I’m That Girl

February 7, 2010 at 6:14 am (In So Many Words) (, , , , , , , , , , )

I am the kind of girl who drinks brandy out of martini glasses when her husband isn’t home. I buy betta fish when I’m sad, which I pet periodically as though they were cats, they arch their backs and like it, too. People label me a clean freak, but most the time I don’t see how because my house is never clean enough. I eat my grapefruit pulp by pulp, literally, never with a spoon and never with sugar. I compulsively buy shampoo and conditioner, and am obsessive about using the same amount simultaneously – I hate running out of one before the other, and my head can never be filled with multiple smells. But am more compulsive about buying and using what I call “smell goodness” for my house (plug-ins, oil burners and oil, candles, incense, room sprays, etc.). I swear I can smell cashmere sweaters on rich women, which no one believed me until Emily on the patio of Hoffbrau Steaks. I like my dog more than most human beings, will carry him in my arms like a baby, but wont touch a human baby unless I have to. And I cannot live without a to do list. I’m that kind of girl.

I’m the kind of girl who people laugh at a lot, not because I’ve made a joke, or because they are making fun of me, but because somehow things I say are funny to them. My favorite explanation so far has been by a co-worker, Jana, “I find your neurosis humorous.” She’s talking about the fact that I judge my books by the cover, and they cannot feature children’s faces on the front, but feet are ok. I’ll buy any book that has cool shoes on the front (but they can’t be leopard print, modern high heels, or pink). I awkwardly told a supervisor of mine that he’s probably ‘pleasant’ when he hits on people. The same night another kid I worked with called me a ‘job-lover’ and I couldn’t decide whether it was an insult or not. Pecans creep me out. I like to watch people floss their teeth, especially if they’re doing it at work. I hate to cook, but I love to eat and I love to feed people, therefore I cook a lot. I invite people to my house that will never come over, for the sake of inviting them and hoping they’ll show up. I’m that girl.

The funny thing is, although I’ve changed and look very different to the public eye, I’ve been pretty much the same my whole life. I always was a bit of a geek; I will always be a bit of a geek. But the reason I am who I am are different than the reasons I was what I was. Now, I’m a geek because I want to be one, I cherish it, the books the reading, the learning, the art of it all. I’m that girl.

I’m the girl who was raised by a bloodline obsessed father.
Daddy was really into genealogy. He still is. It’s truly his passion. It completely makes sense, he loves history and he loves himself – so researching his own history is the perfect past time for him. As much as we tease him about it, it made for some really memorable family vacations. We got to meet a lot of people, we visited lots of museums and libraries, we hung out with really old people with fascinating life stories and pictures in shoe boxes to back them up, and the best part – cemeteries.

To this day, I love cemeteries.
We would hike through the woods and find the old family plots that had stones from the early 1800’s rolling down the hill. We would piece tombstones together and make rubbings of them and take the rubbings home as evidence of the find. Some of my fondest memories of my parents involve my mom and I trekking through a cemetery to find the most interesting life story, or the plot with the best tree nearby. Southern heat is a good reason to find shade and sit down when outdoors, and a lot of my shade and sitting was done next to a grave site. I usually hung out with the dead and read a good book. I liked intense and gory mystery thrillers and historical fiction that involved girls in big dresses. Essentially, I liked a good book of any genre (still do), and I liked reading under a tree (still do), and I loved being in cemeteries when I did it (still do?).

The best cemetery trip ever, my Grandma happened to be there. It got to be lunch time and she pulled a beach towel out of my mom’s van, spread it on the grass and started making a picnic lunch. It was a hot summer in Alabama and I went to sit in the grass and use the towel as a table. “Get off that grass, you’re gonna get red-bug.” Texans call them chiggers. I scooted over to the towel and my grandma fed me lunch in the grass of a cemetery.
“Grandma, we’re on graves.”
“Their dead, they don’t care.”
It was ironic and struck me so even at the time. My grandmother was one of the most superstitious southerners I had ever met, and here she was not caring about something that even un-superstitious people would care about. I ate my egg salad sandwich in peace and enjoyed the hot sun.

What’s strange about our memories is that I remember my sister being there with us. I remember Daddy hunting down the right gravesite and mom in tow with her camera to take pictures of it. There was no one else in sight, although my grandfather had to have been somewhere if my grandma was there.

My sister does not remember this at all. In fact, she insists she wasn’t there.

She wasn’t. She would have already been in college at the age that I remember myself being in that moment. So why is this memory so warped from time? I remember it so clearly, if I think really hard I can actually feel the sun on my shoulders that day and the texture of the beach towel. I can even remember which beach towel it was. I can hear my grandma say the phrase “red bug” like a true southerner.

Its so much a part of me and who I am, this memory. Its a moment of bliss. Its a moment that I’ve held onto for a long time. Because I’m nostalgic that way, and when I think of myself, I think of myself as a girl eating an egg salad sandwich with her grandma, her parents hunting down dead relatives, enjoying the grass, the sun, the trees, and the south. I think of myself hanging out in a cemetery. I’m that girl.

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2 Comments

  1. Interested said,

    You make it all so real…I was there with you.

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