Before I start, I’m gonna give you the definition of a Meme. I’m probably the only person in the known universe who thinks someone might need this. But the thing is, I read about them for three months before I had any stinkin’ idea what they were. Here’s what one dictionary says:
“An idea that is spread from blog to blog.”
So simple – why didn’t somebody say so? I don’t usually join memes and it’s not because I don’t think they’re fun. It probably has far more to do with the fact that I have a hard enough time shutting myself up about my own ideas. My list is already over 100 topics long and growing. Now, I have to fit in other things, too?
HOWEVER, I do not want the report card that says, “Does not play well with others.” I already have a binder full stating, “Does not work to potential. Does not complete homework. Needs to try harder and pay attention. Should attempt to close mouth and look intelligent. Should stop sleeping on desk. Should stop being hypnotized by dust motes floating through the air. Should not bawl every time the teacher asks her a question she doesn't know the answer to.”
But I always got a “Satisfactory” in Citizenship. Therefore, in honor of my Citizenship success, I will now participate in a Meme while simultaneously closing my gaping mouth.
My friend, Jientje, at Heaven Is In Belgium says, “I first saw this at Thom’s. He stole it from I don’t know who, and then Melli nicked it, too ( I think) and now it’s here …
Would that make me a thief, do you think?”
If so, Jientje, move over. I’m sharing your cell. But you’ll like me. I play well with others.
1. Who was your FIRST date?
Well, THAT would be some nero jacket, peace-sign-necklace-wearing poindexter my mother set me up with so she could have a quiet evening with a date. He was her date’s nephew. I was 12. She sent me with my sister and her boyfriend. We went to the walk-in theater (yeah, that’s what we called them in the olden days all you younguns) and we saw the Beatles, “Yellow Submarine.” Sorry, Beatles fans, but that STILL reigns as one of the stupidest movies of all time. He tried to hold my hand. MAJOR cootie factor. I still haven’t recovered. I’ll be right back. I have to go wash my hand.
2. Do you still talk to your FIRST love?
Uh, negatory on that one. I’m not even sure he still treads the earth. I was 12, again. I dated him in our church youth group. He was 17 and had no idea I was 12 - I'm sure I looked at least 13. (The older girls weren't happy with this young interloper, they filled him in, and he dropped me like the proverbial searing spud). But he had ZERO cootie factor. I had a huge crush for two years though I ceased to exist for him. He was desperately handsome and moved to Hollywood to become a star. Very sadly, rumor had it that he became a heroine addict instead. I saw him once in a convenience store when I was 17. He looked the part of the rumors. I pray he recovered but I have no idea. His last name was Banks and I do remain acutely aware that, had things gone very differently and I had ended up married to him, my name would have been Robynn Banks. I’ll give you a minute. There ya go.
3. What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?
Well, this would fall into the “Series of Desperately Unfortunate Events” category. I was still 12. 12 was a big year. Actually, every year was a big year in our house. If there’s ever a Meme about the most uneventful year of your life, I won’t be able to write anything.
I was babysitting for Gail and Chuck. My mother worked with Gail. She and her husband had a little baby girl, Susie, who was nine-months-old and had life-threatening asthma. Very scary stuff. I called home frequently, terrified, as she coughed and threw up and struggled to breathe. They were complete idiots. They often left her with me so they could enjoy the high-life, as it were. But they made sure there was plenty of Fresca and an ample supply of reading material in the form of porn magazines so I guess they figured I was all fixed up. (Yeah, BELIEVE me, I'm still in shock as I ponder this from my perspective as a mother - uh, maybe just even as a thinking human being, or as ANY human being, or maybe even as a bean.)
The high-life doesn’t get any higher than New Year’s Eve and I was the chosen babysitter. When they pulled into the driveway and slopped into the house, dutifully liquored up to welcome in the budding year, they thought the babysitter should celebrate with them.
They mixed vodka and orange juice – a combination I will never drink again as long as I live – and shared the joy with me. I have no idea how many of those I drank. I do remember missing the step-up into the kitchen, from the family room, and falling face-first onto the linoleum. I never put my hands out to break the fall. I didn’t feel a thing. I tried to go to bed – I was spending the night – but the room wouldn’t stop spinning. I felt like a blood sample in a centrifuge. It wasn’t long before I spent what was left of the night kneeling in the bathroom at the porcelain throne and thinking I was probably going to die. I’m not sure I was far off. I’m quite sure all 115 lbs. of me had alcohol poisoning. We all told my mother I had the stomach flu the next day. I knew I’d be killed. Their involvement never crossed my mind until many years later when I grew a brain and became an adult. If I’m completely anal about who my children babysit for, what those people have in their home, and what their character is, you’ll forgive me.
4. What was your FIRST job?
Hey, I was 11! We move off of 12. I babysat for a family down the street. They had three kids – a baby and a four and six year old girl and boy – Tina and Lance. How in the WORLD I can remember their names I have no idea. Don’t ask me what I ate for lunch two days ago. That’s completely gone. I also did their ironing and they paid me by the piece. Lance was determined I was NOT the “boss of him” and he was right. It was still a good gig and paid well. They were just regular folks trying to have a life. I must admit I question their judgment a tad. I was ELEVEN. I wouldn’t have left my kids with an eleven year old when they were that little if I had to go pick up my LOTTERY winnings.
5. What was your FIRST car?
Well, it’s what I learned to street race in and what the guy I married at 16 drove – we divorced by the time I was 19 when he left me for the secretary at work (thank you, LORD). So, I guess it counts as mine though I certainly wasn’t ever listed as the owner. He introduced me to drag racing, street racing, funny cars, stock cars, and modified engines of all types. I hung out at “Eddie’s Speed Shop” and lived with engines on stands in the living room. The positive side was I learned a LOT about cars and and what makes ‘em tick. The down side was my continuing education in violent men. And he met a violent death last year on a motorcycle. I was sad for those who mourned his loss but I wasn’t surprised when I got the phone call.
6. Where did you go on your FIRST ride on an airplane?
To San Diego, when I was 13. My sister had taken her own life a few months before and my paternal grandmother, who hadn’t been much involved, now looked toward me with a sympathetic eye. I think a couple of younger cousins may have come as well. My grandmother had a knack for connecting with rich people though no one in our family had two nickels to rub together. How she knew them and who they were is gone to me forever but they lived in a mansion on a cliff over looking the ocean. They didn’t have a yard, they had grounds. They had a pool house/cabana. I was bowled over. I was happy. I was cocky. I told the guy looking through my bags at the airport that I had a bomb in there. He told me I could go to jail for saying things like that even though I told him I was just kidding. This was years and YEARS ago. I never forgot and learned, at least in some instances, to keep my big mouth closed. Had I only applied that to every area of my life I would have stayed out of a lot of trouble – and I would have also failed to fight for underdogs, defy bullies, and right some grievous injustices. Our weaknesses are our strengths, out of balance.
Okay, there’s more to this Meme. But each question has a story and I’m nothing if not WINDY so this is growing TOO LONG. I’ll finish it in the next few days.
If that means you'll wait a week to come back, I'll understand.
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