Ooh-ooh, Me Too!

1. I get intimidated by other people’s lists, because I don’t feel interesting enough.
2. I obviously care what other people think about me.
3. I tend to be a people pleaser.
4. I have 10 nieces and nephews and they’re still coming.
5. I don’t really care about politics until they start affecting me personally.
6. I like being able to do a lot of things well, but feel inadequate when I think I should be a “master” of at least one of them.
7. I love hospitality and entertaining, but sometimes I like the idea more than the reality.
8. I began to love teatime when my mom would have it set out for me when I got home from school. It was a special treat when she’d bring out my grandmother’s china patterns.
9. I’ve always been girly.
10. I loved dressing up when I was little and pretending. I still do.
11. I didn’t like red wine or fish until I met Mike.
12. I love reading for pleasure. I find non-fiction interesting, but would much rather lose myself in a great fictional work.
13. I was scared that I’d been caught as a fraud when a parent asked me my “professional opinion” on my first day of teaching.
14. I thought my ideal man would be a lot like my dad and work a nine to five job. I’m so glad I married someone who is creative and able to have a flexible schedule to fit our family and its’ needs.
15. My brother taught me how to do laundry, cook spaghetti and change the tires on my truck. That’s all he thought I’d really need in life.
16. I have always been in awe of my brother’s call to the mission field. I can honestly say that I do not have this calling. The only time I came close was when I was visiting him in Tanzania and I walked by a run down school where 200 village children were playing and hanging out, not in school because the 3 teachers had decided not to show up that day. I had a strong urger to “save” each one of them.
17. A pastor in Nzega, Tanzania prayed the blessing of 10 children over me. Oh dear.
18. My most memorable singing experience was when I was the “guest choir” at the Majahida church in Bariadi, Tanzania and got to sing Amazing Grace while the packed church of men and women sang along with me in Swahili. After, they gave me a shrill and wonderful trilling, a sound better than any applause.
19. Going to Africa reminded me of how big and awesome God is.
20. I’ve always wanted to be a mother, and for about 3 years thought that God had played a cruel joke on me by giving me a desire that I would never experience.
21. I truly smile every day because of my daughter Sophia and my husband Michael.
22. My mother in law called me different names every time she saw me for the first few months while Mike and I dated. I was offended at first, but then I learned she introduced my father-in-law to her parents by the wrong name too.
23. I used to wear my sister’s clothes to school and put them back in her drawer before she got home, thinking she’d never know. I was in elementary school and probably had B.O.
24. I started helping my mom do flowers for weddings when I was 8 years old. I got to clean flowers and wire roses for boutonnieres and corsages. I loved it.
25. Starting my own business has been one of the scariest and fulfilling things I’ve done in a while. I now believe Mike when he says “you are what you call yourself”
26. I tend to exaggerate my stories to make myself sound better than I am.
27. When I took the career test in High School my number one job suggestion was a funeral home director. Number 2 was Physical Therapist and number 3 was teacher. I tried number 2 until I flunked out of college chemistry and am pretty pleased with how number 3 is working out.
28. I broke my arm in the third grade doing the dead man’s drop on the bars at recess. The next day my mom broke her ankle and leg while on our tide pool field trip. My dad came home from a business trip the following day and wondered what had happened to his family.
29. Ferrets give me hives.
30. I swam the IM and 100 backstroke in High School. I was in really good shape back then.
31. I used to pretend to be Mary Lou Retton on my bars in my backyard.
32. I took ballet for two years and had 4 different teachers while in the same company. The first two actually died, and I can’t remember what happened to the third one, but I quit because I was scared that all ballerinas died.
33. I took 2 years of gymnastics and a year of jazz.
34. I can’t dance.
35. My dad took my sister Heather and I to the Nutcracker every year when we were little in matching Christmas dresses that my mom had made for us. I would dance all the way down the theatre stairs and dream of becoming one of the Sugar Plum fairies.
36. I am the youngest of four. I was definitely more privileged than my siblings, but I don’t think I was spoiled. They would probably disagree.
37. I was five when my oldest sister left for college.
38. I’m envious of my sisters’ homes, but I’m not envious of the fact that they are in League City, Texas and Ferndale, Washington.
39. My favorite place in the world is reading on the deck of my parent’s cabin in Santa Cruz, CA.
40. I almost drowned when I was a Sophomore in High School. We were in Snelling, CA gigging for frogs in a small boat at midnight and it capsized.
41. I give great backrubs.
42. The first professional massage I every received was by a really creepy hairy guy who breathed way too loudly. I thought I was supposed to match my breathing with his, and almost passed out.
43. The most fun I’ve had in acting was playing one of 8 personalities in “The Outer Chair” by our own Carrie Reisser. She wrote a play about one of her mom’s clients with multiple personality disorder that we later tried to make into a film.
44. I loved playing “M’Lynn Eatenton” in Steel Magnolias, but could never get Sally Fields incredible funeral scene out of my head to make it my own.
45. I doubt myself often.
46. I am better at things then I usually give myself credit for. And that was kind of hard to say.
47. My favorite car was my cream 1989 Volvo sedan.
48. My first car was nicknamed “the Little Blue Poop”. Yeah, I wasn’t much into swearing in High School either. It was a royal blue Toyota Tercel hatchback, handed down to me by my brother after it had gone through 5 other college students.
49. I love singing full voice in the car, but can’t do it in front of people.
50. I’m a fan of Sudoku.
51. My beloved Volvo stalled while I was on the Bay Bridge, scaring the crap out of me. I started and stalled it, started and stalled it all the way to the first exit and coasted down the off ramp.
52. Aly broke the key in the lock of the same Volvo at 2 am at a rest stop on the 5 freeway while on a ladies’ weekend road trip to the cabin. Luckily we were able to stay warm in the car while the locksmith came, and read and analyzed the first Valentine’s poem Michael had written me that very day. I remember he used the word “diurnal”.
53. The electricity went out during the pictures before our wedding because of a fire two blocks away. They came back on when Mike strolled into the sanctuary an hour later for the guys’ shots. He bowed when everyone started cheering.
54. We had a sit down tea reception for 350. Each place had a china teacup, silver pattern, and complete tea foods- chocolate dipped strawberries, tea sandwiches, and the 3,000 cookies my mother in law had handmade.
55. I like details.
56. I lived in the same house my entire childhood.
57. I was in my first fight in the 7th grade, with a boy, in the hallway after school. I actually made contact with his jaw before a bunch of 9th grade boys stood up for me, telling him he shouldn’t hit girls. I “won” because I showed up to school the next day and he didn’t.
58. I had a piano recital that same night. My mom told everyone my scratch on my cheek and black eye was from the cat.
59. I chose to take German in Jr. High because I heard the teacher didn’t assign homework for the first semester. 5 years of German and I probably couldn’t ask for the bathroom in Germany. German has done me no good as a teacher in Los Angeles.
60. I grew up with family game night. When I helped my parents move last week, I filled 5 large boxes with board games and cards from the past 30 years. We had a lot of games. I still love playing games. Settlers of Catan anyone?
61. I can quote the entire Anne of Green Gables movie.
62. I usually like the books better than the movies made from them.
63. My dad read the entire Narnia series with me in the 4th grade. It was my bedtime ritual and I loved it.
64. My middle name is Leigh. That’s right. Gretchen Leigh Lee.
65. Almost every Christmas my dad would write a scavenger hunt in poem form for my sister Heather and I. The gift at the end was always identical (all needing to be fair between us) and usually rocked big time; new dorm size stereos, tickets to Phantom, furniture. Yeah, my parent’s gave us furniture.
66. I got an antique hutch for my 16th birthday. It now holds our television in our living room.
67. I love the theatre, musical or drama. I love to lose myself in the story, see the incredible sets and costumes and be placed in a new setting for a couple of hours.
68. I’ve always wanted to be a better actress than I am.
69. When I was little, I would act out the entire Annie movie while listening to the sound track on the record we had. I had all the parts memorized. My favorite scene was hanging off of the bookcase or fireplace mantel as my drawbridge calling out to Punjab to save me from certain death.
70. I’m six years younger than my next sibling. I spent a lot of time playing by myself.
71. My music repertoire and listening enjoyment have increased ten fold since meeting my husband and APU friends. For this I am grateful.
72. We were not allowed to date until we were 16, (group dates aside). My first date was with my dad for my 16th birthday. He took me to dinner and a play, and talked to me about what I should expect from guys, and the right way they should treat me. I love that man. I didn’t listen to his advice though, until I met my husband.
73. Mike was an incredibly creative dater when we were going out in college. One of my favorite dates was when we talked about our ideal home and drew out the plans. He then “gave” me $50,000 in which to fill it. We “shopped” Colorado Blvd. in Old Town Pasadena, going to Z Gallery, Restoration Hardware etc. and wrote down everything we would buy for our house. Then over dessert, he drew a small box shaped apartment and wrote $50 at the top. “Okay, this is more of the reality for a while” he told me. I was okay with that.
74. A cop almost ruined our engagement night. Aly almost assaulted said cop.
75. My mom would buy pomegranates and coconuts as a just for fun food. I still get them every once in a while, just for fun.
76. My dad makes the best popcorn. On top of the stove style.
77. I get frightened when someone is right behind me on the staircase while going up. My brother used to grab my ankles and trip me as I would run up the stairs. It probably has something to do with that.
78. My paternal great grandmother lived to be 106. Her son, my grandpa was 98 when he died, even though he had brandy in his coffee every morning and took his liver pills with a beer. We have longevity in our genes.
79. My parents have been married for 45 years. My in-laws for 30+ years. Mike and I have a lot of great examples of married people in our life. This is a truly a gift.
80. I’m becoming more like my mom as I get older, and I’m realizing that it isn’t as scary as I thought it would be.
81. I loved watching the Smurfs when I was little. My friend and I drew the entire Smurf village (mushroom houses and all) on her driveway with sidewalk chalk one long Saturday afternoon. I always thought it must be great to be Smurfette. 99 to 1, not bad odds.
82. I was a big flirt in High School and College.
83. I didn’t have my first kiss until I was 16.
84. Australian Rules football is an incredibly rigorous and athletic game. The players make our football pros look like wimps. I got to see a game live in Melbourne on Anzac Day. It was sweet.
85. I met my best friend when I was 2 years old. She is always a sunny spot in my life.
86. I quit taking swimming lessons because I was scared to go under water. My brother Scott spent the rest of the summer teaching me. We pretended to be fish and frogs. Yeah, he’s a cool brother.
87. My mom got shingles and Bels Palsy in 2001. It paralyzed the left side of her face and basically wiped her out. It was a jolting wake up call to me, that my parents are getting older, and that one day I’ll need to care for them, and they won’t always be there. I don’t like that thought.
88. When I turned 21 my dad had me go out and buy him a 6 pack of beer. I thought that was so cool.
89. I drank one of my dad’s ales when I was six years old. I poured the rest out and went and told him that his ginger ale had gone bad.
90. I’m a sucker for a White Russian.
91. Mike and I started our marriage with absolutely no college debt. This is a huge testimony as to how hard our parents work. What a tremendous gift they gave us.
92. I express my guilt and anxiety through my dreams. I usually wake up feeling guilty about what I dreamt. Viscous cycle.
93. I talk in my sleep.
94. My husband and I are going on our first real vacation together this summer since our honeymoon. Yet we’ll still be with 45 other people. Still, I’m stoked.
95. I have a first grade vocabulary. After teaching 1st and 2nd grade for 7 years and having to simplify my language to be understood, I find that I no longer have the “big words” to speak with adults. I have a hard time proving that I actually have a Masters Degree.
96. My friends and I would play a game called “Madame” where we each had a role, the Madame, the cook (the best job), the nanny and the maid. The best part of our role-play, was that “Richard the Rapist” would always call to say he was coming over. Yeah, at 7 and 8 we had no idea what a rapist was. And why on earth would he call first?
97. My maternal great grandfather spoke 56 different languages and dialects. He escaped the great San Francisco earth quake and fire with my great grandmother and grandfather on a horse and cart with all of their possessions in one trunk (which we still have). He received a medal of honor from the Mayor of San Francisco for his help in interpreting at the evacuation centers for the next 4 days. He was also a phrenologist. He read the bumps on many famous heads, including the Duke of Amsterdam. We still have 3 human skulls from his collection. Eew.
98. I can remember the words of a song after hearing it once.
99. I love to be outside.
100. After writing this whole list, I have to revert back to number 1 and worry that no body really wanted to read this whole thing. I was fun doing it though.

11 thoughts on “Ooh-ooh, Me Too!

  1. Morphea

    OMG, silly, I LOVED reading this! Here we go:

    44. You DID?? Did Aly ever tell you that we did Steel Mags in High School? She was Ouiser and I was Truvy.

    52. Diurnal – had to go look it up. [laughs weakly]

    53. I know I’m totally not qualified to say this, but that sounds like SUCH a Michael thing to do. I love him…

    61. Me too. I’d give Gil my everything. (That actor’s gay, did you know? Dammit…)

    74. I love Aly…

    90. Reason # 20 that Ramon instinctively liked you a whole lot when we all met, even if he didn’t know your thing for WRs.

    95. I never noticed the lack of ‘big words’ when you write, but then, I’m not up there with the heavy hitters, either.

    You are delightful. And much more interesting than you think.


  2. aly hawkins

    Gretch, you probably won’t believe me when I say this (because I’ve said it before and you haven’t ever believed me): You are one of the most fascinating people I know, and I hate that you underestimate yourself. You are my favoritest girly-girl on the planet, and the only one who makes me wish I was a bit girlier. You (and June and Beth, tho I don’t know them half as well) prove that “girly” and “dumb” are entirely unrelated.

  3. Karen

    You did a great job on your list. So fun to learn more about you.
    Your wedding and reception were beautiful! I have pictures of Lydia Allen and me dressed up in the dress up corner.

    95. My vocabulary is lacking lately as well. Talking to a 2 year old and a 4 year old will do that to you.

    73. What a fun idea! Is he still that creative?

    39. The picture of that in my mind is close to heaven.

    8. What a great memory. I hope our kids will have memories like that of us.

  4. june

    Gretchen, it kills me that we didn’t know ya’ll when we were living mere miles away. Sigh. Great list…and any fear of being uninteresting (totally unfounded anyway) is utterly and completely voided by this sentence: “We were in Snelling, CA gigging for frogs in a small boat at midnight and it capsized.” I have another double Lee (Leigh) friend…her first name is Darylee and yes, she married a man with the last name of Lee. #73…Sheesh! That IS impressive. It’s amazing what a man will do when in woo mode, eh?

    My children are in need…more later.

    To sum up: Yer cool. I like ya.

  5. michael lee

    #1 (easily intimidated) You’re silly.

    #3 (people pleaser) This works out well for me!

    #4 (10 nieces and nephews) Everybody stop for a minute, and picture your house with 10 children running around. And a dog. And turkey on the table. All I’m saying is, thanksgiving is pretty much a rodeo.

    #8-10 (girly stuff) I think God knew what he was doing when he made our first child a girl.

    #11 (red wine and fish) This is directly related to #3.

    #17 (10 children) I don’t understand … 10 is not a prime number.

    #21 (smile everyday) I love that our house is a joyful house, and that Sophia caught that from you.

    #24 (florist at 8) I refer you to my earlier post.

    #27 (funeral director) Yeah, watching the first few seasons of Six Feet Under pretty much cured you of any desire to do that, huh?

    #38 (sister’s homes) Amen.

    #39 (reading in Santa Cruz) That’s a close second for me, behind the Getty.

    #41 (backrubs) I bear witness.

    #46 (better at things than you give credit) Can I get a huge “Amen” from everybody out there in blogland?

    #54 (reception) Gretchen asked me while we were planning the wedding if there was anything we could add to the ceremony or reception, something that had always been a part of how I had pictured my wedding. I laughed out loud for a minute until I realized she was serious. I then, as gently as I could, explained to her that no man has ever pictured how his wedding would look until the actual moment that the ceremony starts.

    #57 (fight) Oak-town! Represent!

    #61 (Anne of Green Gables) So can I. Yes June, it is amazing what a man will do when he is in woo mode.

    #72 (phil’s talk about boys) Anybody wanna guess how intimidating it is to have a man like that as a father-in-law?

    #78 (longevity) Almost everyone in my family is dead by 58. Babe, you were asking why we have a bigger life insurance policy on me than on you? That’s why.

    #82 (flirt) Why the past-tense?

    #90 (white russians) I did not know that! Oh man, is that going get abused. Heh heh heh.

    #94 (going to Rome!) Wa-hooo!

    #98 (remembering songs) Seriously, you have to see it to believe it. It’s really, really intimidating. She’ll correct me on lyrics to songs that I WROTE!!

    #99 And naked! (oops – did I say that out loud?)

    #100 All of this goes into what makes you special, and I choose you; I wouldn’t want to go through life with anyone else.

  6. beth

    Yeah Gretchen! I was hoping to find your list when I plopped down on the couch after a day at the baseball field. I loved reading all about you. You’re awesome and interesting.

  7. Jamie

    I lovvee your list! i am really young and have the same problems as you when you were young. I’m really insecure/self conscious, doubt myself and am very intimidated by other people my age..do you have any advice?

  8. Gretchen

    Jamie, thanks for bringing this one up again. It was fun and a great boost to re read the list, and supportive comments.
    I’ll have to reiterate #46 “I am better at things then I usually give myself credit for. And that was kind of hard to say.”

    As I’m growing older (and somewhat wiser) I’m realizing how being yourself, in whatever state, shape or form that is, is so much more attractive than trying to be someone or something else. I know it’s tedious to those around me to disbelieve what they tell me about myself, and it’s fatiguing as a friend not to be believed.

    Trust that God knows what he’s doing. Listen to those who love you and believe the compliments you get. Lean on your strengths and realize that everyone has weaknesses, and they aren’t all that bad if you don’t constantly dwell on them.

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