The delightful and glorious Claudia at On a Limb with Claudia has tagged me with a meme that requires me to tell you seven random or weird facts about myself.
1. When I was ten, I was a Quiz Kid on a show that was broadcast from Rockefeller Plaza in NYC. Every contestant was an "expert" on something. My specialties were grand opera and dogs.
My favorite part was sliding in the lobby on shiny floors which had giant black and white checkerboard squares while my mother begged me to act like a lady. Then I would go upstairs and answer questions.
2. In high school, I hated sit ups and my gym partner, Terri, was terrified of heights so we quietly changed places halfway through our exercises. Terri did her sit ups and then mine while I climbed the ropes for both of us.
The gym teacher never noticed.
3. I lived in an unheated house in Vermont for a year with my daughter, two ponies, a wolf, a dog, a cat and a rabbit. I made a wood stove out of a galvanized garbage can and chopped wood every morning. When the pipes froze in late September, my daughter and I visited a hot tub in Montpelier every day so we could shower, then hauled a dozen plastic gallon jugs with a rope harness three miles up the mountain to our house by foot because our car couldn't navigate the ice.
When we left Vermont, I pulled a loaded two-horse trailer with an old Plymouth Duster to Florida, camped in the Ocala National Forest through two hurricanes, then continued to Western North Carolina, where we lived for several years.
4. At 16, my best friend and I tried to cross Long Island Sound in a rowboat. About halfway to Connecticut, she lost her oar and we were unable to row with only one. A Coast Guard helicopter found us drifting long after dark and sent a boat to rescue us.
5. In my late teens, I regularly bought Ebony Magazine and took it on the subway, hoping to pass for Black. I always felt vaguely uncomfortable being White, as if there had been a mistake which I didn't know how to rectify.
6. When I was 17, I was home alone when a young woman knocked on the door. She said that she was from an orphanage and the orphan who sold the most magazine subscriptions would get a scholarship and a chance at a better life. I sat her at our kitchen table and gave her a veritable feast of everything in the refrigerator, and ordered a dozen magazine subscriptions in my parents' names.
A week later, her picture was in the paper. She and her male accomplice had murdered another young woman in my town and burglarized her home. She was not a 17 year old orphan but a 28 year old serial killer, and I have always wondered if the meal I gave her saved my life.
7. I once stole something. It was a Peruvian wall hanging, which adorns the wall behind my computer now. I hid it for years because I was convinced that the police were looking for me, and it made me so sick to my soul that I never stole anything again.
When my ex-husband happened upon it years later, I told him that I had gotten it "for a very good price."
I have done this meme before as variously ten,nine and eight weird things about myself. I did them at different times and there is some repetition, but I think this one is all new stuff.
I'm betting that after this, there is nothing left that anyone wants to know about me.
I am not going to assign this to anyone specific as there have been so many versions of it in the blogosphere, but if you yearn to do it, please, please do. And let me know!