My boyfriend concocted a truly wicked plan (this is why I adore him) and suggested I drag the “truths” out over a couple posts. (If you haven’t read my”5 Truths and a Lie” start HERE). I think it’s because he knows I am apt to drone on and he doesn’t want to have to read (another) long post or force it upon you guys either– but also it’s because he has a streak of cruelty in him.
Several of you have also emerged as shameless liars: The Story of Frei, RED dog, Paul Davis, Combat Babe, Not a Punk Rocker, Jack Lumen, and Echo Shadow. (Let me know if I missed you or if you’ve posted one since.)
Your guesses and comments have been CRACKING ME UP– I didn’t anticipate the level of caring you all had in not wanting me to have been kidnapped. You guys are the best!
While I am generally opposed to any and all maths, I broke out the calculator and did some tallying.
SIXTEEN of you think the most unlikely thing on this list is me not kissing anyone until I was 23 (what– just ’cause I call myself a hooker?)
FIFTEEN of you think I wasn’t snatched from my front yard when I was 5– another SEVEN of you chose something else but added something like “dear God, please let the kidnapping be a lie.”
NINE of you don’t believe I grew up next to a Country Super Star who rocks/has rocked a mullet.
EIGHT of you don’t think I was raised by a gay evangelical father who dispensed hypocritical parenting advice.
SIX of you don’t think I valiantly saved someone’s life at Target by utilizing my CPR skills.
FOUR of you think I lied about my two childhood homes burning down.
#5: Both of my childhood homes burned down– True.
I don’t have a lot of memories of this first house– but I do remember walking around a charred garage as my Mom gathered a stack of tiles. I’m not sure why, of all things, this was what she chose to clean up or attempt saving. This was probably the beginning of my inability to understand science (it’s really all just wizardry and magic, right?) because when she told me these were “tiles” I thought she said “towels” and came to the incredibly logical conclusion that towels must shrink down into tiny little glass squares when applied to heat.
A couple decades later, about a week after I came back from backpacking in Asia, I received a Facebook message from a friend I hadn’t seen since high school:
“I am so sorry to hear about your house. My Dad wanted me to let you know that we have an extra turkey for Christmas, if you need one.”
I was sleeping on Shleisel’s couch and had no clue what she was talking about. I texted one of my siblings who gave me an “oh yeah, the house burned down last weekend” kind of response.
I did what anyone would do– I asked Shleisel to drive me out there (no car, very homeless) so I could see it. Half the house was missing and the entire center was a black gaping hole. A fusbol table had been thrown out a window of the game room and was lying on the lawn in a pile of burnt books. Shleisel hadn’t been to the house pre-devastation so I improvised a tour as we walked the debris-littered perimeter.
“That was the nursery…”
“That was a bathroom, I think…”
The back of the house was still standing so we peered in through the windows to see the ruins inside. I tried the backdoor, hoping to relive my early childhood trauma and see if any towels had been magically transformed to small ceramic squares.
But it was locked.
As we walked back to the car, shaking our heads at the destruction, we heard the door open behind us. I turned to see my Mom standing in the doorway, smiling and beckoning us in like dinner guests.
“The firemen said it was safe to come inside,” she reassured us.
We entered The Cave Previously Known As My Childhood Home. Everything was covered with soot and smelled of smoke. The antique piano dripped water and the kitchen was unrecognizable.
My Mom was surprisingly calm as she detailed their narrow escape– they’d smelled something burning, opened the garage, seen flames, and managed to grab the silver and run to the yard while they called 911. Apparently they’d been interviewed by a local news station who hailed them as some sort of moral heroes for their statements on “at least we have what matters.” Like the silver, that’s what matters.
“I keep wanting to take that ice cream bowl to the kitchen” she said, pointing to a side table, “but then I remember… the dishwasher melted.”
Apparently a light had been improperly wired when they’d built the house forever years ago– contrary to the accusation of omtajuan who accused me of setting it myself.
As an added bonus in this life of weird: Not only did these two homes burn down, the hospital I was born in also burned down shortly after I entered the world.
I don’t know what all of this means, but I do mention this bizarre pattern of life experiences anytime our security department removes the fire extinguisher from outside my office.
#6. I grew up down the street from a major country music star– True.
For the sake of anonymity, I won’t tell you specifically which one but I WILL say that you know his songs and he’s won a bajillion awards etc. etc. You can see his house from my (burned down) home and he used to roar by in his hummer while I was out running (a misguided athleticism I have since abandoned).
I’ll be back tomorrow with the rest of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Have you ever had something unfortunate (like a burned down house) happen to you not once–but twice? Have you had any experiences with celebrities or their offspring? Do you want to punch my boyfriend in the face for dragging this whole thing out?
Want to keep in touch? Drop your email below and I'll send you FULL POSTS anytime I write something new. Only want to know book news? Get on the list here.