Yesterday while I was being a hamster on a wheel on my gym's elliptical trainer, I caught some of Oprah's interview of Barbara Walters. Apparently, Babs has just published a memoir and she has not held back on some of the more surprising and less-flattering aspects of her life. She had an affair with a married black man. She chose to give a speech days after her beloved sister had surgery for ovarian cancer and wasn't there when a complication arose and her sister died. Her daughter abused drugs and ran away from home as a teenager. Her father tried to commit suicide and she told everyone (incuding family members) that he was hospitalized for a heart attack. And that was just in the last half hour!
Ms. Walters has done a lot more living than I have, but her candid admissions yesterday got me thinking about what sort of dirty deeds (done dirt cheap) I would have to confess to in my own tell-all.
Someday I do think I will sit down in a non-bloggy forum and write my memoirs. But I'm only 34 now, and I've got a lot more mistakes to make.
In the meantime, here are some true and startling confessions from my own white-bread life. Prepare to be shocked! And appalled!
1. I did not pass my written driver's test the first try.
I was so embarrassed when I came back to school after failing that I told everyone I hadn't been able to take the test because my mom forgot my social security card. Not even DD's in-school confession to having suffered the same fate just a few days before could make me admit this. Until now (bum-bum-BUM!)
2. I was an accomplice in the alleged theft of my high-school Spanish teacher's car.
Not so much theft as "moving and hiding as part of a practical joke." Strangely, she didn't find it funny when she came back from a basketball game unable to find her car. We had hidden it too well. And she drove away in someone else's car before we could catch her to tell her what we had done. In our defense, this woman had stood in front of a classroom of mischievous 16-year-olds and told us she leaves her keys inside her car and dared us to figure out the code to her keyless entry. Deep down, in places she doesn't talk about at dinner parties, she wanted us to steal that car. She needed us to steal that car. She just can't handle the truth.
3. I drank a wine cooler or two while under age.
Oooh, I know. I'm dangerous! Does it make it more scandalous if I tell you the "adult" person who gave me my first illicit beverage was the high-school Spanish teacher mentioned above, and even though she was not my teacher at the time, I was still technically in high school? If memory serves I was first offered one the summer after I graduated, but still. This is the same person who let us write, perform, and videotape Spanish skits for class that can best be described as R-rated. Methinks SHE's the one who needs to write a tell-all memoir.
4. I may or may not have been involved in a college prank on a dorm-mate that involved a lubricated prophylactic and a door knob.
5. I rarely return library books on time and regularly pay overdue fines in the $5 range.
Yes, I am well aware that I am a librarian who enforces fines among my own patrons. Do as I say, kiddies, not as I do.
6. In 7th grade, I forged my mom's signature on a failed Latin quiz.
My mother used to go ballistic over bad grades. Our Latin teacher required our parents to sign all of our weekly quizzes, and I had aced all but this one, which I had totally blown off. He let us drop our lowest grade, though, so I knew I was still going to get an A in the class if I kept my nose clean the rest of the quarter, so rather than freak her out I decided to practice her scrawl for hours and then ink her John Hancock myself. I ended up with an A+ in that class, thank you very much, though this little experiment of my middle school's, to offer Latin to the advanced 7th graders, went so swimmingly that they never tried it again. That teacher was a piece of work. What's the deal with foreign language teachers?
7. I may or may not have participated in a certain college's age-old tradition involving a certain statue called "The Flame." I may or may not have also done a practice run leading up to this event on the soccer field during senior week.
8. While my mom went on vacation, leaving me with the house to myself while still in high school, I took her car up to the convenience store up the road (within walking distance) to buy ingredients to cook fried chicken. I only had my temps at the time (and we all know I must have had great knowledge of the road because I, you know, failed the written test) and came a hair's breadth from hitting a parked car. It was warm outside, and why I didn't just walk I have no idea. You know what's sad? That this was the most forbidden thing I did as a 17-year-old with a house to myself for a week.
9. I occasionally pocketed a piece of Brach's Pick-a-Mix candy from the grocery store without paying for it.
10. I once hit a chipmunk with my car. Exept for spiders, I make it a general rule to not kill things, so even though this was an accident I still feel pretty terrible about it.
Now that your image of me is totally blown by these controverial blips in my character, talk back. Use the glorious option Google gives you of posting anonymously, if you have to. What is your most shocking confession to date?