Johann liked my “Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Me” post so much (even though he knew all of them already) that he decided he wanted to have one of his own. Notice, though, that he wants to have one of his own, not to write one of his own. Writing it is my department, apparently, though he retained the right to edit the final product. So here it is:
1. On the road that leads to our house, there is a little turn where, for some unknown reason, butterflies tend to congregate. I always drive extra slowly around that corner because I think it would be a shame for one of them to meet its end on our windshield when their lifespans are already so short. That’s right. I brake for butterflies.
2. I don’t like having to button and unbutton dress shirts. This wastes precious seconds that I feel could be better used checking fantasy football sites on the Internet. The shirts go on and off over my head.
3. I am a special breed of Frenchman. I don’t smoke, drink coffee, eat cheese or particularly like dessert. Very few people believe I am really French, to tell the truth. My wife asked to see my passport when we first met.
4. How tall am I? Depends. One leg is a half-inch shorter than the other.
5. I have recently developed a love for gardening. Seeing my plants grow (which they do against all odds, because I chuck them into the ground when and where I please, regardless of whether they need sun, shade or seasonal planting) brings me real joy. Sometimes, I even talk to them. I have decided I won’t worry about this behavior unless I start to hear them talk back. Then I’ll seek help.
6. I was once featured in an article in L’Equipe magazine, the French equivalent of Sports Illustrated. I had stunned a sports radio talk show in France (available over the Internet) by calling in from my office in Chicago. They gave my contact information to the L’Equipe reporter and voila! She called to interview me for a story about French soccer teams using the Internet to reach out to their fans. Lisa and I snuck into my office over the weekend to take the photo that the reporter asked for. It seemed easier than explaining to my co-workers that I routinely made international long-distance calls from work when no one was around.
7. Countries I have visited include: Russia, China, Guadeloupe, Spain, Italy, Germany, Holland, Greece, Morocco and, naturally, the U.S.
8. Who is responsible for France’s performance in the World Cup? Me. I truly believe that they cannot win unless I watch the matches from the States. Example: watched World Cup 1998 in the States – France wins World Cup 1998. Example: watched all but final match of World Cup 2006 in the States – France wins all but final match. Coincidence? I don’t think so. Someone should tell Zidane. It seems he’s been walking around with all kinds of unnecessary guilt over some head-butt thing.
9. As a child, I was routinely late coming home from school because I would climb a tree and sit up there munching on fruit (cherries, plums, peaches, apricots, whatever…) until someone came looking for me.
10. I shop like an old Dutch man. I used to hate going grocery shopping, then I discovered coupons. Now, it’s like a game to me. I’ll comb the store for an item that neither of us even really wants and argue that we should buy it because we’re getting 80 cents off. I recently stooped to a new low, picking up coupons from the floor of the supermarket. This is when Lisa told me I had to get my own cart and not make eye contact with her until we got back to the car. She’s threatening to do our grocery shopping online from now on.