Tweet This was written a while ago, but still rings true today.
1. I don’t trust dogs. We had the nicest, gentlest dog in the entire world – and then he ripped a kid’s face off. Yes, off. I don’t trust dogs and I internally panic when I see people bury their faces anywhere near a dog’s teeth. (7/22/10: I can add that my little niece was bit yesterday by the nicest, gentlest dog in the entire world. That dog was nice and gentle, but it still had teeth.)
2. Our dog’s name was Collie. It was a border collie. My brother was an idiot.
3. My brother disappeared when he was 4. (This was the same brother that insisted our collie’s name was Collie.) There was a search party and a lot of fear. I know how easy it is for kids to vanish into thin air and I am petrified it could happen to mine.
4. The first penis I saw belonged to my grandfather (my dad’s father). It was unintentional as he was sitting on a chair at an outdoor get-together and that’s when men’s shorts were a little too short for those choosing not to wear underwear. I was ten and horrified. But I pointed it out to my sister anyway.
5. I still beat myself up for not going to Veronica’s funeral. I was too scared to tell my mom I wanted to go.
6. I once stole a sweatshirt out of someone’s unlocked car when I was in college.
7. I joined the Army to make my mom mad. I don’t think she noticed I joined.
8. I’m too scared to go visit my grandmother. She’s 91 and I love her more than anything and I have so many letters from her so I know how she feels about me and I know all the advice she’s given me and I love her sense of humor – but I’m scared that if I allow myself to get close to her I won’t know how to grieve when she dies.
9. I think if my mother had her way we’d all be mono-expressive. Crying in our family is barely tolerated. Nor do we like emotions of any kind. Anything considered heavy, deep, or vital to the emotional well-being of a person’s soul is uncomfortable. (This explains greatly why my mom and I have a “strained relationship” since my excessive, out of control display of emotions make her run for the hills every time she sees me.)
10. I scoff at people who put the period after the exclamation mark.
11. I am actually way more intelligent than I let people know about me. For some reason I think people will hate me if they know I’m smart. I think it comes from years and years of hearing that education is overrated, so I “dummy down” a lot and then later feel ashamed that I did.
12. My proudest moment of having Shannon as my big sister was when our cousin tried drowning me in the pool and Shannon came to my rescue – and then not only took the crap my grandmother gave her, but walked home without a towel because grandma made her give it to the mean cousin who forgot hers.
13. I almost drowned my brother Patrick, but not on purpose. I tried to catch him off the pier and went to where I was standing on my tip-toes and the water was up to my chin – he jumped the same time a wave came in and went over me. I tried grabbing him but couldn’t get to him. A lifeguard pulled him out. I still feel incredibly guilty about that. I don't remember if I gave him my towel.
14. I had an audition with the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Manhattan that I never showed up for. Instead I chose to stay in an abusive relationship with a complete control freak and get knocked up.
15. I have great childhood stories – from the crazy herd of sheep trying to run us down, to my sister giving a goat a hair cut, to the bat in the house, to the food fight with the one lone pork and bean left on the ceiling, to the gravity heat registers that provided endless hours of entertainment, to sweeping out the basement floods, to my baby brother being lowered into the trunk of a huge tree to save a litter of kittens, to the crazy horse Rocket that my dad brought home… I feel bad that my kids will never have the hilarious childhood that I had.
16. My dad was showing off on a dirt bike and almost killed himself. Two boys we knew happened to be driving by and saw what had happened and helped clip my dad out from the fence… my dad walked to the house, into the bathroom, locked himself in and almost bled out. It was pretty bad. Sometimes I wonder if any of us kids would’ve ever realized we should call 911. As it was, we called my mom at work. My mom always knew what to do in every situation. I wonder if the boys that saved my dad ever knew how serious that was.
17. Once my brother got lost in a really bad blizzard-like snow storm walking to the house from the end of the driveway when the bus dropped us off. (It was a long driveway.) My sister made two of us kids drink peach schnapps to warm us up and went out in the storm to search for my brother. She was always saving us… (still does, really).
18. I was in the hospital when my Grandpa died. My sister brought me to the ER that night. Because everyone was so busy with funeral arrangements, no one visited me for four days. Or called. That was the loneliest I ever felt. My brother picked me up the night of the wake, and I was out for the weekend, but had to go back in on Monday. I still miss my Grandpa.
19. The first time I was in labor my mom brought me to the hospital. The second time I was in labor I drove myself.
20. I met Big V at Midget Wrestling.
21. I keep making excuses that prohibit me from writing on a serious level...and I can't figure out the logistics of "just do it."
22. Secretly I am very happy with how my life has turned out, but I feel like I can’t act that way because it would be setting a bad example to the young and impressionable. I don’t allow myself to feel joy and excitement when something good happens to me as a result of unconventional means. I try to play it off like it's just one more idiot decision that resulted in something I have no choice but to accept, while inside I’m overflowing with giddiness.
23. The way to cut through my heart is to tell me I’m stupid or that you knew I’d never amount to anything or that you never expected much from me. That’s some pretty hateful stuff to say to a person.
24. I hate ice cream. There. I said it. I am un-American and not normal. But I hate it. It’s disgusting. It’s icky. I don’t get what the big thrill is. I also don’t like warm fruit pies. Fruit was not meant to be warm and gooey. Fruit is meant to take off the vine and bite into. I also hate Apple Cider. The smell makes me want to vomit. That all being said, if I am served a bowl of ice cream I will eat it and not put up a fuss because I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, and I know how important ice cream is to the general public. I won’t ooh and ahh over it and I won’t ask for more, but you also won’t know that I’d rather be munching on cat livers.
25. Contrary to popular belief, I can keep a secret. In fact, I can keep many. There are many, many more things that you won't know about me besides these 25.