1. I used to smoke cigarettes. I know, right? So GROSS. I disgust myself. It's one of the stupidest things I've ever done, right behind streaking through a field, and getting completely wasted and staying up the entire night BEFORE going to Oktoberfest. There may even be photographic evidence of my public nudity, which is why you will never see me run for public office. I've done plenty of other stupid things - those are just the first that come to mind. I try to suppress most of it in my subconscious so I don't dwell on my previous idiocy. As for the cigarettes, quitting them was also the hardest thing I've ever done. I had nightmares about smoking for YEARS. I basically had to leave my group of friends because of peer pressure. How crazy is THAT?! I also just couldn't stand to be around it any more. To this day I cannot tolerate cigarette smoke. When I'm walking down the street, if someone is smoking, I hold my breath and will even run a few steps to get around them sometimes.
2. I went to high school in Turkey. My dad was a pilot in the Air Force and we were stationed at the NATO installation in Izmir, Turkey (on the western coast) while I was in high school, and then in Ankara (near the Syrian border) while my sister was in high school. Our Department of Defense school district, Turkey-Spain-Islands, spanned a distance greater than the continental U.S., from Turkey in the East all the way out to Azores, Portugal, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. (See the left of the map where it says Azores, 2000 km?)
Our high school in Izmir was in an old five story tobacco warehouse. There was no military base there, all the American facilities were just scattered around the downtown area. Of course, you could tell which ones they were because of all the armed guards and bomb barricades. I had to show an I.D. card to a guard with an automatic rifle to get into high school in the morning! The school was pretty small, and because it was a NATO base, there were kids attending from all different countries - Germans, Turkish, Italians, Iranians. I played three sports during the school year - volleyball, basketball and tennis. We would travel to the other schools in our district once each season for a big tournament. We played volleyball in Rota, Spain, had drama competitions in the Azores, and basketball in Bahrain. The Bahraini girls' basketball team played in headscarves, with long pants and long sleeves! They kicked our asses.
3. I've been proposed to before. And said no. It was the other hardest thing I've ever done. I loved the boy very much. But two paths diverged, you know? I had gotten into grad school in Texas and he was getting stationed (unaccompanied) to Korea. There were other reasons too, of course. I had already decided to break up with him when he bought the ring. I had no idea he was planning to ask me to marry him. I love Adam very much and I know I made the right decision, but sometimes still I wonder what if...
4. I have a degree in psychology. I have no clue what I thought I would do with it, I just found the classes interesting. I worked as a research assistant in evolutionary psychology for a prof studying human mating. I pretty much knew I didn't want to do a PhD at that point. The other jobs that are obvious fits for psych majors are psych nurses and counseling work. I thought maybe I would like that, so my senior year I interviewed to work in a home for people with mental disturbances who didn't need to be hospitalized, but couldn't live on their own. When I knocked on the door of the house, one of Them answered the door, looking for all the world like a crazy person with long straggly hair and a mismatched outfit. She peered at me suspiciously and said loudly in a southern accent, "Who're YOU." I wanted to turn heel and run. It was all I could do to make it through that interview. I decided at that point I didn't want to work in psych. I took a foreign policy class my last semester of school and fell in love with it, which eventually led me to a Master's program in national security and into my current profession as a foreign affairs officer at the State Department.
5. I used to sell cosmetics in the mall. I was one of the Clinique girls in the white lab coats. I would never want to work retail again, as one thing I learned from that job is that I suck at selling people things (and I hated working for Dillard's -- oddly, I just remembered that Amanda Dillard actually worked in our store), but it was a really great experience. It put me totally outside my realm, if you will. Although I'm a princess, I'm not a prima donna. I'm not a very girly girl. So working with a bunch of "popular" type girls was really fun and interesting. And it was way better than folding panties at the Victoria's Secret, which is where I worked before landing the Clinique job. At VS I was a "bra specialist." I know, sounds important, right? You see a lot of ... interesting things working at Vicky's - men who wander in nervous and clueless about the difference between a teddy and a babydoll, pre-teen girls embarassed to be getting fit for their first bra, and many, many women who like to show their bodies off, especially if they just had a boob job. I'm just sayin'.
6. Once I was a piece of Bubbalicious bubble gum for Halloween. I'm not even kidding. This is how silly I was. I was really excited about it because I made my own costume out of a cardboard box I painted pink and stenciled blue letters on. I couldn't walk upstairs and I didn't fit in the car and I could barely reach around to hold my candy bag. We still laugh about it because I could hardly walk in that thing. It was ridiculous.