Freak Out!

My husband is always running team-building activities for his fellow teachers and the staff at the school where he works. He runs Survivor pools, and American Idol pools, and most recently he's decided to create a "Get To Know You" game. He sent out an email asking each person he works with to send him a little-known, interesting, unique, or funny fact about themselves. He's then going to compile the facts (anonomously) on one side of a sheet of paper, and list the names of all those who participated on the other. The object of the game is to match up each person with his or her corresponding fact. He's going to run the game at a staff meeting.

Some of the facts people have given him are pretty entertaining. One person said she taught 20 schizophrenics to do the Electric Slide (she worked at at group home). Another person said that for her high school prom, she and her friends and their dates put on their formal wear, pinned on flowers, posed for pictures their parents were snapping, then got into the limo, stripped off their gowns and tuxedos, changed into jeans and t-shirts, and went to an ACDC concert instead.

So this little exercise got me thinking of what I would contribute as my interesting, unique fact if I was participating. My tidbit isn't so much a fact, but more a funny story. Here goes.

If you're a frequent reader of this blog, you know that I was raised in a very tight-knit, conservative, Italian family. I spent 13 years attending Catholic schools (kindergarten through high school), and was basically what you'd call a square. I didn't drink or smoke. I did well in school. I was editor of my school newspaper, extremely bookish, and had a good group of friends who were into drama club, band, and other such wholesome activities. I dressed, when I wasn't in my school uniform, or completely ensconced in the head-to-toe wardrobe necessitated by my high school's dress code, in what you might call "early 90s preppy." My sweaters came from L.L. Bean. My shoes were Docksiders or penny loafers. My hair was long, about to my elbows, when I wasn't curling it with a curling iron (*shudder*). I was a good girl.

Then I went to college. Within the first month I was living away from home, I had my hair chopped into a stacked bob (shorter in the back, longer in the front). It reached only as far as my ears. Then I dyed it red, then purple, and then black. And I had a very well-tattooed man pierce my right eyebrow. I told my mom about none of this. And then I went home in October for fall break.

My mom was startled at my appearance, but she didn't seem overly alarmed. That first day I was home, she made me dinner. Talked to me about my classes. And I thought to myself, "Wow! She's handling this so well," (although I probably secretly hoped she wouldn't). That night, I went out with some of my friends. I came home late, after midnight, to find my mom, who usually goes to bed between 7 and 8pm, sitting in the dark at our kitchen table, head in her hands, crying her eyes out. I thought someone had died.

She looked up at me and sobbed, "Don't you want to be pretty???!!!!???" To this day, this story makes me laugh every time I think about it. For my mom, nothing could be worse than a daughter who went to school looking like the poster child for Future Librarians of America and who came home looking like a disciple of Marilyn Manson. My mom didn't realize I was the same person I always was on the inside (albeit more enlightened to the world outside the artifical one constructed by my upbringing), and that I had just done what many kids did upon leaving home for the first time.

My mom got over her shock eventually, once she realized that my new look hadn't meant that I'd joined a santanic cult. And I grew out of my goth phase slowly. But I still have a teeny, tiny scar where my eyebrow ring used to be, and each time I look at it, my mom's unintentionally hilarious one-liner* comes to mind, and that makes me smile.

this is an audio post - click to play

*My sister Karrie asked, so here you are. My first audio post, comprised of my mom mourning my dyed hair and eyebrow ring.

11 Responses to “Freak Out!”

  1. # Blogger Alisha

    You are cracking me up!!!

    The summer we turned 16, ALL my best friends got a tattoo. My mom just thought they were "soooo cute" on them. Then I got one, seriously thinking it would also be "sooooo cute". My all-about-self-expressiveness mother went inot all time Mommy mode and began crying and screaming about how I had desecrated my body!!! It also cracks me up to this day.

    And what about the purple hair?! Hell yeah, Kristi, that's hot!!!  

  2. # Blogger CAL

    That's great. You must have pictures of those days you can share with us. I think a visual is in order here. :)  

  3. # Blogger Clare Eats

    I gave myself a belly button piercing when I was 16 in my room and I didn't go deep enough so my body rejected it and I have a small scar :)  

  4. # Blogger Marie

    I think I met you near the end of your goth period...

    Your Mom's cute!

    And that hubby of yours is toooo creative! How fun.  

  5. # Blogger Christine

    That's hilarioius.

    I also rocked the purple hair. Only in my case, it was a streak. And I was thirteen, and it was the Summer my mother spent in Italy. Otherwise, I don't think I would have heard the end of it.  

  6. # Anonymous proud do be a former band geek

    That story cracks me up every time too. Even when the last time I heard it was just last night! :)  

  7. # Blogger Binulatti

    Please, please, please add an audioblog & picture to this post. People NEED to hear how the "pretty!" sounds. And y'know, the photos from that era were so great. I'm thinking of a certain "Cure or BUST!" sign. And just think, "mom was a goth!" sounds way better than "mom was a hippie!"  

  8. # Blogger kenju

    What a rebel you were.....LOL!  

  9. # Blogger Kristi

    Alisha-That's a funny tattoo story. I can see my mom being exactly the same way. And I thougt I was quite fetching in my purple hair as well. ;)

    Andy-I can't dissappoint my readers.

    Clare-Ouch! My sister pierced a second hole in her earlobe in her bedroom one night, but that sounds less painful that your poor bellybutton!

    Marie-Yes, you did. I was just emerging from the depths when I met you!

    Christine-purple hair is hot, as Alisha says, even if it was only a streak.

    Jenny-You never gave your mom a bit of worry. You are a far better girl than me!

    Karrie-You got it!

    Kenju-Hee-Hee. It was more of an act. I wasn't a true rebel, I just played one on tv.  

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