Saturday, February 18, 2006

10 Things More, Me Droogies

I am in serious awe of those who can accomplish the 100 Things List. It seems like running a marathon to me - daunting! When I think about it, my mind blanks and I wonder if I even have 100 things to say about myself. So, I'm biting this list off in pieces. Here was my first 10 Things list. And here now are ten more things that I suddenly remembered about myself:

1. When I was on the tiny island with Crossroads Africa in high school, I lost my virginity to the twenty-three year old island guide. After days of eye contact and subtle flirting and after two slow dances at a house party, we snuck out together after the other Crossroaders went to slept. My virginity dissolved away in the passenger seat of a car parked under a wide-branched tree in the center of the island's cemetery. Yes, a Caribbean graveyard with large, white angel statues and huge rectangular headstones that glowed in the dark. It was peaceful and not creepy. It was a good experience. And I felt in control of the situation, or at the very least equally in control.

2. When I was 14 or 15, I was invited to witness a homebirth. Though I've given birth to two goddesses myself, there is absolutely nothing like watching a birth. When the head crowned, it was pure magic and any logic of physiology lost ground and slipped away. I repeatedly thought, "That's a head. That's a human. That's a head. Out of a vagina. A life. A real person." Then the baby's head came completely out, just sticking out of my friend's vagina, and I thought, "HOLY SHIT, THIS is where people come from; living and breathing out of a woman." (I was trippin'.) "That is a head. A live person sticking out of someone else. Holy, holy shit." Then the rest of the body slipped out and was placed on her mommy. This obviously solidified my desire to be a midwife. I wanted to witness this gorgeous punch to logic regularly.

3. By the time I was eight years old, I had seen Clockwork Orange five times. And though I do love the film still, now, as a mother, this fact disturbs me.

4. My new favorite TV show is The Dog Whisperer.

5. I don't feel confident helping Maya with her 5th grade math.

6. The older I get, the more I am not interested in physical risks. Like, roller coasters. I have no desire to go on extreme roller coasters. For Husband's birthday two years ago I surprised him with a sky-dive jump. He was beyond stoked. It was one of the best days of his life. We have the video to prove it. And I felt no pressure to get up there myself. Even when all the cult jumpers tried to make me feel badly. I didn't give a shit what they said about a life-changing jump and being a chicken; it just doesn't float my boat. Over and over, the pro's were like, You're not jumping? You're not jumping? Finally, I just said, "I take many, many emotional risks in my life. That's plenty."

7. I went on only one date during high school, where a boy properly asked me to go somewhere, even if it was only lunch. I was asked by a shy and tall boy that had already developed a man's body. He was a mix of middle eastern and white, and he had been beautifully named after a Saudi Arabian city. We walked over to the Santa Monica Place food court. After I found a table with my chinese combo, he bought pizza. And then I watched the tray he was holding flip out of his hand and crash to the floor. He smacked his forehead out of embarrassment and I felt so badly that I couldn't look. We recovered from this moment awkwardly and then we talked about things I don't remember, but I remember that he was sensitive and perceptive and that he read interesting things. A couple days previous to this date, I had decided to give up refined sugar. I was just beginning to read how refined sugar led to mood swings and possibly depression, among other things. So, at the end of the lunch date, I mindlessly popped a piece of a fortune cookie into my mouth. Mid-chew I remembered this new self-ban on sugar and I opened my mouth and spit the chewed cookie onto my tray as the shy, nice boy looked at me. It's a wonder I wasn't asked out more often. (Btw, Three Sheets your email is broken.)

8. I was kicked out of my girl scout troop for being a talkative, distracted goof off and the major troop cut up. Maybe I was a bad influence though I was never conventional trouble, like I wasn't trying to get the girls to smoke weed from a bong I made out of a juice box. I wasn't organizing a shoplifting ring at ToysRUs. It's still kind of a mystery to me and sometimes I wonder if my mom fell behind in dues which, if that was the case, F the Girl Scouts for not catching my mother a break. A warning of kicking me out came right before we were to perform a version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I played the role of Mike TV. And after the play was performed, I was outski. My mother was pissed that they used me for the play and then let me go.

9. I am VERY uncomfortable -- uncomfortable is an understatement really -- when I hear the sounds of sex. Made by others. I can't hear myself. But groaning and hollering from a neighbor - even simple sexy panting sounds in a song give me a stomach ache and make me want to cover my ears. Growing up, I often heard my mother get her groove on with different men. Hearing this made me want to stab my inners ears repeatedly with knitting needles, scissors, pens --- whatever! -- just so I wouldn't hear it. It is a great surprise (and relief) that the only irrevocable damage from this is my aversion to the sound. The couple times that I've watched porn, I had to watch it on mute.

10. There are times when I think I reveal too much on the blog. It crosses my mind to hold back more, but when I start to write I just can't help it. Letting a lot hang out here makes me feel free.


Michelle Fry said...

Hanging back on my blog or the fear that I expose myself too much occurs to me from time to time too but I still, for the most part, feel the need to go fulltilt. I loved reading these ten things about you. The Clockwork Orange bit was disturbing as was the part about you hearing your mom get her groove on but it's stuff like you wrote that reminds us we all have 10 unusual things we could share.

acumamakiki said...

Sister girlfriend! This post speaks words beyond words to me.

I will never be able to help Ava with her math and thankfully my husband is good at it. I get worried that if I were to try, she'd be disappointed at my rudimentary knowledge. My hope is that she becomes brilliant at math.

I hate the sounds of sex too! Growing up I'd hear my dad with his many girlfriends and the thought is both excruciatingly embarrassing and also makes me angry. Why should a tiny kid have to hear that and KNOW this about their parent?? I hope it never happens to Ava!

I wear my heart on my sleeve with my blog but then again, I am doing this as a journal and the writing experience is cathartic so I continue.

yolie said...

Ach. Holding back. It only gives you constipation. And the freedom in your writing as a result of NOT holding back is exhilarating and......moving. It moves me.

Melinda said...

Yay! This list is great! Wish I could've been a fly on the wall for that food court date. Can't wait for the next list of 10.

Green Whale said...

Your ability to take emotional risks, such as not holding back on your blog, doesn't cease to amaze me. I loved the cemetery with white glowing angels.

I'm with you with on the no. 9 on your list (I can't even repeat what it is, how's that for being inhibited) down to the stomach aches. I can't figure out why that is (I had no traumatic childhood experiences).

As always your writing is full of heart and so honest. Thank you.

dani said...

you're such an interesting woman made up from such interesting experiences. and the ability to not only recall, get to the point of it all and write these anecdotes so brilliantly, is captivating. keep it up, and let it all hang out - you're awesome.

mastimaker314 said...

You are a beautiful person. I love the way you write AND the things you say (this is what made me think of you as beautiful, before I even saw a photograph)...and I wish that I knew more people like you!

madness rivera said...

damn, if these comments don't encourage and keep me inspired to spill all kinds of personal truths, not sure what will. thank you.

Janine said...

A great entry Madness, I love that your writing is insightful and inspirational. I always look forward to seeing what you write next, looking forward to the next ten.

Marigoldie said...

I look at young kids I know and remember the things I'd seen and done by, say, age 9, and I shudder. I understand what you mean about your casual Clockwork Orange viewing now that you have two young daughters.

Do you think today's kids are more sheltered/protected than we were? It seems odd, but I think maybe they are. I think we grew up in a time when people mistakenly thought the world was safer than it was.

HollyRhea said...

I knew we had a connection. I was kicked out of Brownies for spending too many meetings hanging out with my best friend in the bathroom (in second grade).

la vie en rose said...

i love the way you show up in your lists. i find myself nodding and laughing and wanting more!

Laini Taylor said...

Your blog is so fun to read. Each time I've found my way here I've been so sucked in and enchanted! I am also painfully aware how much more interesting your life has been than mine!

And your mention of Clockwork Orange (great book, great movie) reminded me of my own viewing experience - my sister and I were watching it and my grandmother chose to enter the room at the exact moment the old woman is being beaten to death with a phallus. It was charming.

madness rivera said...

I'm late answering this, but Marigoldie, I don't know if kids are more or less sheltered now. I feel my kids are more sheltered, and I worry about that. But I think the dynamic that has most changed is that more media and internet coverage makes us very aware of bad things that happen. I think this makes parents want to overprotect their children and I can't say I blame them, us, me.

Laini - holy, I can't imagine what your grandma must've said. HA. That's classic. how old were you guys?

andrea said...

I can't tell you how much I love reading these random lists. and your ability to reveal all fuels me to do the same... which is a fantastic thang. just fantastic, I say.