Thirty-Five Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me


Of course, I’m not implying that you want to know 35 things about me; in fact, I realize that some people may have already stopped reading.  For the remaining brave souls (and for those who just didn’t have anything better to do with the next ten minutes of their lives), I verify that, to the best of my knowledge, the following statements are true and accurate (that is, all except two of them–see if you can guess which two!).

  1. The last time I had a drink of milk, it was in a bottle with a nipple on it (and I was one year old).
  2. I write right-handed and do everything else left-handed (except eating, which I do quite well with either hand or both hands simultaneously!).
  3. I was almost retained in the first grade for missing too much school.  In that year alone, I had measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, strep throat, and several bouts of tonsilitis.
  4. My first major in college was accounting, but I soon found that I hated having to account for every single penny.  Then I changed my major to criminal justice; I was going to be a juvenile officer, but I soon realized that working only with kids in trouble was more discouraging than I could bear.  So I changed my major again, following my heart into English and journalism.  (Grammar rocks!)
  5. When I was born, I had dark red hair.  Then it all fell out, and when the new hair came in, it was towhead white and remained so for several years.  My parents would tease that they weren’t sure where I had come from, and since my dad had jet black hair and brown eyes and my mom had auburn hair and green eyes, I wasn’t always sure they were teasing.  It wasn’t until I was in high school biology and learning about recessive genes that I realized my blue-eyed blondness was probably inherited from my grandparents (three of whom were of German descent).  Probably.   
  6. I am a mean poker player (although I never get the chance to play anymore).  When my husband was in the Water Patrol years ago, he was gone for a week on flood duty.  At night he played poker with the other patrolmen, losing a considerable sum of money in the process.  I showed up for the weekend, convinced them to deal me in, and in a few short hours won all of his money back.
  7. For about a year in high school, I was the lead singer in a gospel singing group that performed in area churches.  (I was lead singer not because I was the best singer but rather because I was the only member of the group who couldn’t play an instrument!)
  8. On May 11, 1984, I had a kidney stone surgically removed; I gave birth to my first child on the next day.  On May 19, 2006, I passed a second kidney stone; on December 26, 2008, I passed a third one.  In each case I was ready for death to relieve me of my misery.  (A dye test revealed several more small stones just waiting for the opportune time to make their treacherous presence known–tiny time bombs ticking.)   
  9. I would love to take dance lessons (salsa, ballroom, belly), but I have no rhythm.  None.
  10. In the fourth grade I advanced to the final rounds of the county-wide spelling bee by correctly spelling “onomatopoeia” and then lost in the very next round by putting an extra “r” in “giraffe.”
  11. I have had my “new” cell phone for three months now and still don’t know how to retrieve my missed calls.
  12. Once, many years ago, my husband (in my opinion) had WAY too much fun at a party.  To protest his obnoxious behavior, I flushed all the Tylenol before I went to bed that night. 
  13. Almost all the men at work are intimidated by me.  I find this highly amusing (if they only knew what a softy I really am!) but also incredibly empowering (so I have no intention of letting them in on my little secret).
  14. I grew seven inches in the seventh grade.  And then I was done growing.  Forever.
  15. My goal is always to wait until December 1 to turn on the heat and July 1 to turn on the air conditioning.  My husband almost always prevents me from reaching these goals.  (And these goals have nothing to do with saving money–they’re just crazy little endurance challenges I want to win.)
  16. I have never smoked–anything. 
  17. I am very talented at thinking of witty, frequently sarcastic comebacks; unfortunately, my comebacks are usually conjured about ten minutes after the original remarks (thereby rendering said comebacks totally worthless).
  18. One night several years ago I rescued six bikini-clad out-of-town teenage girls from the park during a tornado.  Their tent had been blown away, and they were cowering in the park bathroom when I loaded them all into my Camaro and brought them back to our basement to spend the night.  For that one very special night I was a hero in the eyes of all three of my sons.
  19. I used to be in love with Robert Redford and then Kevin Costner–but they both became old men.  Now I’m thinking that Brad Pitt is just pretty darn cute.
  20. When I was still teaching, I used to buy a gross of red pens before the school year started and usually ran out before the school year was over.
  21. I am really interested in doing relief aid work during retirement.  I would like to help out in areas hit by natural disasters, but I also know I couldn’t go more than a day without a hot shower and a hair dryer.  I may have to limit my assistance to areas that still have fully functioning hotels nearby.
  22. After hearing it thousands of times, I still can’t listen to the National Anthem without tearing up.
  23. I can handle the sight of blood (even mass quantities), but a needle sighting (even a needle not directed at me) leaves me light-headed and nauseous.
  24. My mind thinks I’m still young; my body calls me liar every day.
  25. I think Top Gun is one of the best movies of all time; I am especially partial to the beach volleyball scene.
  26. I am comfortable with silence, which, unfortuantely, often makes others around me extremely uncomfortable.
  27. If I could tweak my physique, I would shave about eight inches off the circumference of my derriere and add them to the length of my legs (wouldn’t that be a neat trick!).
  28. I read the ingredients on the shampoo bottle just to see if I can pronounce all the words.
  29. I once got a speeding ticket for going 85 in a 60 mph speed zone.  It was a rather large ticket.
  30. I have a superstitious belief in the power of words.  If I want something very badly, I don’t want to talk about it because I’m afraid I’ll “jinx it.”  And if I’m worried about something, I don’t want to talk about it, either, because I’m afraid that just giving voice to my fear might actually make it happen.  Weird, I know.
  31. I hope to someday vote for a woman for president.  However, I will vote for her only if I think she is the best candidate (and I will never believe that Sarah Palin is the best candidate).
  32. In college, I once hit an in-the-park homerun during an intramural softball game.
  33. I believe in a loving and forgiving God.  I also believe that one of the most important verses in the Bible is “Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Matthew, 7:1)
  34. I am a news junkie and a Food Network addict.
  35. I still have a rotary phone hanging on my kitchen wall.  I thought about getting rid of it years ago, but then I saw an identical phone in a Pottery Barn catalog, for sale as an “antique classic.”
  36. I can’t stand baby talk!
  37. Several years ago I had $200 stolen out of my purse.  The person who stole it would have gotten away with the crime, but she couldn’t resist the urge to brag.  When the police picked her up, they did a full body cavity search and found my money.  It was returned to me in a Ziplock bag with a pair of rubber gloves and instructions on proper handling techniques.  My husband insisted that I burn the money, but I refused–it was $200!  Instead, I put on the gloves, carefully dumped the money into a pot of boiling water, and boiled it for 30 minutes.  Then I washed it in the dishwasher, and then I dried it in the dryer on high heat.  Then I immediately went to Wal-Mart and spent all of it, gingerly handing it over to the cashier.  That money is probably still in circulation somewhere (maybe even in your wallet–if you have any faded, washed out twenties, you might wonder where they’ve been!). 

So do you think you know me better now?  (Are you just a little bit scared?!)  And do you think you were able to recognize the two untruths?  Let me know (and I’ll let you know if you guessed correctly).

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About icedteawithlemon

I have recently retired from a 30-year career in education in one of the best school districts in the world. I hope to spend my second life reading, writing, photographing, traveling, biking, cheering on my favorite baseball team (the St. Louis Cardinals), and soaking up glorious sunshine. In my spare time I enjoy playing with my pet tarantulas, trying out new flavors of chewing gum, and knitting socks for prison inmates. I'm almost positive that in a past life I was one of the Seven Dwarfs (most likely "Grumpy"), and in my next life I'm going to be either a taste tester for Hershey's or a model for Victoria's Secret's new line, "Bloomers for Boomers." I want to travel country back roads, singing Vanilla Ice songs at every karaoke bar and rating bathroom cleanliness at every truckstop. And someday I plan to own a private beach where skinny girls aren't allowed. I want to be a writer when I grow up. "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake."--Henry David Thoreau
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16 Responses to Thirty-Five Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Me

  1. Janet says:

    Hmmm, I DON”T know you very well, sister, but I’ll take a stab at this: somehow, I just can’t imagine you never, ever, smoked a cigarette (the store-bought kind)…..and now, it’s a toss-up between the in-the-park homerun and being a lead singer in a group. So, looks like I made three guesses…better odds for me, maybe.

    • Sorry, but all three of those are completely true! My parents were both chain smokers, so I’ve been anti-cigarettes for as long as I can rememberl And you question my ability to be a slugger or a singer? Shame, shame.

  2. Norman Eubank says:

    #1 and # 29.
    You may have the most speeding tickets in the family but I can’t remember you getting one for 85 mph ( that was me). You would not have been able to get through grade school without drinking milk for lunch, that’s all they served back then. Could be 28 also, you do spend a lot of time in the shower but you never have problems pronouncing any words. All others are true to fact.

  3. Megin says:

    Maybe I am way off, but I seem to remember you getting a rather large speeding ticket once. I agree with Norm on the milk issue, it seems nearly impossible! I don’t know about the other fib. I would say the stolen money issue, but you seem to have WAY to many details…gross details, I might add!! It is bothering me that I can’t remember that situation!!! (It seems like a story Norm would be retelling time and time again!) I do, however, love your rotary phone, and the fact you’ve kept it all these years!!

  4. misty says:

    dang… i really thought it was the milk thing…hm..#29 and maybe #19 (you are pretty darn loyal….and well you have always loved those guys…i just don’t see you as a brad pitt woman!!!!

  5. I just hope we never have a natural disaster that causes you to “not have a choice” in the matter of a hot shower and a hair dryer. So, I am going to try #29 and #14. Regardless of the correct answer……….I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about you. I as well have a rotary phone and a western union teletype (that my mom used to communicate with when I was little). A piece of history that just might make our kids “a fortune”. 🙂

  6. Jabet Wade says:

    #5 and #29…

    • Number five was true (from red to white to blonde to a combination of every color imaginable). You’re right on #29; I’ve had several speeding tickets over the years, but they’ve all been in reduced speed zones (like going 40 in a 35–how boring!). The other “untruth” was #20–I know I used a lot of red ink when I was teaching, but 144 pens in a year would have been ridiculous even for me!

  7. Expressmom says:

    I’m late to this party, but I really loved your list. I would have put money that #37 was wildly untrue.

    I think I will require anyone that wants to date my kids to write a list of 35 things…it sure tells you a lot about a person.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you! Unfortunately, #37 was wildly (and disgustingly) true! The “untruths” were the ones about the red pens and the speeding ticket. And you’re right–requiring such a list from potential dates might be a very good idea! Thanks for your response.

  8. bronxboy55 says:

    I love this post. In fact, I didn’t want it to end; could you come up with another hundred or so? I have also never smoked anything, and my only speeding ticket was for doing 40 in a 30. I’m sorry, but you have to be in the drive-through lane at the bank for 40 to feel like speeding.

    • How funny! When I first started jotting ideas, I had titled it, “One Hundred Things …”! But then I realized 100 would be too long (and really, that seems a little TOO egocentric), so I decided on 50, and then whittled it down to the 35. The one about the speeding ticket was a lie–every speeding ticket I’ve ever gotten (and there have been a few) has been in a reduced speed zone–going 45 in a 35, 40 in a 30, etc. Thanks for your comments!

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