Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

The Amazing Morphing Meme


In October, Sharon started the Five Things meme, where she asked bloggers to post five unusual things about themselves. The idea was to build up a repository of knowledge for writers, where people could use the five things to develop characters, get ideas or find someone to talk to about a certain area of knowledge. On her blog, she lists 93 different bloggers – I counted – who participated, including myself. As these things do, the meme morphed, left the litblogosphere and, sometime in December, found its way into the techie blogs, where one of the people who participated was my lovely husband. Now it’s back! I’m not sure where it went, or where it’s coming from, but everyone’s posting on Six Weird Things About Me. Megan’s tagged me, and Kerryn and Ms Make Tea have done it, so it looks like I’m going to have to.

The only problem is I’m kinda vanilla. Sorry folks. But here’s my attempt:

1) I’m a wordsmith but I always lose at Scrabble. This depresses me, but I take comfort in the fact that I’m bloody good at bridge.

2) I can’t read a map but I never get lost. I have an excellent visual memory and as a child got into the habit of noting landmarks so that I could always find my way home. The development of this habit coincided with my parents’ divorce. Once I noted landmarks from Pietermaritzburg to Cape Town, a 1600-kilometre journey. I was very anxious to make sure I got home.

3) I can’t stand runny egg. My preferred form of egg is concrete. Boiled eggs must be green, scrambled eggs must be dry, fried eggs must be crispy, omelettes must be crunchy. Tenderness is not an attractive quality in an egg.

4) For a small person, I walk loudly. When, I’m angry, I walk earthquakes. My husband calls me “Short Steps”, as in “What have I done wrong now, Short Steps?”

5) My second daughter was born at home because I mistook the final stage of labour for an extremely painful bowel movement. By the time I realised there was a baby coming NOW, it was too late to get to hospital. Still, it was the best thing that happened to me, the moment from which I choose to chart my adulthood. It also gave me the courage to have a second, planned, home birth. Thanks, darling D.

Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

17 thoughts on “The Amazing Morphing Meme

  1. I love Scrabble and have found that the trick to winning is to play tactically — even if it means putting the ugliest/nastiest/most boring word on the board.

    And 5? How often are mistakes the beginning point of good and growth in our lives? What a lovely, funny story you have to tell D when she’s older (like on her milestone birthdays, for example!).

    Thank you for making me laugh so early in the morning — reading your answers was a wonderful way to start my day. I don’t think you’re vanilla at all.

  2. I can totally relate to number 2. Luckily, I think, I can’t relate to number 5. I don’t know who would have been worse for wear after that… me or my husband!

  3. Still lurking. Reading you almost every day, and enjoying it. See, I was born in the car because my mother wanted to finish her dinner. I was the event that made her decide to have the rest of her children in home births. so I guess we have something in common, sort of. . .

  4. My Lord, I wish I had mistaken the last stage of labour for a bad bowel movement!!! Just before going into labour a friend told me that her mother’s account of it was of ‘particularly bad indigestion.’ When my son was born I did say to my friend that I really thought her mother ought to see a doctor about her stomach! Great answers, Charlotte. I shall think of you stomping around when you are irritated!

  5. Hey vanilla is great and have you tasted how strong it is before you dilute it?

    5 I had to be hauled off the loo a mere minute before my youngest was born, she nearly went headfirst down the toilet – luckily we’d planned for a home birth anyway.

    I think being a wordsmith is a handicap at Scrabble, it’s having a strategic memory for obscure two letter words that wins it.

    I think I did this meme at some intermediate stage in its morphing process last year..can’t remember what I said though.

  6. The great triumph of our relationship is either of us learning to lose gracefully at Scrabble. Well, without complaint anyway. OK, without too much whining. At any rate, with only a little bit of whining and little or no violence or threats never to play again or…

    Actually, couples shouldn’t play scrabble.

  7. I just about wet my pants reading about your ‘extremely painful bowel movement’.

    Birth is a bit like that isn’t it? Good thing it gave you the courage to do the next one at home!

    I’m pretty crap at Scrabble too. All I can think of are swear words, in multiple languages!

  8. hold the phone. If this mistaken-birth thing actually is somewhat common (as noted above) how do you ever know when you’re in labor? How how how? S. and i want to try for children soon but the concern I could mistake labor for this has just shocked me so completely I might throw away my prescription for prenatals.

    oh. my. god.

    Also, i always lose at scrabble, too.

  9. I’m no good at Scrabble, either. although I do like to play. I think it’s like playing a musical instrument. It takes practice to be good, and I don’t have the patience for that kind of practice. I walk heavily, too. People used to kid me about it all the time at my old office. However, I’m convinced it’s why everyone always thinks I’m about three inches taller than I really am (a good thing when you’re not very tall).

  10. Very interesting! I’m in awe of the painful bowel movement one — what an experience.

  11. #3 reminds me of my German grandmother. She would invariably order her scrambled eggs “Dry! Like rubber!”

  12. Kerryn, I’m going to remember that next time I’m playing Scrabble – think tactical, nasty.

    Kristen, number 5 was a surprise to my husband too. He was downstairs de-icing the car and returned to be told, congratulations you have a daughter.

    Ms HMH, I knew we had a special connection … born in the car, hey? That’s impressive.

    Litlove, I was just so clueless. My first labour I was heavily drugged and felt nothing, so I had no idea what to expect. And stomping, yes, I do that. I also empty the dishwasher Really Loudly.

    Thanks, Kit. I’m going to remember that. Vanilla is strong. Vanilla is strong.

    (Un)Relaxeddad, you’re right. My husband comes from a family who are irritatingly good at Scrabble. He always wins. It is not good for the relationship, so we have stopped.

    Hi Ash! I’m glad it gave me courage too, because the second home birth was a wonderful, calm experience.

    Now Courtney, I promise you don’t have to worry: When you are in labour, you WILL know. What we don’t always know is exactly when the baby is coming. Still with those prenatals.

    Emily, perhaps it’s something short people do to compensate for their lack of height. Maybe Napoleon was a stomper …

    Dorothy, it was an experience, but in the end a good one!

    Henitsirk, I could have cooked your Oma perfect eggs. I specialise in rubbery.

  13. I love Scrabble. Probably my favorite game bar none. I am very good at it. My husband has gotten better; I no longer throw the game to him because I don’t need to. However, we alternate games. I let him cream me at cribbage, and then I stomp him at Scrabble.

    I would just say to Courtney that the least of your problems is mistaking labor for a bowel movement. first you have to get pregnant and carry the baby to term. Then you can worry about recognizing labor.

  14. Very interesting to learn more about you, Charlotte 🙂

    Also, I can’t find your e mail on your site and wanted to mail you the instructions for the pinata. Please drop me a line (e mail on my blog and in my profile) and I’ll get back to you.

  15. I’m crappy at crosswords, which is very disappointing. And now I’ve gotten into Sudoku (thanks to my sister), which is totally weird.

    LOL on the bowel/birth…too funny.

  16. I love your #5…they are all wonderful, but #5 is so incredibly poignant to me! (and I have never had a child!)

  17. I’ve just discovered that the 5 things meme has recently been doing the rounds in Greece, too. It’s better travelled than I am!

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