pistol, an AK-47, a bow and arrow, a BB gun, a Bowie knife, or a rocket launcher. Though I have used all of them before. Yes, Unreal counts.
3. I have ten piercings, including three that have closed. My little sister, who got a darling sparkly nose stud at 14, owes me BIG TIME. At 14, I was going for double-pierced ears, which might as well have been nipples for how well certain parents of ours took it… but they’ve come a long way in the meantime, and my jewelry and I are willing to take full credit.
4. During breakfast, Natalie looks at the backs of cereal boxes, and I read sugar bags. Sugar comes with poetry in Italy (why not?), and here’s a particularly charming translation for your reading pleasure:
“The Sugar in a Cup:”
Sweet as an enamored boy,
Candied as an unexpected kiss,
Light as a hug without end,
Simple as the waves of the sea,
Sugar is everything and nothing,
It is not, but it is present…
It hides in a cup,
Reappears in a bag, the sugar…
5. My hair in college went something like this:
Normal: light reddish-blond (I call it Irish)
Blonde of a strawberrier variety
PERM (I know, but it was tasteful, plus it saved my life during those 4 a.m. hygiene sprints sharing a dime-sized mirror with 75 other girls in South Africa)
[Convince best friend DeAnn to dye her hair, though her hair resists mightily]
Back to normal
Spiky fuchsia wig
Roasted chili red
[Future husband falls in love with me and vice versa]
Chestnut, round 2
Just plain brown
With a touch of red
And then several touches more
PURPLE (it was temporary, but still…)
It seems that every time I get bored with The Way Things Are™ or just need a breath of fresh figurative air, I reinvent myself by way of hair. It’s the only viable option for me, really. I will never be able to tan beyond the shade of fluorescent white. I will never be able to afford replacing my wardrobe every few months. I seriously doubt I will ever have the time to go on a Pilates spree or a soul-searching trip to the Himalayas, though, um, yes please. I can’t change much about my routine with little ones to care for, and I can’t rearrange the furniture in our shoebox apartment. B
ut I can disappear into the bathroom with a little box marked “#556, Red Mahogany” and emerge forty minutes later a different person.
6. I am not afraid of heights… exactly. However, my hands begin to sweat profusely the moment I’m up high. Or when I watch a movie scene depicting someone up high. Or when I think about watching a movie scene depicting someone up high. For instance, right now; my palms are literally gushing as I type. It would seem I was not blessed with survival instinct.
I am a Meme Snob no more. Now please pass the Mac ‘n’ Cheese.