Recently, at least recently in my circle of acquaintances, a game of sorts has been circulating on Face book, in which one of your friends "tags" you by giving you a number and then, you reveal that number of things about yourself. That, right there, is the limit of my understanding of the game, and I could be wrong, because I figured that much out for myself, by looking at the posts of others who identified themselves as "tagged." And we all know how effed-up you can get when you kind of half understand something your friends (who also only half-understand it) are talking about, and then you act on that limited second-hand "knowledge." If you doubt me on this, think about how you heard about sex stuff in fifth or sixth grade, from the kids who had older sisters and brothers and plenty of misinformation to share. I know people who are still recovering from mistakes they made based on that kind of bad intel...
I think you are also supposed to go on and "tag" people by giving them numbers, to perpetuate the whole wacky cycle of self-revelation. In the spirit of that confessional enterprise, I will start by saying that I didn't get the part about tagging others, and failed to do so. I feel kind of foolish about this, as now it is so clear. But not super bad about it, the way I felt when I failed to continue a chain letter in fourth grade, despite the fact that it contained specific threats of death and misfortune for my entire family and future descendants if I didn't copy it out completely and mail it to three friends and three strangers within six days. My mom told me the whole thing was fake and silly and threw all the copies I had started in the trash. "The only bad luck
you'll have," she said, utterly exasperated, "is if you don't get your homework done, because then you won't get to watch TV for the rest of the week." It was Monday, so I gave up and eventually forgot about the whole thing. Though now that I think about it, that might explain a couple of dozen things that have happened over the last two decades.
To make up for all that, I'm calling a do-over. I've decided to reveal a few more things here. Since I tagged myself, I'm not sure of the number, but I'll do my best. My life is basically pretty boring, so there just aren't a lot of hidden dark corners I can clean out, but here goes:
1. I once had to walk home from the day care center in the settling dark, in a snow storm in Maine, carrying baby Delia. There was too much snow on the ground to push her stroller, so I had to leave it. I was wearing a down jacket and she was wearing a snowsuit, so it was tough to keep her from sliding out of my arms. To avoid totally dropping her when I slid in a snow drift, I thrust her way up in the air and fell on my knees, ripping my jeans and getting completely soaked in the slush. She was fine, but I was crying and really shaken. I made Mike pick her up for weeks after that, always making some excuse, but not telling him why, until the thaw started in March.
2. After getting into the one of the colleges of my dreams when I was seventeen, I got pregnant and flunked out by spring. I went from student of the year at my high school to pregnant teen drop out in less than a year. (Too bad there was no reality TV then, I could have made a fortune.)
3. Here's another real downer, but it is something about me. I had to flee my apartment with my sons when they were two and four years old, taking their stuff in big black trash bags, because their dad, my first husband, was a physically abusive psycho. He used to call to check up on me every couple of hours, (no cell phones then) so I had to wait until he called, act like everything was fine, then call the people who were helping me, so that we could get out before he called again. When he found out I went to my parents' house, he came over and pounded on the door, threatening to kill us all, until they said they were calling the police. I went the next day to get a restraining order. I was 22.
Wow, now to shake off the negative, let's completely change the subject:
4. At home, Mike and the girls call me "Moo-Shu." Like the Chinese restaurant pork dish. As far as I know, none of them have ever eaten moo-shu, but the name got stuck in Fiona's head when she watched an episode of Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman on PBS Kids, where the cartoon pooch kept yelling, "Don't forget to pick up the moo-shu!" Moo-shu also seems to stand for some mommy-lovin', as in when Fiona says, "Come on, Mommy, give me some Moo-shu!" and settles into my lap for some cuddles.
I guess my number was four, because now I am exhausted... and to make up for last time, I'm tagging you all, friends. Pick a number and tell me some stuff.
Chain letter picture from here, a blog I've never read, but I really liked the image.