Black Belt Mama, despite her cracked rib, has caught up to me and tagged me with the six weird things about yourself meme. I’ve got to say that the first time I replied to this meme, I had a much easier go than I am having this time. You would think that after a year, I would be able to come up with six new weird things about myself.
You would think.
I think that it’s the weird thing that’s putting me off. I had no problem providing a list of strange answers last year–I had no problem doing it twice, in fact. I was even able to come up with lists of books after 3B was born, but somehow I’m not capable of coming up with a measly six weird things about myself. I did come up with a less than flattering picture of me circa 1994, courtesy of The King, but you’ll have to wait until the end of this post comes around to see that.
And now I’m out of stalling topics and links, so I guess that I’ll have to start coming up with some weird facts about myself.
- Systems engineering
This one was Mama’s suggestion, and it’s partially true. Her words were, “You know how everything works, and you have a system for doing everything.” The first claim is definitely not true: I don’t know how gravity works. Why one mass attracts another is beyond me, and how one object, like our planet, can get so big that it attracts itself, forming it into a sphere is way beyond me. While I’m speaking of large bodies that become spherical, such as my own body is doing, I’m also not sure how donuts, which seem so light and fluffy, have such a strong gravitational field, which seems to be constantly pulling on me. Mama’s second claim is true, although not because, as Mama claims, I’m highly organized. Just the opposite is true, in fact. I have systems because I got tired of spending an hour looking for my wallet and keys to take a 15-minute trip to the ATM. I finally had to develop systems for everything because if I didn’t have these systems, I’d lose my own two hands.
OK, so some of the systems engineering seems like OCD, but those are coping strategies; I’m only really OCD about particular items, such as plastic cream containers in diners, computer desktops, paperback books. Creamers: must be emptied, then nested within one another. Computer desktops: must be emptied of all but the most commonly used (read: daily) items. Paperback books: must be read without cracking the spine, no matter how difficult that makes it to read the words in the gutter. There are other things that I’m moderately OCD about, but I can’t think of them right now–ask Mama, and I’m sure that she can rattle off a long list, however–but in the rest of my life, I’m Pigpen.
I develop a pica for ice when my iron levels get low, so I end up going down one floor at work to the ice machine to get a large cup full of ice, run a little water over it to soften it up, and then chew my way through every last cube. I’m sure that it irritates everyone around me, and will probably result in my having to get crowns for every one of my molars, but I really can’t stop myself. If I keep myself from doing it, it’s so distracting that I’ll get nothing done. Turns out that this pica is a common symptom of anemia. I finally found that out after making the ice pilgrimage several times daily for a month before googling it. Actually, I started googling around after they had to centrifuge my blood when I donated to ensure that I was over the anemia threshold. One of the first symptoms of anemia that I came to was chewing ice. Now when I chew ice, it’s a reminder to take my vitamin.
- Horror films
Hate, hate, hate ’em. They make me cringe, ball up in my seat, jump five feet straight up, gasp, scream, and they generally piss me off. I suppose that’s their intended effect, so my reaction isn’t that weird. What’s weird is that I took a class on horror films in college. My roomie and I signed up for it, got all charged up about it, got back home, looked at each other and said, “Are we freakin’ crazy? We both hate horror films.” I’ve gotta say that I still hate, hate, hate ’em, but Halloween is one of the best films I’ve ever seen. It’s just about the perfect horror film.
- Pierced ears
Both of mine are pierced. Sure, in some locales, people will say that it’s not weird for a guy to have two pierced ears, but I’ve only ever passed through those places; I’ve never lived in them. So, for most of my life, I’ve been “that guy.” The only time that it’s ever been a real problem was right after I got them pierced, in 1985, in my own house, when Mom saw them for the first time. I didn’t ever see her that angry with me at any other time; she almost tossed me out of the house, but she could never do that, so I got to stay, as did the earrings.
I used to wear it in high school. What? Didn’t you? I can explain . . . no, really. First, it was the androgynous 80s, so everyone was doing it. Second, it was just eyeliner and mascara, not the full Robert Smith death mask. Third, it turned out to be a babe magnet. Fourth, how else was I going to get attention as the last of six kids? Sadly, however, it failed to get me even a sideways glance from Mom, who had this conversation with Sister #2 as I was on the way out the door–both of them on the couch, flipping through photo albums, neither one of them ever turning to look at me:
Me: Goodbye. I’m going out.
Sister #2 (who bought me mascara because I chose colors that didn’t match my palette): Doesn’t it bother you that your son wears makeup?
Mom: Remember to lock the doors when you come in.
I should have known that Mom would be much better at getting under my skin by ignoring me than I could ever be at doing the same to her with any of my antics–except the earrings, I suppose. After all, she had five kids before me to practice on; this was my first go-round. And her strategy worked–after getting no reaction for awhile, I lost interest. Besides, by then, all the other boys were doing it.
And yes, if I ever come up with photos of myself with eyeliner on, I’ll be sure to share them with you, because I know that you’re just dying to see them. In the meantime, feast your eyes on Papa, circa 1994.
Oh, that shirt . . . WTF was I ever thinking?
And yes, both The King and I spent that summer working on the Country Western Cabaret in the basement of a hotel in a national park. That’s not a weird enough thing to make it onto this list, is it? Nah. I didn’t think so.
I’m going to pass this tag on to six people whom I don’t even know. I hereby tag anyone who lurks on this blog, regularly visiting without commenting. We already know that you’re strange for lurking on this blog, but post a comment and let us all know just how weird you are by linking to this meme on your blog.