Sunday, May 27, 2007

Tagging, tagging...tagged!

I. Thank you ML for tagging me. I will do my best!

7 Things that happened to me as a Teen:

1. I turned 13 on our 2nd year of US residency and went into 8th grade (when the going gets tough). The schoolwork was SO much harder than what I was used to, even at my private school in London, plus the culture shock of a co-ed school in a new country, and added to that the mess of hormones as I crept into puberty, I cried so many afternoons when my mother picked me up from school.

2. So of course I didn't understand this whole "will you go out with me?" thing. By grade 8 I was totally nonplussed, having had a juvenile hall guy mock my innocence the year before, and had no idea what to say to whom. But there was this really cute boy called Kevin in my drama, art and honors English classes (yes 3!). He was preppy, in chinos and horn-rimmed glasses (hey it was 1990), and he was trying to be my friend and was really being very nice, but I kept telling him to leave me alone, and if he didn't I would get in the plane and go back to England. Way to go Olivia for overdoing it. I still wish I could apologise to him...

3. I remember feeling suddenly terrified at the end of 9th grade, of the level of work we would begin in 10th grade. Just a moment I remember, as we were driving out of a parking lot, and I absently focused my eyes on a newspaper dispenser, and had that thought.

4. When I was 14 we bought a silky chicken (small, black with white fluff not feathers, a powder puff on legs). She started out ugly and hairless, then sprouted stubble which eventually went poof! She was our darling and would come into the house, select the best chair to lay an egg on, with us running around behind her to lay a cloth wherever she chose to lay her bum. Anyway, one day she disappeared and I was devastated and cried buckets. I put a poster up on the fence, and a couple of afternoons later a boy whose route to school took him past the house knocked on our door. He said he had taken it because his aunt kept silkies and he thought it had strayed off. So we drove to their house over a mile away to pick up our Silky. We knew her because she was prettier than the others and she came to us when we called.

5. Only three more to go! In 11th grade French class we learned two dances: a Haitian thingummy (I don't remember what it was called) and a Bach minuet. I like the minuet, the measured steps, the graceful motions. Plus I couldn't do the Haitian one. My book bag was so heavy and being on one shoulder, it had put my lower back out of alignment and it caused the most amazingly sharp pain in certain positions. So I couldn't lift my leg to do the ragdoll-style steps of the Haitian dance. In fact, one day I sat down bouncily as you normally do on the edge of your bed to put on a sock, and it jolted my sore spine into a spasm. I couldn't dress any further and ended up sliding to the floor and crawling about for a few minutes.

6. In 7th grade I used to get student of the week/month, and then student of the year - awarded at a ceremony by the mayor of our town, who went on to the state Senate and then US Congress. In 10th grade I received a Presidential Academic Fitness award with Clinton's signature on it, and the next year, one with the elder Bush's. I was a sickeningly good student, which is why I am not an entrepreneur today and hence not a millionaire.

7. In 11th grade Calculus class, one of the boys in the baseball team passed me a note asking for my number and if could he see me after class. It was the time of year when everyone was preparing for Prom. I wrote on the other side of the note that I did not give my number to boys. I was mortified at the thought of a boy calling my house and asking to talk to me. Fool! My parents would have been thrilled but I was damned self conscious. I am no longer shy, but is it any wonder the pattern continues today? There must be a sign not visible to me written on my forehead. Of course I don't know what it says..."No trespassing" or something..."Violators will be prosecuted". Hahahah! Oh can you think of any??? This is funny! off topic there.


I've also been tagged by Um Naief (the blogger formerly known as Tooners) who seems to back on full blogging form now that her baby son has settled in.

II. 10 Simple Pleasures

1) The wafting scent of a rose garden in June.

2) Getting bunny kisses.

3) Eating homecooked food.

4) Watching hummingbirds fight over a feeder.

5) That perfect cup of tea.

6) Birdsong in the evening.

7) Contagious laughter.

8) Reaching "the view - it'll be worth it" after a long, steep hike.

9) That nice feeling you get when you are just drifting off to sleep.

10) A Big Warm Hug.


By the way, I put a deposit down for the modern luxury flat last week...

Did I miss any tags?


Selba said...

Let me think.... uhmmmm.. *think think think*
Good news! You don't me any tags! hehehe...

Ah... too bad that you ignored Kevin and didn't give your number to boy in the baseball team.

We "chinese" believe about time. Women/girls are like flower, there're blossoms time. So I guess during that time, it was your blossom time where you could attract the bees, but then no need to worry because there'll be always another blossom time :)

Anonymous said...

Adorable as always.

*hugs from Alohalani*

Olivia said...

Ooh! I can't believe I didn't mention Harald the Austrian exchange student, who was my first big crush, but who rarely spoke to me as he hung out with the cheerleaders. I got him to sign my yearbook though, and he wrote something in German like "Habst eine sonnen Sommer" - do forgive my rubbish German.

Or Jens, the German exchange student in my French class with whom I used to flirt - see I did learn! But my French teacher disliked him intensely and thought she had to protect me.

Olivia said...

Selba - hehe.
I have Googled Kevin, only he has the same name as a famous male ballet dancer, so it's nearly impossible...although he might be the lawyer I've come across on Google.

He looked like he would be one!

I am glad I didn't give my number to the boy on the baseball team. He used to chew tobacco! He was cute, though, with olive skin and freckles.

I like what you say about blossom time. I wonder if my next blossom time is coming soon...


Alohalani - hello again you! *hugs*
How're things?

The Moody Minstrel said...

I have Googled Kevin, only he has the same name as a famous male ballet dancer, so it's nearly impossible...

Oh, NO!

Actually, come to think of it, Um Naief (TBFKA Tooners) tagged me, too. Thanks for reminding me!

Um Naief said...

i just love your simple pleasures. i've never had a bunny kiss... but would love one. oh olivia, i'm seeing baby bunnies for the first time up close.. the rabbits that hashim's family has had a litter a while ago and they little ones are just the cutest little things. i could pick all of them up and give them tons of kissies. i would take a few but the cats... well.. you know what would happen.

i LOVE hummingbirds. they are my all time favorite bird. i've seen them land... have you ever? i have a story re: them. a long time ago, one of my aunts caught one. she brought it into the house to show my grandmother, her mother, and my great grandmother was there... when my great grandmother saw it, she told my aunt to let it go immediately because it was terribly bad luck to catch one. she let it go. well... some time later ... i guess maybe 5 or so yrs later.. this aunt was staying w/ her cousin at her sister's house... and a fire started. both she and my other aunt died in the fire.

my great grandmother was a full blooded native american indian... maybe she could see things... not sure.

i also love that feeling you get after a LONG hike. i remember feeling that way after hiking the grand canyon. i burst out into tears after reaching the top. it was horrible and incredible at the same time.

great list my dear.

and congrats on signing a lease. i can't wait to hear all about the new adventures.

also... thank God you didn't tag me for the things from the teens... it would have been horrible to remember such a horrible time. and you know, i've always heard that american schools are tons harder than british schools.

Olivia said...

Minstrel - haha, I didn't mean it that way!


Um Naief - oh even though your son's kisses will be the best, it is worth trying a bunny kiss. Or at least a bunny snuffle. What you should do is get your face on a level with one or two of your faves - that's the magic of rabbits, they force us onto the floor. You don't have to get on the floor if it's icky, you could put them on a table or a sofa for a while. Pet them and get them to like you and your smell and they might start fiddling with your hair and snuffling in your ears. It is the most ticklish thing, outside and inside! I want to giggle just thinking of it.

That's a powerful story about your aunt's beliefs...
I held one twice in a week - one was cold on a spring morning and needed warming up; another had collapsed with hunger before feeding and I handfed it with two spoons of sugar water. Another time we found a dead one and buried it, and also released one that was so tiny its wings got tangled in our lawn after a particularly fierce fight.

I could think of many unlucky things that holding that hummer might have caused, but I was so excited at the time I thought of it as a gift from God!

By the way, the Brits are predictably surprised, even shocked, when they hear about the rigors of my US education because as you know, they all think Americans are the dumbest people in the universe. Well they can't claim to be any better because not everyone pays attention in school, no matter how good it is or where you live! Takes all types to make a world.

Beenzzz said...

Congrats on the flat. I could feel the teenage pain in some of your answers. That was the most awkward time in my life. I think it's so for everyone. I still need to do this meme! Then again, if I do, everyone will find out what a bad kid I was. ;)
The simple pleasures meme is a good one also. I might save that one up for a rainy day.

ML said...

Ahhh, love simple pleasures! It's what makes life great.

Thanks for doing the meme. Isn't it sad how hard we are on ourselves when we're that age? Thank goodness we grow out of it and can move forward.

I felt so badly for you when I read the part about you crying at the end of the school day. Teen years are really traumatic.

Anonymous said...

what have a I been missing????? a deposit for a flat????? Congrats!!!!!!
Simple pleasures. I'll have to agree with #7 and the hugs.


Dan said...

Olivia, I love your list of simple pleasures! Contagious laughter and warm hugs top my list. Nice job!

And now I'm giving you a warm, albeit virtual, hug. :)

Lotus Reads said...

What a delightful meme, Olivia! Yes, moving to a new place in one's teens can be daunting. Can't help feeling sorry for Kevin tho', lol, actually you just might be able to contact's amazing the number of classmates I have managed to get in touch with recently and all thanks to sites like or even through your alma mater's website if they have one.

And lol again at your refusing to give your number to that 11th grader..I might have done the same actually, I was painfully shy until 16, but once I stepped out of my shelll there was no going back! :)