Saturday, April 16, 2016

Nostalgic Reflections—Getting To Know Me

Something I heard last week sent me into flashback mode. It brought to mind words people used to describe me years ago. I realized most folks who know me today would never guess that the phrase referred to me, which in turn led me to create a quiz based on my nostalgic reflections.

Think of this exercise as a way to get to know me. If you like the game, feel free to use it with your friends and family to learn about each other. Answers (True or False unless otherwise noted) and amplifications are provided at the end of this post. Apologies in advance if any of it grosses you out.

Things People Used To Say About Me
1.     She probably sleeps with a coding manual under her pillow.
2.     Her normal expression is half way between neutral and negative.
3.     I bet she’s really a blonde and dyes her hair brown to look smarter.
4.     Ask her what time it is and she’ll tell you how a watch is made.
5.     She has brass __________. (Fill in the blank.)

Things I Did On A Dare As A Kid
1.     Tackled and kissed a boy on the school bus.
2.     Ate a freeze-dried worm.
3.     Pooped in the woods.
4.     Stole a tube of Tangee orange lipstick from F. W. Woolworth’s.
5.     Rode my sled down the steep “boys’” hill.

Nicknames People Had For Me Over The Years
1.     Bugle Butt
2.     Elaine the Pain
3.     Imelda Decker
4.     Sax Kitten
5.     Suzy Potts

Answers and Amplifications

Things People Used To Say About Me
1.     Sleeps with coding manual… True. My first career was in computer programming and systems, and my colleagues acknowledged that I was damn good at it.
2.     Expression between neutral and negative… True. I was extremely focused and serious. This trait kept me from being mugged on my daily walk from the Port Authority to Colgate Palmolive and back.
3.     Really a blonde… False. I’ve never been accused of trying to look smarter. In fact, I tried bleaching my hair with peroxide when I was in seventh grade.
4.     Ask what time and get a watch… True. My colleagues thought I answered everything in too much detail.
5.     Brass __________. Balls. Could there be any other answer?

Things I Did On A Dare As A Kid (Can you tell I was a tomboy?)
1.     Kissed boy on school bus. True. It was a wood paneled station wagon. I pinned him on the floor while I planted a wet one. There was a lot of cheering.
2.     Ate a worm. False. This is sort of a trick question. While I didn’t eat a freeze-dried worm, I did eat a fried grasshopper on a dare. It wasn’t all that bad.
3.     Pooped in woods. True. It was a struggle; I couldn’t even fart on cue, but I was determined to win the dare.
4.     Stole lipstick… False. Orange Tangee was my color, but I didn’t steal a tube. Weekly confession was an effective deterrent.
5.     Sledded down the “boys’” hill… True. I crashed into bramble bushes and cut my wrist on the runner. (Defective steering mechanism.) But I earned kudos from the boys—the same ones who dared me to kiss on the bus and poop in the woods.

Nicknames People Had For Me Over The Years
1.     Bugle Butt. True. This was given by one of my college boyfriends and whatever you’re thinking is probably correct. He had an odd skill: he could play the trumpet using just his mouth. I told myself that explained his affection for brass wind instruments. If only we had Sir Mix-A-Lot in the sixties. “I like big butts and I can not lie.”
2.     Elaine the Pain. True. No explanation needed.
3.     Imelda Decker. True. I had about 50 pairs of shoes. One lunch break I bought five pairs at Saks Fifth Avenue (just a block from Colgate Palmolive). I got two each of two styles of Mary Jane heels, in four luscious colors. The fifth pair was navy T-straps. Imelda Marcos had nothing on me.
4.     Sax Kitten. False. I played alto sax in high school, and there were jokes about sax appeal, but never a nickname.
5.     Suzy Potts. True. My parents called me that. At least, I thought they did. Turns out they were saying “you’re crazy” in the Italian dialect of my mother’s family. I misunderstood and they let me think it was a term of endearment. I signed cards to them “Love, Suzy Potts” even after I learned the truth.

Give yourself 5 points for each correct answer. If you scored over 55, you’re a good friend. Seventy or above makes me suspicious that you skipped to the end.

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