Five things about me that my friends may not know.
1. I’ve never eaten at an Olive Garden.
Shouldn’t I get some kind of award for this? huh?
2. In the late 90s, I bought a pink garlic braid at the local marché in Aix-en-Provence, and was determined to get it back to my US home kitchen. Now, I’m not a good liar. I have no poker face. I had the hardest time containing my horror when I arrived at US Customs at San Francisco Int’l and saw not one but two happy waggy tailed dogs sniffing around the bags. I was traveling with my mom and gasped, “But what if they take my garlic?” She said, “Don’t be stupid. Keep your mouth shut. Watch me, I do it all the time”. When the stoic customs agent asked me if I’d brought back any foodstuff from overseas, I quit twitching enough to stammer out a “No”. Okay, so I know people have done much, much worse. My mom brings back whole grocery bags of unpasteurized cheese and saucisson and doesn’t bat an eyelash when interrogated. But I always find myself giggly and embarrassed in front of authority, even if I’ve done nothing wrong.
3. I spent the summers of my 16th and 17th years flying gliders in Germany. Our landing strip was used at night by a local sheep farmer, so in the mornings when we pushed the planes out, it would be a minefield of poop. And every morning, everyone would scream out “Schaf Scheiße!” in unison. Incidentally, it was during my first summer there that I drank beer for the first time. I got hammered on two Becks beers, wandered away from a party, and got lost in the woods in rural Germany. Around 5 am, I found the main road and hitchhiked back to the compound.
Moral of the story: Now, I don't recommend that women hitchhike, especially naive 16 year olds. But if you had to hitchhike, Germany is the place to do it. Germans are the nicest people ever.
4. When the boy and I were first dating, I didn’t know he could cook. Three entire months into our relationship, I get to his house one evening and he’s made a really nice dinner. I asked him why he was holding out on me for so long, and he said, “I wanted to make sure you were worth it”.
I’ve never let him live this one down.
5. When I was 7, the cafeteria at my school served cow brains as the entrée for lunch (this was a typical French school lunch back in the day). My entire class refused to eat. In an effort to get us to eat, my teacher announced that no one would get any dessert unless we ate at least some of the brains. And do you know what dessert was? Chocolate cake. I was determined to get that damn cake; I did what all kids do when they’re being force fed something they don’t like. I plugged up my nose with the thumb and index finger of my left hand, picked up a fork in my right hand and shoveled those brains into my mouth. I was the only kid that day who got chocolate cake. I don’t remember the brains being all that bad though, except maybe texture-wise.