Nine Things

  • My favorite job was working the penny candy counter of the corner cigar store when I was 14. When I became a trusted employee, I occasionally got to work the big register where they sold condoms from a wall safe behind the counter. Everything I learned about life, I learned from working the penny candy counter.
  • I always imagined myself a dancer. I’ve come to learn that some things are better left to the imagination. Now I’m krumping vicariously through So You Think You Can Dance.
  • I come from a family of sleepwalkers. Enough said.
  • My first real everything was also the guy who pierced my ears. In an impulsive moment on a  sultry summer night in Chicago during my 19th year I said,  “Baby, pierce my ears.” Like a true action hero, he sterilized a needle, shoved the blunt end in a cork and got ready to pop my ear a good one. Just as he made the first jab, the cat jumped on my leg and I let out a scream. Hitchcock would have been proud. Like all great romances, there was a happily-ever-after. The cat lived.
  • When I moved from a third-floor walk-up apartment to the first floor, I was mistaken for a hooker. Yep. A suit came to the back door, yanked out his wallet and offered me the green stuff. Thinking of my southern mama who taught me never to take money from strangers, I slammed the door, drove the bolt home and called my friendly neighborhood officer of the law. While he was asking questions and making notes in his little black notebook, my cat was twining in and out of his legs. When he snapped his book shut, my head shot up. “I’m gonna check with the other female tenants in the building, but I’m pretty sure I know what happened.” I was all ears and strung-out nerves. “Ma’am, the lady you sublet this apartment from was a hooker.” Can you “Ma’am” someone in their twenties? After he left, I always wondered how hunky cop knew she was a hooker. He said I wouldn’t get anymore Johns — I mean — visitors, and I didn’t. I guess everything I learned about life, I didn’t learn from working the penny candy counter. New rule: Never sublet from a hooker.
  • My sweetie and I had exactly eight dates before we married. I sent him a contract of renewal every year on our anniversary for fifteen years. The first twelve days of married life were pretty harried. Packing after the big HM to move to a new state, he ran over my stereo in the driveway…with my own car. I kept him anyway. Two days later, he locked the keys of my car in the trunk. He and his university brothers decided to pick the lock with a CROWBAR. Man-think. I kept him anyway. He was still under warranty.
  • The only thing I learned in Girl Scout camp was how to float on my back. Oh. And bugs are bigger in the woods.
  • I have agricultural roots, but grew up to be a city girl; which just means I consider both crickets and sirens white noise.
  • I like my burger buns toasted and my onions fried.

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