Nancy says the site needs an About Me section. Really? I think you know all about me at this point. The mere notion brings to mind that famous college essay published in some literary rag and passed around in the early 90s (via photocopies as there was no email or internet, youngsters). Do you remember it? The applicant eschewed all formality and just told a whole bunch of whoppers. It was endearing and entertaining; unfortunately Ivy wannabes have been plagiarizing it for years so it has lost its spark. But whenever I’m asked to pen a blurb about myself, the most ridiculous things come to mind.
My crowning achievement in 10th grade was winning an award at the Regional Typing Championship (ahem, First Place, Region 9). As the quickest typist in school, I was sent to some remote locale to represent Unionville High amongst the other, future Girl Fridays with this silly talent (I recall no boys stationed at any of the IBM Selectrics). The contest was on the weekend, and I remember mom dragging her feet to drive me to the outskirtiest township for the dubious honor of being asked to type competitively. I can’t remember how well I did against the rest of the state, but it was enough for a loudspeaker shout out by the Principal during the Morning Announcements. I was kind of proud. I mean, seriously, 60 wpm without errors? Yeah, beat that.
Lisa, my best friend, came barreling down the hall after homeroom and I prepared myself for congratulations and accolades.
“YOU DORK! Oh my GOD! I can’t believe they announced that. Are you SO embarrassed?”
Um, now I am.
So I am reluctant to write the About Me section because even though writing little essays might be something I can do quickly (and with some style… or at least my style), maybe this “talent” is a touch embarrassing in my willingness to over-share it.
As I grappled with blog design and cutting and pasting (ooh, and putting fun pictures into the posts!) last week, I got a phone call from good old Lisa Taylor (Pfeufer). She recently passed her 5-year cancer free anniversary and wanted to let me know that she was still keeping up with my story over here. She assured me that although there are thousands of breast cancer blogs out there, I need to keep writing—that this aftermath-y time is unique, that these feelings pass, and that it’s important to document them in the moment. And also, that I’m not a total DORK for having a blog.
This still won’t suffice as an About Me section (will it Nancy?). Hmmm, I also do a spot on seagull imitation, can still recite all of the prepositions in alphabetical order, and as mentioned before, I fold a mean fitted sheet. Multiple publications in scientific journals (one in Aquatic Botany!), two graduate degrees, oodles of honor societies, Master Gardener, wife, mom, and fried-rice slinging breast cancer survivor is probably what Nancy had in mind. But isn’t the Typing Champ story more fun?
OMG, I won that same award in 1975, in Atlantic City, NJ! And I still talk about it as one of my crowning achievements. Hahaha! We are a rare but proud bunch!
Totally wondering if you hung onto the trophy, too.
I did hold on to it for a long time and I never INTENTIONALLY got rid of it, but after a lifetime of moves….alas!…it has disappeared. I’m kinda jealous that you still have yours. During a recent move (again!) I was going through some papers and found an old resume where I actually had it listed as one of my accomplishments, like, 20 years after the fact! I laughed hysterically when I saw that. Twenty years later and I still wouldn’t let go of the glory!
Somehow, even back then, I appreciated the ridiculous awesomeness of this trophy. I’ll still work this accomplishment into ANY conversation. And for this girl who understands very little about money and how to save it, I love how at some point in my life I was consider a Future Business Leader of America. Oh, if they could see me now with my expensive shoes and unbalanced checkbook.
I’m gonna love it here! Love your writing!
We’re in mutual like moment here… xoxo
In typing class I was so frustrated typing the fox jumped over the fence that I would talk and have fun.Punishment for this was 25 cents every time teacher would catch me.Applied toward party in class.We had a lot of parties.Kudos to you and I am so jealous of your typing skills!
Best About me section I’ve seen in some time.
Thanks, Hook! Welcome to EMB, where I no longer write about the E, since the in-laws have begged me to stop. Thrilled to have you skulking around the site.
I’m an excellent skulker.
Hell yeah! (While cleaning out the office last week, I ran across a paperback thesaurus that is inscribed: “To the 2nd place winner of fall semester public speaking.”)
Is there any way to get my last name off my reply on the suicide conversation? I did not know it prints your whole name. Sometimes I am technology ignorant.
Thank you for joining the conversation… I only see Eileen. But will check when I get to a computer. I am absolutely overwhelmed by the response to this essay, and so grateful to the generous people who are sharing their stories of struggle, loss, fear, hope, and desperation.
Eileen, on some pages I see your whole name. I cannot edit that. If you would like me to delete those comments entirely, I can do that. Right there with you, technology-wise. When Stevie sent this essay to me on Friday, I was without my computer in the mountains of Vermont. Somehow I managed to publish it from my little phone.