Wednesday, December 4, 2013
By Julie Smith
There’s a fad going around Facebook (it may have played out by the time this goes to press.) Like most fads, it’s harmless: One of your FB friends assigns you a random number; whatever it is, you have to post that many facts about yourself, i.e., “Five Things Most People Don’t Know About Me.”
I received some numbers and wrote some posts. Truth is, I’m a pretty boring person who’s written a weekly personal column for 25 years, so there’s not a whole lot of mystery left. But here are a few facts that may surprise you. Or not.
1. I dislike drinking from Tervis tumblers. They feel weird to my teeth. (And no, I don’t chew them.)
2. I owned and showed horses for 15 years.
3. Routine and structure are my best friends.
4. Guess who wears a retainer?
5. When I make pancakes at home, I slather them with butter and syrup from the fridge. When I order pancakes at a restaurant and they bring me hot syrup, I freak out. Room temperature is acceptable, but hot? An abomination.
6. I have an adult stepson. I love him too much to write about him.
7. My favorite movie is “Tombstone.” Second place goes to “The Perfect Storm.”
8. I haven’t touched red meat in over three years, and I miss it every day.
9. After years of being terrified of flying, some kind of mental switch flipped. Now I love it.
10. I haven’t been to any of my high school reunions. I don’t get the whole looking back thing.
11. Widdle Baby and I got engaged seven months after we met.
12. I’m double-jointed.
13. Party-throwing is not my thing; I’m awful at it. (Having friends to dinner doesn’t count. That’s fun.)
14. My dream job is to sit in a room and edit copy all day.
15. I haven’t had a fast food meal since 1999.
16. If I win the lottery, I’m moving to San Francisco. Or Maine. Maybe I’ll flip a gold coin.
17. Not to brag, but I have really cute feet.
18. Every day after dark, I go out back and bid my roosters, Ben & Jerry, good night. There may or may not be hugs involved.
And that, my friends, is all I got.
According to NBC news, the most recognized syllable in the world is “Huh?” It transcends all language barriers, especially when accompanied by a blank stare.
I believe this. Years ago, when my beloved Widdle bent his knee and whipped out a ring, I said, “Huh?”
Last month, when my lender told me my house payment was decreasing by$100, I fainted. Upon awaking I said, “Huh?”
When I got a notice from Berkeley County saying I owed taxes on a car I sold in 2004, I laughed and shredded it. Foolish me. Because I ended up having to call the county and say, “Huh?”
“Huh?” conveys so many emotions: Confusion, bewilderment, disbelief, concern. It’s like “Say what?” only shorter.
Ideally, as polite people in a civilized society, we should say, “Pardon me; I’m not sure I understand.”
That’s how I answered a nice Mediterranean woman who approached me in the grocery store last week. I think she was looking for the baking products aisle, but she could have needed a referral to a podiatrist. I just couldn’t tell.
So I said (in my North Carolina twang), “Par-din me, cooja ree-peat that?”
She looked at me and said, “Huh?”
Confusion is the universal language.
Julie R. Smith, who’s working on her doctorate in confusion, can be reached at email@example.com.