Monday, November 23, 2009

TOP 10: Secrets About Moi













Can you still your beating heart? (You have to read the hedline with this sentence, otherwise you'll think I should add "obnoxious" to the Top 10.)

To my surprise and awe I have been given two awards recently from the kind, generous, wonderful, world of virtual friends in the blogosphere. 

The one above is from Els at Mon Avis Mes Amis , the brilliant and when I say brilliant I am not exaggerating creator of beautiful prose. Do take the time to see what real writing is all about. She writes like a dream, her storytelling is like magic and she has a wicked sense of humor. I'm warning you, once you start, there's no turning back. 

You can imagine, once you too are hooked on Els, why I'm so immensely flattered.

The rules, 10 things you definitely don't know about me: 

1.) On my wedding day I received a long distance telephone marriage proposal. 

2.) When we -- daughter, three huge dogs and I -- moved to France, since I didn't speak one word of French I never did all the legal stuff one is supposed to do when one moves to another country. It was all in French after all and how could anyone expect me to deal with that plus a job and all the rest? Even grocery shopping was a challenge.

Furthermore we were living in the countryside, which is normally a good cover for an illegal alien.

Mais non, one afternoon I drove into the driveway of our rented, thatched-roof cottage and waiting for me in a huge van were three gendarmes. I couldn't understand -- obviously -- what they were trying to tell me. My 8-year-old explained they wanted to deport us. 

They kept repeating: "Je suis désolé madame,  je suis désolé madame." I immediately called my then not, but almost Reason-for-Living-in-France to come save us. 

We went to the gendarmerie where he explained, translated, did whatever he did so we weren't sent back to the States on the spot. In the middle of the transaction the gendarme stopped his typing, looked up at him and said: "Wait a minute, you're trilingual? You speak French, English and American?" At which point I looked over at my future Reason-for-Living-in-France and said, "And they're allowed to carry guns?" 

He pointed out it was not the moment to be glib -- or words to that effect.

3. I adored my father.

4. When we lived in Chicago every Saturday I volunteered at the Lincoln Park baby zoo where all the foundlings rejected by their mothers lived. I would bottle feed, lions, leopards, gorillas, chimps -- it was wonderful.

5. I've never made a tarte, a mousse au chocolat or crème brûlée. And I'm not proud to admit it, nor is it too late to remedy.

6. When we lived in the above mentioned cottage in the back garden, fenced off from our garden were two ponies and a horse named Déesse (Goddess), also owned by our landlord. Déesse and I fell in love immediately and I would let her come into our part of the garden. Eventually she came into the kitchen to pick-up her apples and carrots. (Actually half-way in, she was too big for the small space.)

7. I am a magnet for crazy women and sometimes crazy, nasty women. Friends have pointed this out to me and it seems to be true. I always thought everyone had a few nutters in their repertoire of "friends." Guess not.

8. I hate driving anywhere, any time. Always have, always will. If I try driving on a highway for two hours I fall asleep; the white line hypnotizes me.

9. About 10 years ago I lived and worked in Dubai for several months. I was the editor of a  magazine aimed at the wealthy Emirates market of international travelers. One day in the office I asked to see an atlas for a story I was editing. To my shock and horror I saw that Israel was thickly black-markered off of the map by the "censors." I was told that was the case in all reference material in the country.

10. I was once offered a two-bedroom condominium -- as in cadeau -- in a chi-chi area near San Francisco. I refused. It's a long story. 

Ed. Note: Part of the responsibility of taking on this honor is the challenge of passing it along to others. I promise I will do this the minute I get back from the big city. It will also give me time to think. 

(And Kristi, La Bella Figura, who nominated me for the other award in her lovely generosity, thank heavens you only asked for seven "secrets" -- I'm working on it and I do thank you again.)

17 comments:

BigLittleWolf said...

OHMYGOD I laughed out loud! You almost-illegal-alien, you! Tooo funny, Tish.

What a great read for my morning café number 2.

Delightful.

I would never have suspected that you had a pasts as a woman on the lamb in the French countryside. (Might I inquire - were you properly attired when the gendarmes pulled you in?)

Crazy woman magnet? Hmmm. Suis-je parmi les folles, Madame ? I do, after all, possess an abundant daily plate of crazy.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Wow- that is really fascinating... I can't believe the map in Dubai! Creepy!

Kristi said...

Too funny!
I love your list. What an interesting and exciting life!

James said...

You are definitely a fascinating woman.

Marsi said...

What a life you have lived, my dear! Thanks for giving us a peek into it.

aaonce said...

2. Love it!
3. and 7: yeah, me too.
5. Meh, sure you could learn to make it, but aren’t there plenty of people who already know how to do it well? Do your part for stimulating the global economy and pay that person to do it for you. Then, and this is key—place it in the oven, (in one of your own dishes) for about 10 minutes, take out and enjoy. There you go, you baked.
As for 1. and 10, I knew I liked you! One day if you promise you will share your stories, we may share ours!

Jacqueline said...

Loved all the stories about you, Tish and I am so envious that you bottle fed all of those baby animals. What a wonderful experience.
You've certainly experienced a lot in your life. XXXX

Anoninoz said...

TOTALLY fascinating dear Tish... mmm,well...your life is certainly not mundane is it? I also adore the talented Els at Mon Avis Mes Amis - a great creator and so amusing too.
No.2 - Ditto.. I was an 'illegal alien' in USA - don't think they would have just 'let me off' (that's IF they had found me - ha!)

Simone said...

Tish....I can't say thank enough for all the wonderful comments you have left for me on my blog, particularly this last week and especially today....I truly loved reading what you had to say in your response and I am so happy that you really "got" what I was saying!

I LOVE your blog....your writing is great....laugh out loud funny, which is something I would love to be!!

I really appreciate your support and encouragement....and our connection too, I love it!! I can only say thank you and hope you know I mean it.

Simone :)

Simone said...

I have to tell you that I laughed so hard at your "Une Idee" "Believe It Or Not" piece.....so funny!

Lorrie said...

You're a woman with many secrets and a fantastic sense of humor.

A wonderful read with a rainy afternoon cup of tea.

Lorrie

Bonjour Madame said...

That's how I plan to move to France one day. I'm just going to plant myself there in a small town and be all illegal and everything until they are forced to take me. It's like an exclusive club...so hard to get in! If you are ever looking to adopt a 40 year old, I'm your girl :)

Your whole list was fascinating.

ELS said...

Tish,

You are just too kind - thanks for the lovely things you wrote, I will send you some cash. Or that navy satin blouse if it ever arrives!

Love your list - think we may have overlapped in Dubai - add to the discussion agenda.

Bet you charmed les gendarmes..
Ex

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a fun and delightful read Tish. Je suis desole sure comes in handy doesn't it? I used it many times when we were in France. At the supermarche in Saint-Remy I put the hand held basket where I shouldn't have and an alarm went off and the employees all were speaking rapid French to me with frowns on their face. I knew I had done something wrong, but I didn't know what. I've never said desole so many times in my life. I really loved your police story and could relate. Congratulations on your award - very well deserved.
A bientot,
Sam

knitpurl said...

You just never know about a gal until you read her blog! This was great reading as were all the replies. Happy to read a navy satin blouse has been purchased in this world too. Great life, Tish!

tishjett@yahoo.com said...

You are all so wonderful, thank you so much. You're what makes this whole exercise worth it. You bring me such joy.

Aaonce, listen, if you want to talk about 1 & 10, e-mail me first. I can't wait. tishjett@yahoo.com

Stephanie, adoption is possible. It will take time, as all things in France there is a lot of paperwork involved, but it can be done.

Jacqueline, Those were some of the best days. Sometimes the lion cubs would pat my face. Made me teary.

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