Stories From A Life

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Sally Swift

Sally Swift
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
June 14
VP, Repartee
Swift Retorts
sally: a journey, a venture, an expression of feeling, an outburst, a quip, a wisecrack ... me


JUNE 14, 2012 3:21PM

My Birthday Meme, 10 Things About MeMeMe, NOT Donald Trump

Rate: 38 Flag

birthday cake 

Meme: "an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture." Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Most of us know about the blog trend called Memes. As defined above, a meme is the essence of viral community. By the way, meme is also French for "same."

If you didn't know, a Meme is an open call to others for a list or poem or story that reveals something about you. Topics vary. Likes and dislikes. Wonderful and horrible childhood moments. What makes you laugh, what makes you cry. Some Memes are about free association, like this one. 

Yes, it's a bit self-indulgent, but so is blogging. And what's wrong with a little personal marketing? Plus, it offers a glimpse inside the muse.

Here's the latest.

Ten Things About Me

1. In any public place --especially when I'm traveling-- I look at strangers and try to imagine what kind of lives they lead. Their jobs, families, customs, ideas. No matter how many people you know, it's staggering to think about how many people you don't know.

2. I'm a very good bridge player. I learned from my grandmother, who was a Life Master and taught us brilliantly. All my friends, from high school to college and beyond, learned to play killer bridge using "Granny's Rules."  This is especially strange given the next thing about me.

3. I'm totally deficient in math. It's not a 'girl thing' or a 'right brain thing.' I have an actual condition called "dyscalculia." Look it up. It's the numeric equivalent of dyslexia.

It also includes an inability to grasp spatial concepts. Or remember names. I can't solve 4th grade word problems. I transpose numbers unless I say them aloud. I misdial the telephone at least half the time. Oh yeah, and I can't play or follow chess.

4. When I hear a foreign language I can understand it. And if I learn a few key words I can speak it, not fluently, but enough to get around. I instinctively pick up cadence, pitch, emphasis, tone. So even my few words are spoken with an almost perfect accent.

Plus, when I'm with a group of people who speak differently, with Southern accents, for example, I start to speak that way, unconsciously. It amazes me, because I don't know how I do it, it's just there in my head.

5. I talk too much. (Ya think?) While I'm talking, I'll sometimes think to myself, 'You really should stop', but I keep going anyway. The upside is I usually have something to say. And people seem to like listening to me. Still, I need to learn how to STFU.

6. Except... I love speaking to crowds, of any size. Most people supposedly fear public speaking more than death. Not me. Family dinners, business presentations, weddings, even funerals ... give me an audience and stand back. I can think on my feet and come up with just the right words to grab and hold a crowd, connect with them, have them with me all the way. I'm not bragging. It's a gift and I treasure it.

7. I don't drink. No moral judgement, no turning up the nose. I simply don't like the taste of any kind of liquor. (Okay, an occasional beer, bloody mary or a light, lightly sweet German rose).

8. I have a thing about cooties. I don't want other people's anywhere near me. To be fair, I do have a disease called Lupus which compromises my immune system, so it makes practical sense. Still, I've always been this way. Honest, I'm not a clean freak or an obsessive-compulsive hand-washer. But it skeeves me out when someone sneezes or coughs near me, picks his nose, smells bad. You know what I mean.

9. I have pretty feet. Long, slender, nicely formed, high arched. People are always commenting on them. I don't have a special regimen, maybe some light toenail polish, that's it.

They've probably stayed so shapely and bunion-free because I never wear shoes that pinch or hurt, no matter how fashionable. Uh oh, that might get me kicked out of the SATC club. Oh, and here's the flip side: I can't stand even looking at, let alone touching, other people's feet. Go figure.

10. I'm incredibly superstitious. Even though I get that it's a control issue. Even though knocking on wood represents knocking on The Cross and I'm Jewish. Even though I know I can't make the Phillies win if I'm in front of the TV or lose if I'm not. I mostly keep this to myself. Sorry I brought it up here. Poo-poo-poo.

So that's 10 things about me perhaps you didn't know. And of course, you might not care. Regardless, memes are supposed to be posted on your blog. Then you tag other bloggers to do their own.

Consider yourself tagged. And Happy Birthday to everybody but Donald Birther Trump.


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I write a lot of memoir posts, many juicy, some creepy, some fun, a few fantastic. This is in the fun category, stuff that might not have come out in other posts. Do your own, especially if you're new to OS. I want to know you!
Yay for you! I don't like feet either, don't touch me with your feet...I loved finding out these things about you, very cool and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!
Happy birthday, Sally. Hope your day is extra wonderful. ♥♫
Happy Birthday, Sally. Are you not now afraid all of the OS foot fetishists will begin to hound you? I can feel the Internet humming with kinky energy headed toward your inbox.
Oh Sally, we share so much are we related? Many Happy returns of the day Kiddo.
1 3 4 7 and 5 is ME ME ME hahahaha
I had no idea: "knocking on wood represents knocking on The Cross" This was a fun exercise. Fascinating about the languages.
Happy Birthday Sally!
Happy Birthday! Sounds like you have been blessed with some wonderful gifts and talents-- the foreign language one is cool!
Happy Birthday, Sally!
I am stunned. I'd no idea there was such a thing as "Dyscalculia."
I think I may have that, too. Math is not my strong suit. I can sometimes figure stuff in my head, but when it's written down, I can get lost looking at all the numbers. My head starts to swim, and I freeze up. Not only that, but I seem inept at the subject. I'm much better with languages, as you are. I can actually pick up the inflection and cadence of other languages rather rapidly.
Great post!
Sally,imagine me singing to you and do not be afraid..."I wish you a Happy Birthday ,I wish you a Happy Birthday and a Merry good Life" Best wishes to you and I liked your list...Wishes !!!
Happy Birthday, Darling Sally!
(we could be twins in sooooo many areas.) xoxoxoxoxoxo
Sally - happy birthday to you you you from me me me. You must have met Count Dyscalcula on Sesame Street, yes? Just teasing. Have a very happy merry.
Happy Birthday Sally! More proof that those of us born on the 14th are extraordinary. Extraordinarily what I'm not sure. But still. Am with you on #1 and #3.
I'm a little like you in 3, 4 & 5 but just enough that the right approach ended with an A in calculus (I got an A in calculus!) It's funny - almost, not quite. Except talking. Not to groups.

Happy Birthday!
Sally, Happy Birthday!! ... And this is a fantastic idea. ... I don't know why, but I just knew you'd have pretty feet. Did you see my blog post about feet? (think I deleted it, but I'll try to repost in your honor)! R.
I don't believe I can think of ten things about me; therefore, am I not?
Happy Birthday, Sally! My dog Barkley turned 10 today! You are in the most excellent company.
Happy Birthday, Sally. I also love public speaking and have major spatial problems.
Happy Birthday, Sally! I promise my hands are clean!

Tis fun! Thanks for letting me get to know you better. You have some very admirable things to say about yourself - good on ya. (will add you also have nice, slender, hands. I got a good look at your finger(s) today.)
Makes me wonder what 10 things I'd say about me - you got me thinking here. What a good exercise. Fell like I just got a party favour. Happy Birthday, Sally!
I like to trip people...strangers, friends...whatever!! ~:D What? :D


Already said it @ FB --- HAZZY BIRFDAY!!! :D
Happy birthday, Sally!

(I don't have pretty feet. I wish I did. And I hate Math.)
Happy birthday, Sally!
i suck at math...because i am lazy... but from now on i shall say i have dyscalculia.

happy day to you!
Hmmmm. Interesting list, Sally, and as long as you've been on my favourites list, these are things I didn't know about you. I so hear you about cooties (although I DO indulge in a variety of mood- and mind-altering liquids).

I always understood knocking on wood came from the ancient Druidic tradition of touching holy trees, like the oak or holly. Is it possible the Christians "borrowed" from an older religion (say it ain't so)?

And happy birthday.
Happy Birthday! Hope it was fun.

I get the cooties thing. Too many contagious things out there.
Happy Birthday Sally!
Happy Birthday, Sally! Love this list. I relate to #1, 4, 6, 7, 8. And I never did know what "meme" meant, so now I'm au courant (spoken in a perfect accent, of course). :) Hope you've had a wonderful celebration!
Happy birthday Sally. I hadn't thought about bridge in ages but I used to play a lot for my first two years in university. My partner and I devised a bidding system that worked like a charm until another friend who played in tournaments insisted we stick to one of the conventional ones. As for public speaking, when I was younger I used to be terrified of it. I remember reading some survey claiming that most people feared it more than death itself. I could relate as I imagined the eulogist envying the corpse.
Happy Birthday and thanks for the glimpses.

I can't think of a meme, unless it's an aversion to plastic.

Does Larry really think by wearing glasses & that hat, we won't know it's him ?
This WAS fun! I AM new here and just figuring out how things work. Learned a lot about YOU and about OS. Happy Birthday!
Happy birthday, Sally!

#1 applies to me also, but definitely not #2. (Or #7. Or #9!) #3 and #4 just demonstrate how each of us is wired differently. In my case, I can do fairly complex arithmetic in my head and have always been a (near-)perfect speller, but I am absolutely hopeless at understanding all but the simplest scientific principles or following any sort of assembly manual.
Hope your day surpassed expectations. Happy Birthday.
Happy Birthday, Gal. You may not be aware but mine's on the 16th, so that's another thing we have in common. PS Let's keep that just between the two of us, though.
I have my usual desire to answer everybody, but oy, what a day (not bad, just a lot). Plus, I want to see YOUR TEN THINGS! And I am so glad Donald Trump's birthday is over now too... of all people with whom to share a birthday, Blech! My one consolation: he's older!

Thank you all for great comments and compliments, feel free to keep em coming. ;) And, especially if you're new here, post your own ten, maybe over the weekend. Please?
Hi Sally!
I just found this wonderful site - love it! Happy Birthday, btw, I hope the year is simply divine!!!!
This might be a super way to get initiated into Open Salon, so thank you, I will work on my Meme this well!
To those who took the time to research the "knock on wood" origins, thank you for providing the real back story. Still, the most modern versions did evolve from touching the cross for luck or to ward off trouble.

Tom, you will not get off scott free. Deal with it.

To my longtime OS friends, help me encourage newbies to Meme themselves this weekend. You too. Let's get some good cooperative positive vibes going here, k. Thanks!
I'm in the airport in Las Vegas, where it's still your birthday, waiting for a flight home. Happy birthday. I'm watching all the people, failing to imitate their accents and imagining all the math problems they 're screwing up.

Do you play anything or sing? It's a question about your relationship to sound.
ksal, I play the piano and used to sing second soprano. I can still tickle the ivories (badly) and carry a tune. Not sure what it means though. Travel safely please.
This was a riot. Happy Birthday to fabulous unique you!

(donald who?)
i am superstitious too! i had an important meeting yesterday, and i was put out that it was on the 13th. and i HATE being the 13th rater (hey, wonder if that spots open so often because other people feel the same way and refuse to be number 13. hmm. i bet it is. okay then, no more 13th rates from me).

i like your list, sally. and would love to travel with you to get to hear you talk to the natives.

i hope you had a lovely lovely day.
Happy Birthday Sally! [How come I'm not on your favorites list anymore?] #7. intrigues me. I didn't know you had lupus! #8 is an indulgence I can't really indulge in: at church you must hug a smelly unwashed man and that's that, but it's good for the humility....rated.
Happy Birthday, Gemini! Loved this. :)
Wow, Sally, you really are a piece of work, girl. I have never heard of a person with phonographic ear. That's really remarkable (and enviable, I must say.) I would imagine the calculitis (no, that's not it...whatever!) has been extremely frustrating for you, but you more than compensate with your command of language (ALL or ANY of them, obviously.) I'm sorry I'm so late, but Happy Belated Birthday! Flag Day is my uncle's birthday, too.

Sally, I accepted your invitation, and thank you for the gift it proved to be and the fun it was. Here's mine:
Okay. We are soul sisters, we have several things in common...1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, kind of 9 and 10. This is pretty amazing. Really. Glad you did this, it is great to know that some of the things I do are not unique, there are others like us....bahahahahaha!
Happy belated birthday Sally! I'm with you on #1 & #3, and halfway on #4. I can't speak or understand foreign languages, but I do find myself taking on someone's accent when I'm with them. It's sort of embarrassing!
Sally, although late, I want to wish you from the heart all your wishes to come true and always be healthy, loved and loving and happy. In 1, 7 and 9 we have so many commons. Your idea, as Maria Heng already written is such a gift to us, when all I can give you is my wishes and my response to your 'meme' calling. Happy birthday, every day...
OK, next open call should be to determine the best feet on Open Salon. I guarantee it won't be mine! I do find it interesting that you are math deficient, but you pick up languages easily. I have always felt that languages, with their grammar and syntax structure, are very mathematical. Go figure...
Hope you had a wonderful day, Sally and that you have a much more healthy new year. You are endlessly interesting and full of good thoughts and ideas and your memeses are truly well-earned!
A belated Happy Flag Day. And Birthday. Coincidentally, the Phillies should be making their own luck by knocking wood against the ball.