And now, the dramatic conclusion to the amazing post about 10 surprises of my life.
Last time I hit on pie making, gardening, lactose intolerance, turning into cat lover, becoming ‘The Man’. Here’s the rest again, listed numerically but not ranked.
Perhaps it’s not a big deal to most but for me it was a big thing when I was able to start growing facial hair. One year at Thanksgiving dinner my dad turned to me and said ‘We need to get you a razor. You’re starting to look like Juan Valez over there’. Soon after he got me a Washington Bullets razor. Super cool right? I cut the crap out of myself but hey I was a man right? Well not so much. I tried growing a mustache when I was in high school, a guy at my part time job asked if a caterpillar died on my lip. Sigh…
But then at some point in college, to the disappointment of my then girlfriend, I grew, and kept a mustache. After a while I was able to get it to goatee status and there it stayed for a very long time. Occasionally I would try to beard out, never really took though. Too patchy. A couple of years ago, about 20 years after I started shaving, I tried again and low and behold (what the heck does that mean?) it filled out. It’s still not astounding but I kept it and for the most part I think it works on me.
Oh yeah, and there was the one time I shaved it all off when I dressed up as a woman for Halloween. But I’m sure you’re not interested in hearing more about that.
Growing up in the suburban borderland between Baltimore and ‘Northern’ Maryland, I had definitely seen trucks. I never drove one though. I don’t know if I’d ever ridden in one. But as I came southward they became more and more common, as did my acceptance of them as a legitimate vehicle. When I decided to buy my first car I decided that instead of going for an SUV or something of the sort, I should just get two vehicles. A nicer sedan (brother calls it an old person car) and a beater truck. If nothing else, any vehicle you can get a 20% discount on when you pay cash has character.
I love it, and even though I’ve dumped a lot of money into it, it makes me happy to drive around. Everyone in a truck around here waves at you. It’s like some sort of awesome weird club. Oh, and if you ever do drive an old truck around, don’t use your whole hand when you wave. They’ll kick you out of the club.
8) Kitchen full of gear
It is unlikely that I am missing more than just a few kitchen appliances and tools. It’s not like I need all of them all the time, but man they are a huge time saver if you have the right stuff at hand.
Crock pot, microwave, food processor (with extra blades), stand mixer (with an extra bowl and special beaters), immersion blender, pressure canner, pressure cooker, waterbath canner, a 6″ Wusthof cleaver, 7″ Wusthof Santuku, pastry scraper, pastry cutter, rice cooker, blender, flour sifter, kitchen scale, dehydrator, pie weights, pizza stone, 2 sets of dishes, 2 sets of silverware, wok, cast iron skillet, double boiler, 2 metal mixing bowls, 2 plastic mixing bowls with rubber bases, convection oven, 2 pyrex mixing bowls, 2 liquid measuring cups, magnetic dry measure set (cups and spoons), lots of different spatulas, skewers, 4 kinds of pie pans, 2 big pots, 3 small pots, 4 frying pans, a wisk, loaf pans, cake pans, rolling pin, silicon baking sheet, and 3 kinds of thermometers.
I’m sure there’s more, but that’s all I can think of off the top of my head. Needless to say, there have been comments about me not needing to get married, since there would be nothing to put on the registry.
When I was in high school I typically owned 2 pairs of shoes. One pair of dress shoes. One pair of sneakers. The sneakers of course were old enough to get new soles. Also I was strange enough to not want a new pair of shoes. Of course at this point in my life I had rather unique apparel choices. Years later I was told, “I really admired you. You didn’t care what people thought you looked like.” Funny thing.. I honestly didn’t care. While I knew I didn’t dress like other people I had no idea how truly bizarre I looked to others. I suppose I could have figured it out the day that I decided to rest a banana peel on my head since I had no place to put it without making a mess. Thus eliciting the oddly terrified exclamation ‘Tha…that fu#%er’s got a banana on his head!’ from one of my schoolmates.
Now it’s different with shoes and I suppose I can attribute it to various new aspects of my life. Most of them are dress shoes. Two pair are black because I forgot to buy shoes on a work trip. Target hooked me up. I have one that is a dark brown that has a very hard heel which I suppose are my nicest shoes but I never wear them because I sound like a horse clomping around. I have another light brown and one more chocolate brown I guess. Off all of those I really only wear the light brown. There’s another pair of dress shoes that are sort of that reddish color? Those are ok, but kind of cheaper.
Next are some casualish ones. One brown leather the other suede. I wear neither of them anymore. I have a pair of Burkenstocks, 2 pairs of snowboard boots, steel toed work boots, two pair of blue suede sneakers, a brown pair of pumas, a pair of crappy sneakers for working outside and my nice Merrells. I don’t need them all that’s for sure but I can’t seem to get rid of them. Until now that is. After this week’s donations to Goodwill I will end up with half as many. It’s not a ton but I never thought I’d own more than three pair.
I love love love to go snowboarding. I don’t do it often enough but anytime I can go it’s a good thing. Well.. except that one time. When I was younger I had friends that were skiers. I tried it once and hated it. The whole process of getting the skis and a new jacket seemed cool but once I got on the snow, ugh. Not fun. I had no interest in the lesson that I had. Back then there wasn’t a whole lot of snowboarders. I wanted to give it a shot but just never did. I think my friends at the time really looked down on it so I chose to give in and just put it aside.
Some decades later I finally decided to give it a whirl. My roommate and some of his friends were going night skiing at a localish place. It wasn’t a great place to go but for a first timer… I wasn’t going to see much of the resort anyhow. My lesson included one thing, my friends saying “You have to take one of your feet off of the board when you get on the lift”. The next however many hours consisted of me carefully watching other snowboarders ride and fall, and then trying things out on my own. There is actually a lot of support among the desperately sore individuals that are learning to ride. It was kind of nice. I even had people yell down from lifts. It would of course start out as laughter or a commiserative ‘ouch’ but it would be followed with things that were actually helpful. In the end, I stopped only because I could no longer pick myself up off the ground. My arms just couldn’t do it and my shoulder took a pretty good hit on some ice at some point.
Even with all that beating I loved it. As soon as my shoulder was better I bought all the gear I needed and got myself out on the snow. I don’t go as much as I would like but it’s a good time when I do 🙂
So that’s it. 10 surprises. Nothing terribly deep. But surprises nonetheless. Just goes to show that what you want to be when you grow up isn’t quite an easy question. Or at least, it’s not an easy question to get correct!
Oh, so what did I want to be when I grew up? It’s easier than you might think to guess. So I suppose I will just keep it to myself 😉
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