Some time ago, I heard that I was the topic of conversation among some of the women at the church I used to attend.
“Is she just weird?”
Well, instead of you speculating, allow me to clear up any misconceptions. The answer is yes. There is absolutely nothing normal about me.
I am a writer.
At first the comment really hurt my feelings, but then I realized that, hmmm, we writers are a special breed. We spend hours at a time with people who do not exist. Our characters talk to us, and we listen. And sometimes we don’t even know what we’re writing. We just grab on to the coat tails of our God-given creativity and go where the story takes us.
All writers, however, are not alike.
Some writers are uber serious. They may be historians or explorers or scientists. Most of these writers are gifted time travelers, and they can go anywhere and do anything their imagination allows.
Me? Not so much.
That gene isn’t necessarily found in my writer DNA. If so, it’s recessive. But my Lucy gene is dominant.
Surely, you know I’m referring to Lucy, aka Ethel’s sidekick and Ricky’s wife. Maybe you have the Lucy gene too. Take this little test to find out for sure.
- You have a voracious appetite for adventure, but you never consider the consequences of a plan gone awry.
- “No” is never an option. If you want something bad enough, you will find a way to make it happen, never considering what could go wrong.
- You often find yourself at the wrong place at the wrong time.
- Grace is not your middle name.
- You have a limited sense of direction.
- You are a poster child for victims of Murphy’s Law.
- You have a history of getting stuck in awkward situations.
- You kind of dig going incognito.
- When things get out of control, you don’t ask for help. You always try to solve the situation yourself.
- No matter how bad a situation gets, your intentions are always good.
I’ve definitely got the Lucy gene. I’ve had it since I was a little girl. All I can say is I’m glad I don’t write serious drama. I can’t help the crazy predicaments I get into. But they make good stories. Take, for example, these situations.
- I am a problem solver. When I was moving from one apartment to another, I needed boxes, so I decided to check a dumpster. Little did I know that undercover detectives had set up a sting that night to catch drug traffickers. You know those scenes in the cop shows where the police jump out of nowhere ready to fire on the suspects? Yeah, well. At least I was not cuffed and fingerprinted.
- I always want to make a good impression on the job. I’m usually on my feet in front of the class all day. However, the one day I sat at my lectern to grade while my students worked, my principal came to my door. Both of my feet had fallen asleep. He motioned me to come to door, but I couldn’t move. I was stuck on a stool, and I was too embarrassed to tell him why I couldn’t go talk to him. All I could do was smile and wave and sit there. And sit there as he stared me down from the doorway. And sit there until he went away.
- When I was in college, my friend and I wanted to sneak into the boys’ dorm to play a prank on our boyfriends. We decided to go incognito, so we dressed in men’s flannel shirts and used our eyebrow pencils to draw beards on our faces. Three words—stupid, stupid, stupid.
- I had a near death experience when I rode a horse at full gallop up a hill on ridge and my undergarment became hooked around the saddle horn and I was strapped to the horse and couldn’t move. All I could think was, “Of all the ways to die, why does it have to involve underwear?”
- I volunteered to sponsor a rock concert during Homecoming. I was a hero. I was the only adult in charge of 500 hormone-raging teenagers. They turned off the lights. They cranked up the music. The crowd went wild. The mosh pit thrashed. And a single red light stood out among the crowd. OH MY WORD! Someone had brought a cigarette into my concert. I had to take him down. I grabbed the culprit and yanked him over the back of theater chair and put him on the ground. I am five feet tall. I single handedly took down my cameraman who was taking pictures for our newspaper. The red light glowed from his camera. Thank goodness, Steve did not have to go to the hospital. He forgave me–I think.
- I sent two boys from the newspaper staff to dig a hole to plant a tree for our memory garden. One of the boys, a practical genius, calculated a more efficient way to plant the tree. He walked to the rental place next door and came back with a backhoe. So there was my student digging a hole on a methane field. This incident happened long ago. It really wasn’t my idea. (Please don’t fire me.)
- I had hall duty one morning and thought it hilarious that two dogs had found their way into school cafeteria. It was really funny until I realized the dogs belong to me. My half Bassett, half Beagles had tracked me all the way from home to the exact place where I was working that morning. I had to carry Beau and Dixie back to the car, one tucked under each arm, and these were hefty dogs mind you. I smelled pretty bad by the time I returned to school.
So, do you still think you have the Lucy gene?
Don’t fret. Just roll with it. And if there are any Ethels out, come see me. We’ll find an adventure and come back with a lot of ‘splainin’ to do.