Nine Plus a Spare (agus)

“Nine Plus a Spare (agus)”
Some weeks back, my good pal Dorky Dad (whom, in the weirdness that is Bloggerworld, I wouldn’t know if I ran over with my scooter in front of the Dairy Queen, but whom I nevertheless dote upon) tagged me for the most straightforward meme ever. No “tell us your top five brushes with the law”; no “from least to most important, rank the international issues that make you wince”; no “if you had a million dollars, what kind of house would you build” kind of stuff to this meme. Jehosephat, no.
This meme is mercifully simple and pretty much allows the tagee to reveal or exclude–mental photo of me: quivering with the power–just about anything. The meme is this, in the shell of a nut: tell us ten things about yourself.
Honey, I do this before 8 a.m. to strangers passing by the fire hydrant outside my house. Ten things about me? The workers at my favorite Caribou Coffee could tell you ten things about me in the time it takes them to make a skinny hazelnut latte (large, that is; if you ordered a medium, they could probably only squeak out Eight Points of Jocelyn Trivia before adding the final dollop of foam).
I’m hardly shy when it comes to personal disclosure.
Which may be why people blush so much in my presence.
Is it wrong that I greet the mail carrier with “Kee-ripes, but I’m bloated today”?
Or that I toss off a quick, “Hey, so I’ve actually been legally blind since the age of 7. I still thank Ben Franklin for those bifocals!” to my son’s preschool teacher as I hang up his backpack?
Surely, my lack of boundaries might be why patrons of the Barnes & Noble shimmy backwards, discomfited, when I edge up to them and randomly start an unsolicited sentence with “…and so when I was 35, my mom divorced my dad. Yea, after 40 years of marriage. And the next morning, after she had the papers served on him, she went and got a nose job. She was 67! You feel me?” C’mon, without an opener like that, how else could I pave the way for a new friendship, made right there in the self-help section?
So, hmmm, jes’ to mess with you, let’s call this meme “Ten Things About Jocelyn, Nine of Which are True, and One of Which Only Is in Her Dreams.” You can try to ferret out the lie, and more power to you with that.
1) I only saw STAR WARS because my dad told me to. I was ten in 1977, and he came up to me one day and suggested, “I’ve been hearing a lot about this movie–sounds like a good one for you kids.” So I went to it, and my recollections of that seminal film, even a day later, went along the lines of “It was in space or something, and they shot some stuff. At the start, these words scrolled backwards, kind of, across the screen at the start, and I got all dizzy. Oh, and there was a desert planet with some robot things on it. One of them beeped a lot.”
2) I sometimes think the only thing that could lure me to abandoning chocolate is asparagus. I set a timer tonight for two minutes and managed to eat seventeen broiled-with-feta-on-top asparagus spears by the time the beeper went off. Admittedly, two were still hanging out of my mouth like fangs at the end, but my point was made.
3) I can still sing all the lyrics to Rick Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl” without missing a word. If you don’t know who Rick Springfield is, do the words “Dr. Noah Drake” help clear things up? If the answer is still no, I’m not sure you and I can ever really, really take it to the next level.

4) I once ran out of gas in the middle of Wyoming, where there are three gas stations, and had to walk along the highway until two scruballs stopped their pick-up to offer me a ride. Wanting my parents to one day see me again, I refused their offer but handed them a twenty-dollar bill and threw myself on their gas-retrieving mercy. Ten minutes they were back, and they only asked me once as they helped me refuel if I would like to play miniature golf with them later in Casper.
5) When I was 24, I started dating a 40-year-old. We were together for six years. He was really into tai chi and owned a Nordic Trak. We grilled a lot of chicken together, and for one spate, we both got addicted to playing Wolfenstein and Duke Nukem. I mean, my stars, but that first-person shooter business knocked the liberal arts education right out of me!
6) I reached my adult height in fourth grade. My breasts grew along with my legs.
No, I did not just type that my breasts grew on my legs. That would be freakish. Read more slowly, ya skimmer.
7) I am not a high school graduate (no GED either), yet I am a graduate school graduate.
8) I lived in Denmark with a host family for the summer before my senior year of high school–in the home of a single mother with three young boys. Every time I would draw a bath and slowly ease in, a pounding would start on the bathroom door, followed, in Danish, by the words, “I have to pee! I have to pee!”
9) I once had a pixie cut that, in my deluded mind, made me look like Pat Benatar having love on a battlefield. When I added in a skirt that looked like it had dishtowels hanging from it and a pair of those fingerless gloves from “We Belong,” the look was complete.
10) When I volunteer in my daughter’s first-grade class, I play a little internal game called “What Will Their Futures Hold?” with all the Girl’s classmates. I’m pretty sure I’m right about that brassy Audrey, in particular, who will be–I soothsay–pregnant in ten years. It probably wouldn’t be right of me to pull her mother aside, though, to pass on that prediction, right? Even though it might be helpful to have a heads-up and all.
Mostly true, plus one lie.
Thanks for the tag, Dorky Dad. I’ll be sure to run you over accidentally on my scooter next time I’m in your neck of Minnesota.
Note to self: buy Vespa.

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