Six Weird Things

comments: 48

Library6paneRosie and Tracey tagged me (thanks, guys!) to tell six weird things about myself so, in no particular order, and as if there were only six:

It is almost impossible for me to call  the parents of my friends by their first names. I only recently stopped referring to my own mother-in-law as "Mrs. P" although I've been married almost ten years and she had been asking me to stop doing this for longer than that.

I had to stop watching America's Funniest Videos in bed at night because I would laugh so hard I'd get a terrible headache almost every time, which would make me incredibly pissy, and thereby completely ruin all the positive effects to be gained from watching people fall off merry-go-rounds, lose their pants, or get spit on by llamas. But I totally love that show, as she does.

I had my handwriting analyzed in the local paper when I was 24. (This was a regular column in the Forest Leaves.) I told Dr. Murray, the handwriting analyst, that I wasn't sure what I should do with my life; I was thinking of either moving to a farm, or going to grad school. (I was, at that time, a waitress in Oak Park.). He told me that, based on my handwriting, I should become a computer programmer, a watch repairer, or a tool-and-die maker. That night I went to my waitressing job and two older, well-dressed gentlemen came in and ordered a stuffed pizza. We chatted and they said, "What's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?" I said that, strangely enough, my handwriting had just been analyzed and I was told I should be a tool-and-die maker, but I thought I wanted to work in publishing. The two guys looked at each other and their eyes practically popped out of their heads. The one guy pointed to the other guy and said, "Do you know who he is?" I said, "No." He said, "He's the president of the American Tool-and-Die Corporation!" or something like that. I said, "No!" And then the other guy pulled out his business card (which indeed did say President, American Tool-and-Die Corp.), handed it it to me and said, "I need an editor for my tool-and-die trade magazine. Call me first thing tomorrow morning and you've got the job." When I got home that night, I told my parents what had happened and they were like, "You are calling him first thing, missy!" (They were not too happy that I was a waitress.) I never called him and immediately started making plans to move to Montana. Close one!

(I have, however, always wanted to learn how to build rock walls, and think I could've been pretty happy sitting in a field with a few cows and sheep, figuring out which rock to put where, over and over again, for mile upon mile.)

I am afraid to go into banks and do all of my banking through ATMs. I like banks that feel like fortresses. I don't like banks that look like they were IHOPs four weeks ago, as my bank branches always seem to. Also, every time I turn on the news, one has just been held up, so I just avoid them whenever I can. I was also afraid of escalators for a year and couldn't go down one unless someone was standing immediately in front of me.

I went to Italy in college and cried almost the whole time I was there because it was so emotional for me and everyone thought I was completely insane and wouldn't have anything to do with me. Someone spit on my shoes when I was there, too, but I couldn't tell if it was because they thought I was American or German (I was wearing Birks). I decided it was because I was American, even though the world didn't hate us quite so much back in 1990. Anyway, that was weird, and I always wore socks after that. Anyway, I had an almost supernatural sense of being "home" when I was in Italy which caught me totally off-guard and left me pretty shaky and I hope someday I can go back, possibly without all the blubbering, which makes it hard to see the sights.

Okay, Jorth, Mary, Valerie, Beth, Amy, Amelia, and anyone else who wants to play, poke poke: You're it!


Okay, I still think the bank-phobia is a little odd, but I can sympathize with the escalator thing. The whole time I was pregnant I was terrified to go down an escalator (never had been before), and I would stand there at the top, tentatively, trying to time it just right. Which of course you can't do if you're TRYING to; the whole escalator riding thing only seems to really work if you're NOT trying. Of course I blame the hormones.

IHOP banks. I wonder if you can get pancakes from the atm?

Oh, that was so very entertaining! Thanks for sharing. :)

The Tool-and-Die coincidence is just plain freaky. Ye gads!

This was such a fun read. :)

oooh i hate going into the bank, too. but it's because i always feel like the bank employees are judging me based on my deposit amounts (or lack thereof). ha!

I also have the same problem with the first names and parents...So far for 15 years, I have basically not called my mother-in-law and father-in-law anything...(maybe that's possible because we don't live in the same city?!) Hmmm, I should have included that in my list of 6 weird things, 'cause it is pretty weird...

Fun list! I can relate to your feelings about Italy. I also went to school there and while I didn't cry the whole time, I felt constantly like I had come home and wondered, "Hey, Italy, where have you been my whole life?!" I think I was an Italian nonna in a previous century. I wonder if it's just that country that has that affect on people? I dunno. But I studied Italian for only two years and I still have dreams wherein I speak fluently (I most certainly do not in real life). Strange!

Hee hee, thanks for sharing!

YOU DIDNT CALL??!!! (i am still in shock!)
love your blog

Now, I am just so curious. Why didn't you call? Did you know you were destined for a different life? That is the post of the year!

Alicia- this is your most fascinating post yet. For reals. Really enjoyed the quick glimpses into different stages in your life. Thanks for sharing.

I still say we should change this survey to "6 Cute and Endearing things about you" because so far everyones stuff I have read is pretty darn cute, or something I do myself (which of course is just cute by default, right?)

Who's with me??

I love AFV! I had to stop watching while nursing my son. His poor little head and tummy would just bounce all around.

When I lived in Japan I watched their version of AFV and it not funny. One video was of this baby in a stroller. No one was paying attention to the stroller when it started sliding down the hill towards this bonfire! The stroller caught on a log and the baby went flying in the bonfire, at which point someone fished him out. Everyone in the audience was laughing. I thought it was horrific! Must've been a cultural thing...

Anyway, great blog Alicia! I'm going to list 6 of my weird and crazy characteristics too! :)

I went to Italy after college and I just can't wait to go back again.. It was the most wonderful month of my life and the greatest place I've ever been to,I just love Italy. I cried when i had to leave.

Oh, Italy. How I yearn to go there!

this was great fun to read! the tool and die story almost had me falling out of my chair!
my sweetheart is a drystone waller, or "rock wall builder." wish we lived in the same would be fun to sit raound the table and chat about walls and the other beauties in life!

cheers to you!

The Tool and die thing is just spooky.

I have been looking forward to your list... knowing you would do it again... me hanging on to your every word. You are too funny, entertaining, so unique and the best writer in blogdom!
Where's that book the world is waiting for?

Fun reading your list!...For years I felt uncomfortable calling my mother-in-law "Mom" because it felt like that was a title I should reserve only for my mother. But "Kathy" sounded impersonal and unendearing, so I would try to get around calling her anything when I could. Finally, I decided to playfully call her "Mama Kathy" one day and that's who she's been to me ever since!

Oh the America's Funniest Home videos is THE show in our house right now. The kids think it is the funniest thing to ever happen to them. I think once my son has actually been hit "In the juevos" as we call them at our house, he won't think its as funny when other poor people do. It is pretty funny though. Some lady fell out of a canoe in her wedding dress the other day. Shouldn't she have known not to get in a canoe in all her wedding finery? I guess that makes it even funnier.

Oh, I'm soooo glad that "Mrs. P." thing went away! Still.....whenever I think of YOU, your name comes up "dear one" in my mind - not Alicia. Funny.....the name thing. Loved your list!

Whew! I think this was the fun read of the day. I am suppose to be cleaning, arh! arh! Escalators are creepy things. I always worry about fingers getting caught on the handrail. We refer to you as Audrey's mom at Posy.

Whew! I think this was the fun read of the day. I am suppose to be cleaning, arh! arh! Escalators are creepy things. I always worry about fingers getting caught on the handrail. We refer to you as Audrey's mom at Posy.

Oh goodness! What unusual things have happened to you? Gosh, I wish this was one of those books where you could choose different paths and skip to another page...Then we could see what happened if you took the tool & die job. WOw, or if we could peek at you building "the great stone wall of..."

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About Alicia Paulson


My name is Alicia Paulson
and I love to make things. I live with my husband and daughter in Portland, Oregon, and design sewing, embroidery, knitting, and crochet patterns. See more about me at