Apparently she thought I was taking too long between posts again, because yesterday she posted one of those "tags" that are so popular in the bloggoverse, and rather than run the risk that I might not spawn my own post from it, she went and tagged me so I'd HAVE to write something. So here I go...
The topic of this particular tag is "Five Things About Me That You Don't Know."
Wow. This is a really tough one. I don't hide much at all, so the only things that You, the avid consumer of Keeping Up With The Brinkerhoffs, wouldn't know are simply things that I haven't had a chance or reason to mention yet. So my always supportive (and very, VERY beautiful) wife Cindy helped me come up with a few things...
I hate carrots. Now, I realize that's not a huge shock in and of itself... Heck, ten years ago, I would happily go three months between ingesting ANY kind of vegetable! But then I married the woman my mother calls "The Veggie Police" and I discovered that for the most part, I actually really DO like vegetables! Our first year or so together, Cindy would mention a veggie, and I would turn my nose up. Her response would always be, "You just haven't tried them the way I make them!" It worked with asparagus... It worked with brussels sprouts... It worked with green and yellow zucchini. But Carrots? She tried many times, many methods, and I STILL HATE CARROTS. The really weird thing to me is that according to several shows on the Food Network, Carrots have a higher sugar content than any other vegetable. And I love me some sugar! But boy, do I hate carrots.
I also hate long sleeves, and to a lesser extent, long pants. When I have been fortunate enough to not have a "business casual" dress code at work, I've worn shorts all year round. I don't want to look like a slob, and Cindy has definitely helped to put me into shorts and short-sleeved shirts that look nice, which is great! Because in my perfect world, that's all I'd need to wear! That picture that goes along with this item? That's me at some really young age... Maybe 2 or 3. Why do I look so sad? Because my mother dressed me in a long sleeved sweatshirt. Guess who hated long sleeves just as much all those years ago?
I MAY have shoplifted something once. And no, that's not some sort of lyin' & justifyin'... It was 1986ish, and I was at Bellevue Square with a friend, probably buying something, definitely crawling the mall. One of the stores we crawled through was the Curtis-Mathes store, filled with highly overpriced TVs and stereo systems. We browsed and browsed, and on one of the display tabletops was a stack of catalogs. I grabbed one to thumb through, looking to see if there was anything even cooler than what was on display at the time. Nah, not really... but it was at least cool to look through.
A few minutes later we had browsed all there was to browse there, so we headed back out into the mall. As we were going down the escalator, my friend pointed up at a security guard on the upper level and said "I hope he's not coming for us..."
I was completely baffled as to why he would even say such a thing. He then proceeded to unroll the Curtis Mathes catalog I had in my hand, and pointed at the top right corner. Where it said "$2.50" or some other small, yet unbelievable for a catalog amount. I was shocked!! They were in a stack on a display! They were practically SCREAMING to be taken! Plus, I think it was an outdated catalog. The mall cops never came after us, and I think we ditched the "goods" in the first garbage can we passed after the discovery of what I may have done. I was also pretty mad at my friend for not mentioning my potential thievery until AFTER we had left the store! Other than that, I don't believe I've ever stolen anything.
I am incredibly shy. Many people don't believe this about me, but trust me, it's true. I learned early in my teenage years that I could compensate for the shyness by using humor, wit and other tools to break the ice in social situations. These days, I still use those tools, but for the most part I just PRETEND that I'm a confident and secure adult who is totally comfortable. Nine times out of ten, that works well and within a few minutes I actually AM a confident and secure adult. But for those first few minutes, and the seconds leading up to "first contact" have my stomach in knots!
Along those same lines, when I had my radio show, I LOVED it! I loved playing the music, introducing the songs, taking phone calls, and I loved knowing that there were people all over western Washington tuning in for my little 8:00 to Midnight hobby. But even at the end of its seven year run, sometime between 7:30 and 7:59, I would get a stagefright panic attack. Once the clock struck 8 though, I entered the zone (the PartyZone!) and it was smooth sailing til midnight...
I have never had so much as a drop of alcohol, a molecule of illegal drugs or anything more than unwelcome, involuntary second hand smoke enter my body. From a very young age I developed an unwavering commitment to keep my body free from those substances. I remember telling my friends in 5th or 6th grade that I would never drink alcohol. They would respond with questions like "But what about graduation night?" and I'd shoot back with not only "No!" but also "you're not even 21 at graduation - now you want me to break the law as well as my own commitment?"
I would say that it was hard to stay away from it all, but really it wasn't so tough. By knowing my decision was NOT negotiable, I chose my friends and situations based on that framework. There certainly have been people who have mocked me for not drinking. However, their mocking never convinced me to change my decision.
Now that I've gone almost 40 years of alcohol and drug free living, I've made a few observations. First, I can acknowledge that consumption of these things does not always or immediately result in trouble. However, I can say with absolute certainty that while something bad MAY NOT happen, there is NO GOOD that will come from it. No problems will be solved. So weighing the risk of addiction and critical damage to internal organs from the brain to the spleen, against the fact that the BEST you can hope for is that you can escape those problems, I hope and pray every day that my kids won't even try those things. End of sermon.
There ya go! You now know more things about me than the people who don't read my blog! Yay for You! In keeping the tradition of tagging alive, I challenge my wife Cindy to reveal 5 unknown things about herself!