Thursday, January 18, 2007

Got meme?

I knew it was just a matter of time before someone tagged me for the 6 weird things meme.

While I've been knitting non-stop lately, there is so little to show for it. So, on to the meme.

1. I use this one every time someone asks for an obscure factoid as an icebreaker in meetings or something.

When I was 16, I was dating this boy who (in retrospect) wasn't the greatest boy ever. His family had an exchange-student from Sweden who was one of the rudest, cockiest boys I had ever met. I couldn't stand Max and the feeling was mutual.

One day, while we were all hanging out, Max told me that I didn't have the nerve to be an exchange student like him. The next day, I met with my guidance counselor (what a misnomer, but that's a different topic) and he indicated that there was a informational meeting the following evening for Rotary International's exchange program.

Within a few months I found myself on a plane headed for Brazil, knowing how to say only two things, "eu nao falo portugues,I don't speak Portuguese" and "uma pera, a pear". Both were in the most dreadful, thick American accent, near unintelligible. This last item was particularly useful as I ended up living just below the equator on the coast and they had never seen a pear before.

While the wisdom of rushing off to live in a foreign country for a year on a dare may seem a bit foolhardy, it was one of the most profound and life-altering experiences of my life. I may bitch and moan about being broke (as the wife of a med student with a child, funds are perpetually tight); however, meeting a woman living in a 2 room home with polished dirt floors who had just given birth the day before and was up doing all that needed to be done to care for the 7 other children sobered me tremendously. I might not be able to afford STR or cashmere, but I have a good roof over my head, health insurance, a hobby and enough food to eat. Life is good.

2. The corollary to the first item is that I have a fantastic ear for languages (at least latin based ones) and ended up leaving Brazil with an accent that most people were unable to detect as American. They noticed it wasn't quite right, but couldn't place where it was from (other than the region I had been living it - it has a very distinct dialect. Think Boston versus mid-west, mine is as distinct as the Bostonian).

3. I am terrified of walking on frozen bodies of water. Ice in a parking lot is fine. Walking over a frozen lake, not so much. I get all tense and jittery just thinking about it.

4. I am phenomenally clumsy. This probably isn't weird so much as unfortunate. At any given moment, there are bruises that I can't remember getting because I get them so often. Unlike others, I don't try to liken them to geographical entities.

5. I like crunchy overcooked food. The little bits of rice that stuck to the bottom of the pan and turned a golden brown, deee-lish!

6. I hate making decisions of any kind. As a child, if given a quarter and told to pick out a candy bar for myself, I often left the store with the quarter in my pocket because I couldn't decide which one to get. When we go out to eat, I usually get the same couple of entrees, because the thought of having to decide on something else is paralyzing. I realize I should probably seek professional help for this one.

Now for the 6 3 lucky victims.

Tracy and Stacy from my Tuesday night knitting group.


Karen said...

What a great list of "weird" things!! That exchange student story was amazing. :) I can totally relate to the mystery bruises . . . I'm a klutz and find them all the time too.

Stacey said...

Great list! Stay tuned for mine...

Rachel said...

You know, taking dares might not be the most advisable way to make life decisions, but I would say it worked out damn well for you! I almost wish someone had dared me to do the same thing -- I think I'd be a better person for it.

I applied to the college I eventually attended for a similarly foolish reason (story too long/uninteresting to tell here). Given that it set the course of my life in such a significant way, it's funny to me that I basically made the decision to one-up a guy who was being a jerk to my sister.