All week long, there’s been kind of a chain letter going around the world of blog. The game is that you have to post “5 Things You Might Not Know About Me,” and then tag other bloggers. If you keep the chain going, you’ll get rich and have success. And if you don’t, then you end up penniless, in prison, and your dog runs away with your ex-wife. Or something like that. (Actually, I made that last part up. Bloggers do very little making of threats, as we know this is such a fragile and blessed little craft.)

So, I was tagged three times this week. And I missed it, so I’ve fallen behind. I’m not going to post fifteen things just because I got tagged thrice. I don’t know if I could think of fifteen things. (Though it was fun to write the word “thrice.”)

1 – I was a cheerleader.

In honor of the one-year anniversary of John Spencer’s death, I’m going to do what Leo McGarry did in West Wing when the Republicans were going to publicize his past drug problem. He held a press conference and admitted it publicly first.

So, before one more person can bring me yet one more high school yearbook and say, “Oh my God! I just found out you were a cheerleader from this person who went to your high school!!!” I am admitting to my past indiscretions right now. So, there it is.

2 – I speak forest fluently.

After I moved to Asheville, I started hiking. Then I got crazy about the woods here and learned all the native flora and fauna. I know lots of it by name. But when you learn to speak forest, it’s not about naming things. It’s when you’ve gone way beyond that, and you just know the woods, and you just know that non-verbal language. I am most at home in spots that have never been logged and are chock full of rhododendron. My strange little belief is that if everyone learned to speak forest, there’d be no addictions.

3 – My very first concert was Michael Jackson.

My big sister drove me and my best friend, Leslie to the Capital Centre. (Back before every arts pavilion, arena, and stadium was called “Pepsi” “Verizon” and “Sprint.”) I memorized all of Michael’s dance moves. (Occasionally I still do one every now and then much to the chagrin of my husband.) I wrote about six pages in my journal the next day with full descriptions of all the costumes, and all about how Michael even pointed down at me and then looked at me – “RIGHT IN THE EYES!” (Of course, all the other girls who were standing around me wrote the same thing in their journals the next day.) It really was a great show. Even in my memory. I got sick as a dog from all pre-teen-drama-queen screaming in which I partook.

4 – I’m in love with Ligne Roset furniture.

I’m a sucker for good design. I love great interior design and great architecture. And I love clean, contemporary, wildly expensive furniture. After I performed in Seattle, I visited some friends of mine in Victoria, BC. My room (Room? I think they actually called it “The Zen Suite” or something like that) had the Ligne Roset Togo sectional in it, and I must say, it has been on my Vision Board ever since.

5 – I have the worst break-up story ever.

(Those of you who know my song Or Just Heading Home already know this one.)

When I first graduated from college, I was in love with a guy who – after we had been together for several months – went to South Africa to do volunteer work for a year. At some point amidst our perpetual letter writing and expensive phone calls, he invited me to come spend a month with him during his winter break. We would rent a van with a bunch of the other volunteers and all tour the country. So, I flew to Johannesburg (I first went to Holland, Belgium, Greece, Kenya – did a big huge trip on my own). I was crazy excited to see him.

And you guessed it. He broke up with me when I got there. (I’m actually giggling as I write this just remembering how insane it was.) It was truly the Oprah life-altering moment for me. I ended up staying for the few weeks I had planned, and one of the other volunteers (Steve Hollman, you PRINCE of a man) broke off from the group, and we hitch-hiked all over the place together. I remember being determined to have a great time, which I did but all the while my heart ached unceasingly.

Here’s the thing though: I spent almost no money in our hitch-hiking adventures. Steve and I always ended up with free-lodging and free meals. People were really nice to us. So, the minute I returned to the U.S., I took my left over money, and I bought a cheap Martin Guitar. And I realized that I had absolutely zero to lose by leaping towards my little dream of writing songs and making music. Which is what I did. So, really, I am wildly grateful that I was unceremoniously dumped with such drama and turmoil. Back then, that’s the only way the Gods could get through to me.

Now, I tag a few other bloggers. I tag MK. I tag Tammy Lenski. And I tag the inimitable Starbucker.

15 COMMENTS ADD A COMMENT
  • Palmtreechick

    Hey Christine! Good to be “back.” Been busy. Um, New Kids were cool…back when I saw them. 😉 MJ is a little weird. 🙂

  • christine

    Caryn… Yes, it was definitely better than this one didn’t come true. However, the furniture wish really does need to come true!

  • Caryn

    I had to laugh at your pleasure at using the word “thrice”. Just the other day I used it in a sentence, and then had to stop and point out that I used “thrice” and that I love that word. Also, the furniture is great. I’m glad the breakup worked out so well after all, but what a jerk! Trips to Africa are not exactly cheap. Still, it sounds like a great example of the axiom that sometimes it’s better when our wishes and hopes don’t come true.

  • christine

    Hey PTC! Well, Michael Jackson is way cooler than New Kids. (albeit somewhat more weird!) Yes, the break up worked out fine. Most things do though, don’t they!?? Good to “see” you again!

    Hi Nancy… Really? you thought I just MADE that up? hmmmm. And as far as the body issues… i think my nine years of studying ballet did that long before cheerleading did! Thanks for the note!

  • NancyCz

    I had no idea that was TRUE in Or Just Heading Home. Haha. As much as it sucks to be broken up with, I definitely think it probably helps in the long run. I find myself constantly counseling my students in the area of breakups. “You know… each guy/girl that breaks up with you just brings you one step closer to the guy/girl that’s right for you,” has become my mantra.

    I like this idea… will have to put it on my own blog.

    I forgive you for being a cheerleader… I gave in and did it one year. Can you say “breeding ground for body image issues”? I can.

    As always, love reading your blog.

  • Palmtreechick

    2,4,6,8 who do we appreciate? (Sorry) 😉

    I love those little factoid emails. You always find out some interesting stuff. The break-up worked out GREAT for ya! Look where you are now! 🙂

    Michael Jackson, huh? I saw New Kids on the Block but Billy Joel was my first.

  • christine

    Hi Tammy! Thanks for doing your post…in spite of my past horrors!

    Dave, Great responses to my tiny revelations! Thanks for contributing!

    Hi Starbucker… hmmm… a pyromaniac? Well, that doesn’t make me feel so bad for wearing saddle shoes and a pleated wool mini-skirt, I guess.

    Hi Tommie… Yes, I was thinking of you all. I’m so glad that some part of me was present there. I know it was a sacred time for you all. I loved meeting Joyce…she really was an amazing woman.

    Caren, I think we have many Mary Oliver fans here on my blog! (She’s reading in Asheville this coming Spring.) Thanks for the beauty.

  • Caren

    There’s a lovely Mary Oliver poem about the satisfaction of being able to name things. A little too long to copy here, and I couldn’t find one online – it’s called “Something” from the collection Why I Wake Early. Here’s an excerpt, which doesn’t capture the rapturousness of the entire poem… but might inspire you to find it…

    She writes of finding a “yellow-white lace-mass that the sea has brought to the shore”

    … I do not know what to call this sharpest desire

    to discover a name,
    but there it is, suddenly, clearly
    illustrated on the page, offering my heart
    another singular

    moment of happiness: to know that it is
    the egg case of an ocean shell,
    the whelk….

  • Tommie Pratt (Nel’s neighbor)

    Christine, This weekend we had the memorial for our friend Joyce Reed. In my remarks I gave you credit and used several of your thoughts about Gratitude. Joyce certainly exemplified “How you translate any life situation is your own choice. ” Your blog was wonderfully and very helpful to us. I’m not sure how you got to be so wise but your blogs are so real, so great, so humerous, so helpful. Thanks.
    Tommie

  • mary katherine

    Okies! Mine is ready. Thanks for the tag, Christine.

  • Starbucker

    Thanks for the “tag” Christine, and yes I had to look up “inimitable” (and all I can say is – thanks again!). Are you sure you wouldn’t want to post those cheerleading yearbook photos just to really put it all behind you? 🙂 My list is now up, and I revealed a past indiscretion of my own (you’ll see!). All the best.

  • Dblwyo

    1. Some of us like cheerleaders btw – if not necessarily to talk to. Sorta like the terrible old joke about one hire’s the handicapped watching cheerleaders is fun 😀 .

    2. Gary Synder, Cold Mountain, Dogen.

    3. Now that’s embarrassing. How do you feel about Barry ? Manilow that is or Elvis. My friend the opera buff loved his shows in Vegas.

    4. http://www.kleindesign.com/ elegant, affordable, sensible and great shipping costs.

    5. what comes ’round goes ’round. Can we send a contribution to your ex ? We’re all grateful.

    p.s. – having an ex run away with the dog is a little strange, isn’t it ? Won’t got there any farther but still. Good thing nobody’s from Scotland or a sheep farmer.

  • Tammy Lenski

    Christine, thanks for tagging me…I think! 🙂 And by a former cheerleader (oh the horror, the horror) no less (if my big sister saw me write this she’d strangle me with her former cheerleader hands). I think I’ll have some fun with it but doubt I can be as charming and entertaining in the process as you’ve been here!

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