the last of the cake + tagged

November 13, 2008 |  Category:   me


It’s gone, thank god. Not because it wasn’t good, but we had been eating leftover birthday cake for a whole week, and well, if there is cake around I’m compelled to eat it, which is not a good thing all the time (why do I snack on brownie scraps? Because it’s around).

I forgot that I was tagged by Krista from Double Dipped Sweets, which basically means that you write 7 random/weird/little known facts about yourself. Which brings me to #1:

1. I won’t tag anyone else, even though that is part of the rules because I have an adverse, bad reaction to anything that remotely resembles a chain letter. This has been true since childhood. They stress me out. I mean I DESPISED chain letters, yet felt pressured to follow the rules and respond to them each and every time because, you know, if you didn’t by a certain date, you were DOOMED to the fickle gods of luck who would bestow bad fortune and eternal suffering your way for breaking the chain. In fact, I received a chain letter 2 weeks ago via email. I was not happy.

2. I have scoliosis. From the ages of 12-16, I wore a plastic backbrace every single day for 23 hours a day. Yup, great for those self-esteem building, awkward teenage years. I was like Deenie in the Judy Blume book, except I didn’t have a crush on a boy named Buddy Brader.
*Oh, a reader just reminded me about the fittings for the braces (I had 2), which then reminded me that I was highly allergic to the foam lining on the brace so that had to be taken off. Yes, I wore hard cold plastic next to my skin for 6 years. When it was all done at age 17 (I only wore it at home the last year), the braces sat around like carcasses in our attic for several years since it felt so weird to just throw them away. For 5-7 years after that, if I woke up in the middle of the night, I’d freak out momentarily wondering where my brace was.

3. I don’t like cilantro. But seriously, I think it’s a Korean thing. Most Koreans I’ve met don’t like it either.

4. I worked as an elf at Macy’s Santaland one Christmas when I was 19. if you aren’t familiar with Macy’s Santaland, it’s one of the biggest Santa visiting getups in NY (who knows, maybe the country). At any given time there are 4-5 Santas in their Santa houses posing for pictures with any family who was crazy enough to wait in line. The big secret, however, was that all the elves had to make sure that nobody in line found out there was more than 1 Santa, otherwise Santa’s whole identity would be blown. All the elves rotated shifts – sometimes you had to stand outside the entrance of Santaland, which was located at the top floor of Macys in the fine housewares department, enticing people to enter the magical world of Santa. Other times you would have to work inside the Santa house and take the polaroid photo, or you would stand at various points in the Santaland winter wonderland maze to entertain and do crowd control while people waited in line. The place was always usually mobbed with parents and kids, but if you happened to work during the weekday early morning daytime hours when there were times no one would come walking through the maze, we elves would rule the place and run amok (and yes, we would do stupid things like try and steal some coins from the moving model train sets that people seemed to want to throw money at, or a friend of mine would hide in between the Snowman statues and jump out to scare the daylights out of visitors). It wasn’t an easy job (think: long waits! impatient kids! pushy parents!), but the worst was when other teenagers would come to visit when the place was nearly empty and heckle you in your elf outfit. Santaland was also often hot because of the sheer amount of people packed in line, and one day I fainted from the heat in my elf costume, right in front of crowd of visitors. Even though I was called “the most elfiest looking elf ever” by one of the costume staff, I was not asked back the following year.

5. I was born in South Korea and raised mostly by my grandmother the early years. I came to NY when I was 3 and was then reunited with my mother who had left when I was 1 to come here 2 years before I arrived. It wasn’t a happy reunion (traumatic, actually, for many reasons) and that is my very first memory that I can remember. My mom and I have only been back to Korea once since we’ve been here (at separate times).

6. I have a brother who is 6 years younger than me. He is a vet and lives in California. His name is Ed.

7. I can’t snap my fingers. I’ve never been able to. Weird.

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  • Naomi November 13, 2008 at 10:49 am

    I thought I was the only one who was spooked by chain letters. I got one a month ago from a friend and felt enormous stress. I was not happy either. I really enjoy reading your blog:)

  • cyndi November 13, 2008 at 11:17 am

    I loved learning more about you! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

    What a hard time it must have been being a teenager wearing a cold, plastic brace. I’ll be honest, after reading Deenie I had nightmares of getting scoliosis. I’m so sorry you had to live that nightmare. My heart goes out to you!!

    That cake looks amazing – what kind was it?

    BTW – chain letters stress me out as well!

  • woodley park-zoo November 13, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    I never really believed or followed chain letters, but there were two that managed to give me pause. I vaguely considered going through with one that touted a pyramid money making scheme — as in, send a dollar to each of these 5ish people listed, add your name, and watch as money comes pouring in to your mailbox from all around the world! Sounds like it’s going to work, right? …erm…

    The other time was when I got some email chain that said basically, YOU HAVE OPENED THIS and now you are NOW CURSED TO A DISEASE/DEATH/SOME CALAMITY unless you pass it on. I was seriously PISSED OFF that my friend sent it to me — save your own arse by ‘infecting’ your friends? Even though of course it wasn’t true, I felt betrayed in a way.

  • Jenna November 13, 2008 at 9:05 pm

    Cyndi, the cake was chocolate with chocolate pudding filling and a caramel buttercream.

  • nichole November 14, 2008 at 10:16 am

    This was a fun read, and I am with you on the chain letters. My good friend had scoliosis and also wore a brace. It haunted her. Very cruel for a teenager to endure.

  • Brenda November 16, 2008 at 4:46 pm

    I was the Easter Bunny when I was 18! One of the worst weeks of my life … so so hot under that costume (I had a flashback reading about your experience!) and my classmates taking pictures on my lap, but they didn’t know it was me (thank the good Lord!), and — a little known secret — the little kids whose bladders couldn’t stand up to the excitement … while on your lap. 😀