Seven Things ...
And I'm glad, because otherwise, I would never have learned this: "When I lived with my grandmother in Greece (my parents were working in Germany at the time) I ate a flower from her yard because I thought it was so amazing looking that if I ate it, [its] powers of color [and] beauty would be a part of me. I was 4 and I had an allergic reaction. My tongue, mouth [and] lips swelled up to at least twice their normal size. It also did not taste as good as it looked."
I love that anecdote. The admission of the allergic reaction and the visual it conjures is priceless, but the notion that he ate a flower because he thought its powers of color and beauty would become a part of him perfectly foreshadows the designer he'd become.
I like learning quirky facts about folks. So since I'm sitting here, in the mood to write, and since I haven't posted in a week (lots going on), I thought I'd try to dream up seven things about myself that I haven't already revealed in more than five years of blathering on in this space. Or maybe I'll end up repeating myself.
Either way, seven things. Here we go.
1. I have a scar on the underside of my chin that I earned when I was 4. It was a summer day. One of my cousins and her mom were visiting. My mom gave me and my cousin permission to play in the sprinkler, so I took off running across the neighbor's lawn to tell her. My neighbor was also sprinkling. So the grass was wet. I slipped just as I neared the sidewalk and my chin hit the pavement. After the initial shock wore off, I did a push-up of sorts (most likely the last time I executed a push-up successfully) and saw blood all over the sidewalk. I got up, cupped my hand to my chin and ran to the back door. Since I needed both hands to get the door open at that age, I kicked the door to get my mom's attention instead. My aunt came down the stairs and saw me crying and asked if my cousin had scared me. I pointed, emphatically, at the blood dripping down my arm. She called my mom, my mom took me to the hospital, and I got four stitches in my chin. The doctor asked me if I wanted pink sutures to match my bathing suit. I remember glaring at him. But I did have the presence of mind to ask one of the nurses if they gave out prizes. She said no, but that if I was a good girl, she'd tell my mom to get an ice cream for me on the way home. Which my mom did. My cousin was supposed to spend the night but those plans were nixed so I could rest. My cousin was pissed that she had to go home. The moral of the story: Don't run on wet grass. For that matter, just don't run. Unless chased.
2. The late, great Dale Earnhardt once winked at me, put his arm around me, and called me "darlin'." I had interviewed him for a story and told him that I'd rented a Monte Carlo to drive out to the event where we met. Dale, of course, raced a black Monte. The rental place only had white. He was OK with that.
3. My favorite word is "chicken."
4. Every so often, my brain reminds me of the time I accidentally spilled Diet Pepsi on my Greek literature professor in college and I still feel a little mortified.
5. From an early age, I planned on being a doctor. Clearly, that did not pan out. As a kid, I wasn't sure what kind of doctor I'd be, but I told my grandmother that she could stay at my hospital for free. As a teen heading to college, I wanted to go into oncology research and find the cure for cancer. Make no small plans, eh? As a pre-med student, I got fed up with all the prerequisites I had to slog through before I could get to the relevant classes, and English Teacher Dave suggested that that was the university's way of weeding out the serious students from the not-so-serious students. Smart man, that Dave. But every time I'm in a hospital, I feel like I belong there. As a doctor, not a patient. Maybe I was a doctor in a past life.
6. I haven't held a tennis racquet in years, but I used to have a really strong serve.
7. I have a fear of performing, but I love the view from a stage. After seeing Ciarán in a play on Broadway years ago, some friends and I went up to his dressing room to hang out for a while before going to dinner. We came down the set of stairs on the far side of the stage, far from the stage door. When Ciarán started to walk toward it, I asked him if it was OK for me to walk that way. He looked at me, perplexed, and said, "The door's over there." I explained to him that it didn't seem as though a mere mortal, as it were, should be allowed to walk across a Broadway stage. He smiled and headed that way. And I lagged behind for a moment so that when I hit center stage, I could turn out toward the house. I figured it would be the only time in my life I would have that view.