100 Things Meme

Reading the 100 Things written by Marigoldie and Tina, in which they wrote one hundred things about themselves, inspired me to write my own. I think this is a superior meme – much better than one plumbing the depths of your favorite colors – because the author’s choice of revelation topics becomes a revelation in itself. As always, feel free to steal and/or ignore this meme.


Although a lot of sad things have happened in my life, but I still think my life has been worth living.

I was born in a hospital in downtown Houston, and I imagine that’s why I prefer cities to suburbs and small towns.

My day job is at an insurance brokerage. At night, I write and take care of my three kids.

I wore a rented dress to my wedding. It came in three pieces – top, skirt, and belt – but all together, it looked like a single dress. I was glad it was adjustable, because I was five months pregnant at the time.

I have three children who I love more than anyone in the world. I am twenty years older than my oldest child, and all my children look older than they are. Sometimes people don’t believe that they’re my kids.

I went to the University of Texas on scholarship, but dropped out in my fourth year. Once, I totally flaked on showing up for a final because I had morning sickness. I ended up getting a B on it, presumably because the professor assumed that he’d misplaced my test and decided to give me the average of my other test scores.

I used to be a housewife for six or eight years, living in a mobile home on a rural chunk of dust.

Now I am a single mom. I’m not supposed to admit this, but it’s not as horridly difficult as they tell you it is on TV. But that’s most likely because I have a good day job, and my kids are all in school.

My father is Mexican American, and my mother is a Welsh/German/Scottish blend of white. When I was a kid in the ’70s, that was a big freaking deal. Now, everyone is mixed and people care a lot less about it, and I’m glad, for my kids’ sake.

I technically make enough money to be considered middle class, but I can’t afford a house and, when we don’t get our child support checks in the mail, we have to live paycheck-to-paycheck. This annoys the living hell out of me, even though I grew up way poorer than I am now.

I was born middle class. I imagine that’s why I feel entitled to that state – it’s a return to the womb. A series of unfortunate events out of my control led to my poverty-stricken youth. Sometimes, I have to admit, I resent the rich.

Although we were poor, I’ve never been on welfare. I almost got on it, when I first became a single mom. I got as far as th end of the welfare line. But then my extreme snottiness kicked in and I turned around and went home and searched for jobs harder, instead.

Before I went to Kindergarten, my mother was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. I have very few memories of her being sane.

My mom used to let me play her guitar. I’d strum atonally and improvise songs. The songs were always about horses. My mom would clap enthusiastically after each one.

My brothers and I used to pretend we were on the Price Is Right. We’d call out pseudonymous names, followed by “Come on down! You’re the next contestant on the Price Is Right!” My pseudonym was Wendy Reynolds.

When I was four or five, I hated going to daycare because, among many other reasons, the other kids called me Wendy’s Hamboogers, and the other little girls always declared themselves to be Wonder Woman before I could, and my turn to be Wonder Woman never came. Not to mention that the daycare workers were racist against my dad, assuming he was Iranian when the US was upset with Iran. They probably would’ve hated him if they knew he was Mexican American, anyway, but they were happy enough to take his money and smile to his face, then treat me and my brothers like crap all day. I decided that I would never put my own children in daycare and, as it turned out, I never did.

I remember the bad things people say to me for far, far longer than I remember the good things. For instance, I can’t call to mind any of the good quotes that were written about my first published book, but I can remember clear as crystal a radio interviewer telling me that my essays and short stories were nothing but a chronicle of my “golpes de la vida.” (“Hard knocks,” roughly.) So, right now, as I’m trying to think of a hundred things to say about myself, I’m very conscious of the possibility that this will end up being nothing but whining. I wish bad things didn’t weigh more in my mind that good things. I’m working on changing that.

I grew up with a lot of males and only one other female. Therefore, it’s usually easier for me to talk to men than to other women. At the same time, I hate it when chicks say, “I’m only friends with men because women are so catty!” I hate the lack of loyalty that’s required to hate one’s own entire sex.

I’ve had a lot of mother figures in my life. I used to imagine that women could sense that I lacked a mother. Now I know that being a mother sometimes just spills over onto people who aren’t your kids.

I like raw sushi and raw oysters.

I hate grasshoppers and roaches.

There are certain songs that I love so much, I get goosebumps and/or tear up when I hear them.

I don’t feel comfortable on the dance floor unless I’m drunk.

I was never really good at sports, and that used to bother me in high school, but now I couldn’t care less.

I took ballet, jazz, modern, salsa, and African dance classes from the ages of 14 to 18, thanks to a local non-profit arts organization for poverty-stricken youth. I suffered the humiliation of dancing on stage in order to sing in second-banana roles in the little productions we put on. I played Anita in West Side Story, and Bombalurina in Cats. Our two ballet teachers cured me of being knock-kneed and graceless.

My aunt told me once that the reason I was ashamed of my own dancing was that my mom never let me dance. I don’t remember that.

My aunt pretty much served as my mom until she died a few years ago. I miss her a lot sometimes. I cried like a maniac at her rosary, partially because I’d been angry with her right before she died. After she died, I had a series of dreams in which she clarified and apologized for the past. I know that most people would say that was a product of my own subconscious, but I believe it was really her, communicating with me after death.

When I was a teenager, I spent a lot of time trying to prove to my Latino friends and neighbors that I was Latina, not white. Now I’ve accepted that I’m also white, and I try not to worry about what people assume about me. Screw them if they don’t like it.

Still, it bothers me when non-white people hate on me for being white. Last month, a crazy homeless black guy sneered at me in the post office. “That’s just like a white woman,” he said. “Turn away from the n***er when he passes you by.” I told my black coworkers what happened and one asked me if I corrected his assumptions. I said no, because he was crazy. But it does bother me, when people assume that I’m racist because of the color of my skin.

I’ll be glad when all the human ethnicities on Earth are so well blended that race no longer exists.

My boyfriend is Chinese. Sometimes people gawk at us, just like they must have gawked at my dad and mom back in the day. I can’t help that interracial lovin’ is in my blood.

When I was a teenager, I secretly thought Asian men were the sexiest men on Earth. This was probably fueled by a steady diet of kung fu movies. But I never hit on Asian guys, because I assumed they would only want to date Asian women. Now I know that everybody in the world wants different things, and you never know until you ask.

I think about race issues a lot. Especially today, since I saw Crash last night.

Another touchy subject I think about a lot is sexual abuse. I was molested, harassed, and/or abused many times in my youth, by different people, to varying degrees. For a long time, I thought it was only happening to me, and I thought that it was something I was supposed to keep to myself. Then, I started reading about it happening to others, and I started talking to my friends, and then I came to believe that it happened to every single woman on Earth. Now, I realize that that’s probably not the case. I’m not some crusader who feels the need to trumpet “I was molested!!!” at every social gathering, but I am thankful to the people who had the guts to talk about it when I was young, because they kept me from feeling alone.

Back when I was still breeding, I wanted very badly to have a daughter. So, while trying, I had three boys in a row. The night before the third sonogram, I dreamed that my third baby was a boy and that there was a very good reason for it. So I decided to believe that I was specially designed to be a good mother to boys. Other women who have lots of boys and no daughters tell me they feel the same way.

Five years ago a palm reader told me that I was destined to have three boys and one girl. She also said that I would make a lot of money in my lifetime, but it would always slip through my fingers. That fortune upset me. I think about it to this day whenever I overdraft my bank account. I wish I’d never heard that fortune, sometimes.

If I keep writing whole paragraphs for each of my hundred things, I’ll never get this done.

I got accepted by Vassar. They offered to pay half my tuition. But I couldn’t even afford half, so I didn’t go.

The day I graduated from high school, my plan was to move into my friend Dorothy’s apartment in small-town Mont Belview, and get a job at the Dairy Queen behind her complex.

A rich woman who volunteered as a mentor at our local non-profit forced me to apply to colleges, instead.

I went to New York City when I was eighteen and thought it was the most fabulous city I’d ever seen.

I’ve never been west of Austin, Texas, though.

The farthest I’ve been from home is Toronto.

The farthest south I’ve been is Monterrey.

I fantasize about traveling when I’m rich. I especially want to go to Tokyo.

When I was young, I was tall and thin and yet hourglass-shaped. The minute I went off to college, I got fat as hell. I stayed very fat for about ten years, until right around my divorce, when I did the Atkins diet and lost a hundred pounds.

Since I lost a hundred pounds five years ago, I’ve gained back about 20 to 25. It goes up and down. I can’t seem to get below size 14, and I won’t let myself get above size 20.

I never thought of myself as pretty until October of 2003. Prior to that, whenever people told me I was pretty, I assumed they wanted something from me.

Being very slender and then very fat and then all points in between has taught me a lot of stuff about human nature that I didn’t want to know.

I used to think it was possible for a woman to be friends with a man without there being any hope for sex on his part, but now I’m starting to think that I was wrong.

Sometimes I feel less than girly because I don’t care about celebrities’ personal lives.

Sometimes I feel less than girly because I have to tweeze little hairs from my chin.

I used to watch Days of Our Lives and the other soaps on NBC with my aunt. I stopped watching when I was pregnant with my first kid and the plotlines turned supernatural. They literally made me throw up.

I hardly watch prime-time TV at all. Not because I’m a pop-cult snob, but because it’s too hard to commit to all the serial-type shows that are on now.

I do, however, watch America’s Next Top Model religiously.

I love lots of kinds of clothing, but my own wardrobe is pretty “classic,” i.e. conservative and boring.

The fatter I am, the less I like to shop.

Ric Ocasek was the only rock star who ever came out looking like I’d imagined he would.

When I was in junior high, I was in love with Sting. I’m ashamed that I would go to the library and cut pictures of Sting and the Police out of magazines.

Now I can’t write on books or deface them at all. And I hate to buy used books that have been written in.

Sometimes I end sentences in prepositions even though I know it’s wrong.

When I was studying art as a teenager, I often drew pictures of shirtless men. Then I realized that that upset my dad, so I started drawing shirtless women, instead.

I like to correspond with people I’ve met online, but I’m still wary of meeting those people in real life.

The more successful I get, the more I censor myself on this blog. Sometimes I miss writing for strangers only.

When I got my first book published, I thought it would change my life. It didn’t, but I do feel better about myself. It increased my self-esteem.

If I can’t get my second book published, I’m not sure what I’ll do.

I am well aware that books don’t sell as well as they used to. And yet, I retain my book-related goals.

I fantasize about having a garden. That’s the only thing I miss about living in the mobile home.

For the longest time, my bad experiences with houseplants made me think that I had a black thumb. Then I tried real gardening and realized that it’s pretty much foolproof. More importantly, though, it’s magic. I think gardening changes lives.

I have this book that I’ve been working on for two or three years. I’m not sure anyone will ever want to buy it, so I work on other books in the mean time. But this one I’ve been working on for so long means a lot to me. I think about it often.

I wish I had time to do projects – books, art, film, elaborate pranks, whatever – all the time.

I’m very good at karaoke, but I hardly ever go.

I’m also good at Dance Dance Revolution, probably because of all the ballet.

I used to have severe secret crushes on the most random men, ever since I was a teenager. I was the Queen of Unrequited Infatuation and only dated men to whom I was almost ambivalent. But that’s stopped since I met my current boyfriend, two and half years ago. He was my last serious crush, and the only one that ever materialized into a relationship.

I dressed up for Halloween on Saturday, after all. I’d planned for my costume to be sexy yet scary. When I got the pictures back, I realized that I was way more scary than sexy. At first that bothered me, but now I’m okay. The only real Halloween costume for girls? Doesn’t have to be “slut.”

I don’t consider myself slutty, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong with women who want to sleep around.

People assume, because I’m a feminist and I don’t hate homosexuals, that I must be a flaming liberal. I consider myself moderate, though. A moderate who’s slightly more annoyed by hardcore conservatives than she is by hardcore liberals.

Every time I turn on the TV and that movie Bird Cage is on, I end up having to watch the whole thing. One time I even watched the Spanish version, which was horribly dubbed, on Univision.

I like to get pedicures.

I like back rubs in theory, but then, when people try to give me one, it sort of bothers me.

After my divorce, I gave myself permission to cut my hair very short. It was liberating.

When my hair was short, I often dreamed about it being long again. So I grew it out. It’s very long now, and I’m glad to have put a stop to those annoying dreams.

I would never get a tattoo.

I have a gold tooth. A molar. I begged them not to make it gold, but they said they had to.

I had another molar removed last year. It was traumatizing at the time – the process as well as the stigma of missing a tooth. But then I talked to my friend Yvonne about it and was cured.

My dentist is my boyfriend’s brother. During my appointments, he and I talk more about his family than he and his brother do. Sometimes it seems like my teeth cleanings are the way they stay connected.

I often dream about having to live in my dad’s house. I end up having to clean my old room or else remodel the whole freaking house.

I used to dream that I was back in high school, unable to find my classroom. Then, I graduated to dreaming that I was in college, but wasting too much time at the coffee house to make it to class.

Because of my various assistant day jobs and my lack of interest in celebrities’ personal lives, I’m certain that I’d make an excellent personal assistant for a celebrity. I would do it if it paid well. And, you know, if I lived in Hollywood.

Even though Texas is total red state, I love it very much. People say Texas is like a cult that creepily indoctrinates its youth with state love. It’s true, I guess.

I hate it when people are rude. I like it when people are polite. I think this comes from reading too much British children’s literature.

I’m secretly a geeky 12 year old boy. I play geeky video games and love all that Dungeons and Dragons type crap.

I’m glad I’ve been losing weight lately, but I’m sad that I’ll have to re-buy size 16 work clothes soon, because I gave all the ones I had to a Hurricane Katrina evacuee, because I thought I’d never lose the weight.

There’s this lady who makes breakfast tacos in our building’s corporate cafeteria. She seems really decent. Sometimes I wish she was my mom.

I’ve stopped telling most people about the books, songs, and movies that I love, because when they don’t love those things as much as I do, it sort of bugs me.

Even though hardly anyone listens to trance anymore, I can’t stop liking it yet.

Even though it’s cliched, I fantasize about being rich. Often.

At this point, I’m just typing anything that comes to mind in order to finish these hundred things.

When I get rich, I will totally get a tummy tuck.

I think something’s wrong with my right eye, because I keep having trouble with my right contact lens, even if I’m wearing a brand new one. My optometrist is my boyfriend’s sister-in-law. That and the dentistry are the reasons I can never break up with him. Unless I get rich or get better insurance, I mean.

Yay, I did it. THE END!

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Posted in insects on 10/31/2005 10:07 pm

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