Posts Tagged ‘oddities’

At my five year high school reunion I got sloppy drunk and ended up making out with a guy PiC was trying to set me up with. I’m not proud of it, but I was 23 years old and acting like it.

Half a decade later I showed up to my ten year reunion, Husband in tow, Baby on board, and stone cold sober (obviously). And I have to say, this time around was much more enjoyable.


I saw the usual suspects (minus PiC, sadly, who got sick at the last minute), but I also chatted with some friends that I really haven’t kept in touch with at all.

One girl was also pregnant, so we swapped stories and watched the (slight) reunion debauchery while sipping our ginger ale.

Another girl is moving to Abu Dhabi soon for her husband’s job, so we all shared travel tales.

Guy friends that I thought would never grow up or settle down have done both, and are a good reminder that none of us are exactly the same people we were ten years ago.

The strangest surprise of the night, though, was entirely unexpected.

It wasn’t the girl who came up, hugged me, kissed my cheek, and loudly professed how happy she was to see me (even though we probably haven’t spoken since 1997).

It wasn’t JB who would randomly come up behind me and put her hands on my belly throughout the night.

It was, surprisingly enough, a work-related rumor. As I was chatting with N, one of those guys who I thought would never grow up, he mentioned it.

“So, you’re still in DC, right? And you work at The Heritage Foundation?”

“Yes, I’m still in DC, but, no, I work at The Office. But it’s strange – you’re the second person tonight who’s asked me about Heritage specifically.”

“Yeah, there’s a rumor going around that you work there, and I was surprised you worked at a conservative think tank. I’m glad to hear it’s not true!”

Maybe this doesn’t seem so odd, but it struck me for a few reasons:

1) Growing up (i.e. when most of these people knew me) I wasn’t especially political. And I definitely never talked politics enough to be labeled one way or the other.

2) Outside of DC and holiday dinners with family, I still rarely talk politics. And it’s not exactly a topic I anticipated at the reunion – however peripheral it may have been to the conversation.

3) It’s such an oddly specific rumor, and so easy to dispel via social networks. I always thought rumors should be vague if you want them to catch on – hard to verify, but easy to believe. (Not that I’ve thought about this before.)

In any case, I laughed about it with N and realized that if this is what’s going around, then even the rumor mill has matured over the past five years.

And that’s not a bad thing at all.

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Every now and then, my grad school classes will remind me of something I haven’t thought of in years. Things I didn’t even know I remembered.

Case in point: in my class last night, the professor brought up Idi Amin’s rule in Uganda. She’s talking about this terrible dictator, and truth and reconciliation commissions, and what comes to my mind?

Idi Amin used to eat oranges to increase his sex drive.

I can’t source it. I  know I was in high school, possibly a sophomore, though I don’t remember what class I was studying Idi Amin for. But I can tell you that my high school self found it both absurd and entertaining. And might have giggled upon discovery.

I didn’t share that tidbit in class last night, but I encourage you to bust it out at your next dinner party.

As a conversation starter, how could it fail?

*I know, I know. I couldn’t help myself.

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While in San Jose this past weekend for Wedding #1 of the 2011 season, during a brief moment of downtime, the boyfriend and I were flipping through the TV channels in our hotel room.

(And by “the boyfriend and I,” I mean “the boyfriend.” We all know I don’t operate the remote.)

Anyway, after one particular flip I saw Don Johnson’s familiar face.

Nash Bridges!

The boyfriend looked at me with a mixture of concern and disbelief. “My mom watched this show,” he informed me, emphasizing mom.

So? I loved it! Nash and his yellow Barracuda…” I trailed off as he kept looking.

Wait a minute.” He took a deep breath. “Did you also watch Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman?

I could feel my face light up. “Yes! It was so good! We used to watch it as a family!

He sighed again, almost in resignation. “Okay. What about the one in a hospital with the guy from Mary Poppins?

Diagnosis: Murder! Yeah, I didn’t watch it on a regular basis, but sometimes.

But you still knew what I was talking about. These are all shows that my mom loves. How old are you?”

To be honest, he has a point. I may be 25 on the outside, but I do have an 80-year-old soul. Apparently I’ve had one for quite a while.

And that 80-year-old soul would still gladly watch Dr. Quinn and Sully over Jersey Shore any day.

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Friday evening we were out with friends in Adams Morgan, just having drinks and a general good time. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Until she joined our group.

A couple of the guys had met her outside the bar, found her entertaining, and invited her inside for a drink. Harmless. And she was friendly enough. She spent most of the night talking to J and Sergio, but during a break in conversation, she sidled up to me and sat on the adjacent stool. She then leaned in, as though she had something super important to ask me, and I assumed she’d be asking me about the guys. But no.

I just have to tell you,” she said, “I have this huge desire to put elf ears on you. I think you’d look really great in them.

Is there a proper response to that? I looked around, wishing someone else had heard it, and kind of laughed awkwardly. And she continued.

I just think you have such a cute face for it, and it would be so perfect! You should really think about it.

I laughed again, and made another awkward comment about whether or not I could take that as a compliment.

You should! I’m a child of Tolkien,” she replied, “It’s totally a compliment! Just think about it for a costume some time.

And all throughout her comments she kept motioning to both her ears and mine, trying to demonstrate just how she thought the elf ears should be shaped or how high they should be.

Now, I know Adams Morgan attracts some oddballs, but this is the first time I’ve ever been approached about my ears.

And honestly, I hope it’s also the last.

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I have to ask your opinion about some terminology that I’ve been hearing at work that keeps throwing me for a loop.

You see, I work in survey research doing both background research and number crunching, and I do find it interesting, but one of our senior fellows described it as something else at a recent staff meeting. He was reporting on his project, highlighting the findings, and he said, “This data is really sexy. I’m really excited to release it; I think it’ll be a big hit.” I’d been zoning out, as per usual, but that phrase caught my attention. The data is sexy? Really?

I admit it – I giggled a little bit to myself. And then I just chalked it up to this fellow being a little odd (and me being a little immature).

But then, in another recent meeting, I was talking to my supervisor about a project that I’m working on and he told me that he really wanted to “sex up the report.

I didn’t giggle this time (too obvious), but I did realize that my maturity level could use some work.

But it also made me curious – is it just me, or does it sound strange to call data/numbers/a report sexy?

Even if it doesn’t, and it is just me, I still think I’ll refrain from that terminology in a staff meeting. At least, if I want to keep a straight face.

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Part of my responsibilities when I’m home for big holiday family dinners (aside from making the desserts) is to set the table. We break out the good dishes, the silver, the water goblets, etc. and my job is to pull it all together and make it look good. Of course, this also appeals to my OCD-like neuroses, wherein I feel the need to make sure that every plate is evenly spaced, every utensil is straight, and every glass is lined up above the proper utensil.

Emily Post would be so proud.


But, apparently, this year I went a little overboard.

I was setting the table Sunday morning – for 11, mind you, which already threw me off because then there wouldn’t be an even number of people on each side – when my mom came into the room and saw me tweaking one of the place settings. She started asking if I had an idea of where I wanted people to sit, or where I was going to sit, and I told her, “Well, I think I’ll just sit in the same seat I’m always in, otherwise it’d just feel weird.” Which probably wouldn’t have been too strange, in and of itself, but as I said it, I continued to adjust the place setting, trying to get it to line up exactly with the seat it was intended for.

So, I guess I should have seen it coming when my mom said, “Now, no offense, and don’t take this the wrong way, but when you were in therapy, did you ever touch on possibly actually having OCD?

I hadn’t, because we were working through a whole other set of issues, but I also never would have thought to bring it up. Because I’ve always been under the impression that everyone has at least some slight form of OCD, and we all just chalk it up to quirks.

But, who knows, maybe I’ve finally moved from quirky to neurotic. It was bound to happen sooner or later.

What little quirks do you have, that you might find getting more and more pronounced? Please tell me I’m not the only one here.

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Dear Megan Fox,

Guess what? We have something in common! No, it’s not an appearance on Maxim’s top 100 list – I’m still waiting for them to call. And it’s not a mutual love for Brian Austin Green. Though, I was a David Silver fan – once he grew into himself, naturally. No, it’s something much more personal.

It’s our thumbs.


...and Megan Fox's. (I know it's hard to focus on her thumb here, but please, try.)

Now, I know it can be rough growing up with toe thumbs – the endless teasing, the deformity jokes – but it’s something I’ve learned to live with. And almost, almost even love. But, most importantly, I’ve learned to NOT be ashamed of it.

So, imagine my surprise when I learned that you used a thumb double in that Motorola commercial!

Et tu, Megan?

You have to own that little oddity – make it yours. For instance, do you have any idea how much these little digits have helped my thumb war game? They’re small, but mighty. I’m practically unstoppable.

So, please, the next time you do a commercial, don’t let anyone make you feel ashamed. Go au naturel and use your own thumbs. At least think about it, please. For me, and for anyone else who has ever been told they have “hot dog thumbs.”

Your fellow toe-thumb-er,


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