So, Terri tagged me with some whole 6 weird things about me meme, and I’m finding it hard to pass up the topic. I think the most illuminating thing about it might be finding out what I think is weird.
- The first one is not really news to many of you, but it’s a pretty formative, central weirdness not of my choosing. I grew up on a small farm about 20 miles south of Pittsburgh, with my four siblings, my parents, my grandparents, and my great grandparents, in kind of a creaky old early 1800′s farmhouse. Once I went to school, I got the idea that it was a slightly weird living setup. To this day, I have never quite gotten over the sense that I’m living in the modern world, and I don’t think most people have that awareness since they never felt like they didn’t live in the modern world.
- I wanted to get one “weird” in that was weird in the sense of definition 1: “Of, relating to, or suggestive of the preternatural or supernatural.” When I was 3 or 4, my grandparents went on vacation to Busch Gardens, Florida, with my grandmother’s Aunt Elnore (who was her age: my great grandmother was the oldest of 10 kids) and Uncle John. About a year later, my father won a trip to Disneyworld through work, and he and my mom and my brother and sister April, who was still a baby, went to Florida and met up with my great-grandparents (who spent the winters in Florida). We also went to Busch Gardens. Now, the weird thing is that everyone tells me we were not all there at the same time. But, to this day, I have memories of my grandparents’ trip, which I theoretically was not on. I distinctly remember walking with them past this little stage where there were belly dancers, and Uncle John being obnoxious and whistling and hooting, and Aunt Elnore whacking him with her purse, and saying “Oh, John”. It’s so in character, and it’s not something I could/would have made up when I was 4, but my neither of my grandparents remembered that event specifically. I first remembered this when I was 8 or 9, and when I asked around about when we were all there together, all the adults in the family swore that I was not there at the same time as my grandparents, ever. It became sort of a family joke (“who else was with us at Busch Gardens, Ezra?”), and a couple of times the fact that nobody believed me got me mad to the point of tears.
- There weren’t a lot of kids around when I was really little, except for my brother Simon and sister April, so we did a lot, a lot, of make-believe together. When we started going to church when I was 5 or so, it was actually really exciting fodder for our make-believe, in the same way that I think that biblical situations inspired the imaginations of people in previous generations. So, this weird thing is that one of our favorite things to pretend was “Exodus”. I always got to be Moses, because I was oldest, and Simon was Aaron, and April was Miriam. We’d put scarves on our heads, wear our dad’s shirts as robes, pack all our toys into these big plastic Mickey Mouse bags (that we got on that trip to Disneyworld, incidentally), and drag them all over the house.
- I went to the same small liberal arts college that my grandfather, great-grandfather, and great-great-grandfather went to. It’s also all-male.
- I went out from my last job Beatles-style with a rooftop concert. Except when I climbed out on the roof of the building, I played 80′s hits on the accordion (I specifically recall “Flashdance”, “Panic”, and “Call Me”).
- I got help from Terri for the last one. My fingers can do this: