Sunday, 28 December 2008

Honest (S)crap

I wasn't going to post again until January 2009, but my blogging mate Jacqui kindly gave me this wonderful award and having pasted it into my blog, I now have to come up with some pithy and honest things about myself, so here goes:

1) I am crazy about cats. If I had a lot of money, I'd have dozens. I will walk across the street to pet a cat and as far as I'm concerned, all cats are lucky, no matter what their color and no matter whether they cross my path from left or right. So what if I'm allergic?

2) I'm an awful liar and I can't figure out why this is. When I was a kid, I fancied myself a pretty good liar, but now I wonder if I really was. After my mother died, I happened to find one of her diaries and I found out she'd known all along that I stole dimes from her purse when I was five. I think this shook my confidence.

3) I hate being accused of things I did not do. Nothing enrages me more than someone who tries to blame me for his or her own mistake. It drives me wild when my husband and kids ask me what I did with their things. Why don't they just learn to keep better track of their own possessions? Why should it be my responsibility?

4) Whenever I can't find something of mine, the first thing I do is look for someone to blame.

5) I love country and western music, and gospel. I am also crazy about enka, both Korean and Japanese.

6) I had a horrible time in high school due to shyness, nerdiness, and the fact that my sisters and I never figured out how to behave like everyone else.

7) I have no fashion sense; I depend on others with better taste to help me pick out clothes when I absolutely have to look good.

8) I have no sense of direction. This has caused me a lot of misery throughout my life, but I am convinced it has also helped me learn languages.

9) If I don't spend at least part of my week writing, I drive people insane by talking too much. If I don't write, it's tough on everyone around me.

10) There are times I think my IQ must be well over 160 and I wonder why the people around me can't understand the things I understand; there are other times I wonder if it's even 100 and I hope to God the people around me never figure out just how much I don't know.

And now I pass the honest baton on to Kim, Kara, and Kanani.


Kim Kasch said...

My daughter's name is Kara - so Kim and Kara at the end hit me.

3) My daughter was accused of taking something she never took, in kindergarten by her teachers, and has never forgotten it.

5) I love country music

7) I'm an atsinoihsaf: the opposite of a fashionista.

8) My husband bought me a cell phone with GPS

debra said...

I was accused of: taking a marker from a little store when I was 5 (I didn't do it), and things that my older sister did (and accused me).

interesting stuff, yes?
Happy New Year, Msry.

Tigermama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tigermama said...

I just knew you would be a cat person! :) :) :)

Carole said...

I can't imagine you ever being a nerd. I think it is wonderful you weren't like everyone else. Which is why you are far more interesting than your average joe.

You need to play Balderdash for awhile. Your lying skills will go way up.

Kim Ayres said...

Well thank you for considering me for this. However, I generally avoid them as I have already done various "6 weird things", "7 Things", and of course I have a "101 things about me" which took several weeks to compile. So I tend to find it nigh on impossible to come up with anything I haven't already mentioned, probably at length.

Because it's you, Mary, I will give it some thought, but don't hold your breath...

Charles Gramlich said...

3 and 4 seem a bit contradictory. but we all have our contradictions. Congrats on your award.

Mary Witzl said...

Kim -- I think I was in a K mood yesterday!

To this day, I remember taking those dimes. I remember justifying it to myself too: I felt I needed more attention from my mother than I got. I'm glad to meet another fan of country music; not everyone is open about this, you know. And I'll bet we could have a dowdy contest and I'd win. A cell phone with GPS sounds like a great idea, but first I'll need to figure out how to use my own cell phone.

Debra -- When I was a kid, I had a guilty look about me even after I no longer stole dimes from my mother's purse; twice I was accused of stealing in stores when I'd done no such thing. As a matter of fact, just the thought of stealing from a store fills me with dread. I got accused of a few things my older sister did too, but then I got her back a time or two.

Happy New Year to you too!

Tigermama -- Are you a cat person too? If so, yoroshiku onegaishimasu! Everyone in my family is a cat person. My sisters and I used to ask prospective boyfriends if they liked cats; if the answer was no, the relationship was no go.

Carole -- Balderdash is one of my very favorite games along with Articulate and Quiddler! We play it a lot in this family and you are right: it does hone your lying skills very nicely. Lying on paper is easier than face-to-face lying though -- it's what to do with the eyes that's the problem.

I really was a nerd, though -- honest. Still, I'm relieved that I don't come off as one.

Kim -- I wanted to pass some kind of award on to you! Since you've already done the other memes, why not just recycle some of the stuff and take the award anyway? You've more than earned it.

Charles -- Yes, 3 and 4 are purposely contradictory. I'm often privy to hypocrisy, but this is honesty time so I have to fess up. Then there is also the fact that my husband and kids do occasionally swipe my keys, nail clippers, tweezers, and scissors. This does not help my natural proclivity to pass the buck.

Kara said...

well since i live a life of lies, this will be a toughie.

but i'll try it for you. because it's christmas and you're special.

and because the snow finally melted.

that last one is unrelated, though.

Eryl Shields said...

I wouldn't say you were even remotely badly dressed, you always look quite stylish even.

Chris Eldin said...

I'm sorry I haven't been around.

But I love this post! Country music, eh? I do enjoy also.

And I see others coming out of the closet.. heheheh

Happy Holidays!!

Kappa no He said...

My husband and son are both very allergic to cats but we got two anyways. And, lo and behold! their allergies went away. We keep them inside so they don't get dirty or buggy and as long as I vaccuum problems at all. Hint, hint, hint...

Happy New Year, too!

Kim Kasch said...


Totally unrelated to this Scrap award but then maybe it's one of your favorites: haggis.

My Mom was English/Irish. Not quite Scot - but as close as Swedish is to Danish.

Chitterlings and pig intestines - ewwww...

Kanani said...

I'll have those up on my blog tomorrow!

Mary Witzl said...

Kara -- Until you pointed it out, it really didn't click for me that the snow thing was unrelated; I make capricious decisions like that all the time. Sometimes I wonder why they let me teach writing.

I'll look forward to your honest scrap. I know it'll be good stuff.

Eryl -- Oh, how your comment has made my day! Especially since my kids think I'm the Queen of Tat and Drab. And you should see some of the fashionistas I work with: it would take me ages to look half as good as they do.

Chris -- I've missed you, but I know why you're not around: you're doing serious writing. I've been doing serious revising lately; we'll have to get together and compare notes one of these days.

Some years back, country was cool, but I liked it way before that. I liked it back when no one knew who Dolly Parton or Willy Nelson were. I happen to know there are a lot of us still in the closet, but maybe if more of us pro-countries are open about our proclivities, they'll come out too.

Kappa -- Good for you, and that is exactly my reasoning. I don't think this works for everyone -- I've got friends whose eyes just stream around cats -- but it's worked for me. And the more I'm around cats, the less sneezy I am.

The problem here is that we are renting a place that specifically and strictly forbids any pets. I figure that doesn't preclude us from feeding the odd stray on the balcony, but my husband feels differently. I still buy cat food; I can't quite break myself of the habit. Sometimes in the middle of the night I think I can feel my cat at the foot of our bed. It's so sad...

Kim -- I don't have enough words to tell you how much I don't like haggis! Even seven years in Scotland and pretty constant exposure to Rabbie Burns' enthusiastic praises could not convince me of its tastiness. Burns Night is coming up pretty soon. Make mine cock o'leekie.

Kanani -- Yay, I'll be looking out for your post! Happy New Year!

Patois said...

That last one? I can so very well relate.

Barbara Martin said...

I love cats too, and I'm deathly allergic. I've opted for birds with feathers I have less allergy for (it would be useless to be around chickens, ducks, geese). Though I have a downfill coat for winter...I'd rather have a sniffly nose and wheezies than be cold.

Don't concern yourself with your IQ, everybody's IQ changes day to day or on how you're feeling.

Rena said...

LOL @ looking for someone to blame. Love it!

A Paperback Writer said...

Oh yes. I remember that tale of your getting lost in -- what was it? Wales? -- while trying to drive back to Scotland.

Meg Wiviott said...

I LOVE cats (as you might be able to tell from the photo on the right). My kids are worried that G-d forbid anything should happen to my husband I would turn into one of those old ladies who only wears house dresses and fuzzy slippers and who has hundreds of cats.

I lie fairly well, because no one expects it.

I hate when my kids are accused of something they didn't do. It happened to both of them when they were in elementary and high school. Really pisses me off!

I do not blame others for my faults. That's due to many, many years of therapy, though.

Country music....I like the Dixie Chicks.

I HATED high school. I could not wait to graduate and move away. I swore I would never return. Look at me now - I live about 45 minutes from where I grew up. But I still avoid it and like the plague.

I have a decent fashion sense, but recently went to the mall to have a lesson in how to wear make up.

I have an excellent sense of direction, my own built in GPS. I think it comes from moving around a lot and getting lost.

Hummmm....I used to be like this with my writing, but not lately. I hope that intensity/need comes back. I miss it.

LOVE your number 10! I couldn't agree more.

Happy New Year!

Mary Witzl said...

Patois -- How nice that I'm not the only one like this. At least we have a mixture of strengths and weaknesses to keep us humble. Imagine how awful it would be to know everything.

Barbara -- Yay, another cat lover! I love birds too -- kind of sad for cat lovers.

I almost never think of my IQ. The only time it's a genuine concern is when I've gotten lost in a place I know like the back of my hand, or have to do math.

Rena -- It shames me to bits, but the truth shall set me free...

APW -- This may sound like a tale, but I have many witnesses, one of whom was sitting next to me gritting her teeth every inch of the way. Not that she could help: she's got my DNA in her.

Meg -- Happy New Year to you too!

My mother was a cat lady -- our largest number was 21 one memorable summer -- and my sister is too -- she has 14, but the number fluctuates.

Most of the time I keep the blame in check, but when my nail scissors go missing, this ugly trait comes out.

If I could get a good sense of direction by moving around and getting lost, believe me, I'd be a walking sat-nav system. Yours really is built in!

Meg Wiviott said...

Mary - Yes, you're someone who's moved around a lot! The first thirteen years of our marriage, my husband and I moved every three years including a three year stint in London. Since repatriating, we haven't moved. I need to, my closets are a mess!

Jacqui said...

#3 and #4 are not incompatible in my world!

And the voice of my sister whispers in my ear "#7! #7!"

laura said...

You have to be my long lost sister! I'd love to find you but since I have no sense of direction I won't even try!

Linda D. (sbk) said...

Oh Mary, you crack me up!! Thanks for sharing! :D


adrienne said...

Happy New Year, Mary.
A great list - I laughed at #10...I almost hate to admit I can relate to that!

Nora MacFarlane said...

I LOVE reading everyone's Scrap Award responses!

Balderdash is a blast. Some of my critique group members and I get together to play fairly often. Nothing like a group of writers trying to outwit one another!

Happy New Year, Mary!

Robin said...

I love this list! What is it about a missing nail scissors that makes a person insane? Is it that we preface giving it with, "Make sure you put it back when you're done!". Or is it that they grunt a half hearted agreement, and you know they weren't paying attention, but if you yell again you'll seem like a shrew? Whatever the reason, if I become a psychokiller one day, it will surely be over a missing pair of nail scissors that no one borrowed. Ever.

Happy New Year to you and all!

Mary Witzl said...

Meg -- There is nothing like an international move for helping a family create closet space. The moving process is hellish, but once you're finished, it all seems worth it. I just wish moving had given me a sense of direction. (Notice I didn't say 'better'? You have to have one to start off with for it to improve.)

Jacqui -- 3 and 4 aren't really compatible at all, but there it is. I hate being blamed for things I didn't do, but I'm all too ready to throw a fit when my stuff disappears. Yeah, I'm a hypocrit.

Laura -- Now I'm wondering: how bad are you? Do you get lost in places you've lived for a couple of years? Do you ever find yourself knocking on the wrong door? If so, maybe we should start a club. Believe me, I could use the emotional support.

Linda -- Gee, I'm glad to be good for something! Happy New Year to you, and congratulations for completing that novel. Next year I want to do it too.

Adrienne -- It's so embarrassing to admit that sort of thing, but I suspect many people are guilty of the same combination of hubris and insecurity. I like to think I'm leading the pack in coming out of the closet.

Nora -- We first played Balderdash while visiting friends and we had to go right out and buy the game ourselves: we could not get over how much fun it was. We're beginning to wish we'd brought it with us here, but the sad truth is, we'd hardly ever have time to play it. You're right: playing Balderdash with other writers has to be the most fun of all -- all those accomplished liars!

Robin -- Oh, I have come SO close! Once when I was rushing off to meet a friend, I could not find my keys. I KNEW I'd put them where I always put them, but they were not there. It turned out that my husband, who still laughs about what a scatterbrain I was when we first got married, could not find his own and so pinched mine, conveniently and prominently displayed. He'll never know just how close I came to a meltdown on that particular occasion.