The all-in-one, too much information viral meme chain response

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I definitely have issues.

Starting about a week ago, some very wonderful, fun and spunky blog readers began pinging me and asking me to participate in a couple of memes, starting with Shannon Cherry of Cherry Communications and Mommy, Inc.

Shannon asked me to participate in the "Come as you are" meme, where you take a picture of yourself the moment you get the message to show yourself raw and unplugged.  Which I translated into "show everyone your ‘not enough sleep’ bags under the eyes, no makeup, too-lazy-to-shower-this-morning-ponytail hair and 2 visible cups of coffee self." 

I didn’t know how to operate the self-timer on my camera, so I took some hideous "my nose is big enough without being distorted when I take the pic of myself with one arm " type of shots.  It was enough to motivate me to get the instruction manual out and figure out the self-timer.  There is a reason why Joan Collins warns photographers to have at least 2 feet of distance from her when they photograph her.  (The dictionary you see pictured is what I took out when 4 readers informed me that I had used the wrong word in my Work Manifesto:  "emanate" instead of "emulate."  So I looked it up and they were right.  So I changed it.)

I have a strange phobia of anything that remotely resembles a chain letter.  I think it started when I was about 8 years old and I received one in the mail.  Remember the kind that you had to manually type in your name and send off with a real envelope and stamp or be victimized by a very specific and horrible curse?  I think that really freaked me out, and once I threw the letter away instead of responding.  Since that time, anytime someone sends me an email with "please send this on to 20 of your closest friends" on it, I delete it faster than I eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (which is fast).  Mike, who I met today through my blog, feels the same.

Maybe that is what made me make such terrible relationship choices in my 20’s. A curse would definitely explain it.

But I digress.

So while squirming about that flashback to the chain letter thing, I got another ping about the same "show your unplugged self" meme from Kristie T who I really like a lot and who provides great information for work-at-home Moms.

So now I was starting to feel really bad, like I was a stuffy corporate prissy girl who was stressing so much if my serious readers would find the whole thing frivolous and I should just get over it and participate.  For God sakes, it is my blog, and I certainly ramble on about my personal life in other posts.

To really cement my commitment to write a post, my professional organizer buddy Jessica Duquette soon hit me with  Blog  Tag, where I was supposed to reveal "5 things my readers may not know about me."  And before I could turn around, Leah, the Aussie I adore who writes Working Solo and Joe from Working at Home on the Internet pinged me about the same thing.

So what the heck, I feel great that so many people thought I needed to play a bit and thought I would address all memes at one time.

Here are the 5 things you may not know about me:

  1. When I was 18 and a freshman in college, I got a special scholarship to attend the 40th anniversary of the signing of the charter of the United Nations in San Francisco.  I was one of about 20 college students there, and we got to openly cavort with the ambassadors from around the world.  At the time, I drove a 1970 AMC Green Hornet.  My Dad bought it for $400, drove it for 4 years, then gave it to me.  The passenger door was jammed, and would only open when you kicked it hard from the driver’s side.  I was at a special event at the War Memorial Opera House with the Ambassador from the Maldives, and he asked if I would give him a lift to the Fairmont Hotel in my car.  He owned a few islands back home.  So he crawled in the back of the Green Hornet, among the Snicker wrappers, and I drove him up and down the hills of San Francisco.  When we got to the (most expensive hotel in San Francisco) Fairmont Hotel, he asked me to pull around front so that the valet could open the door.  Only of course he couldn’t until I kicked it open.  Then the ambassador crawled out the door, bid farewell, and I am sure chuckled all the way home where he promptly informed his friends of the wild experience "slumming it" with the crazy hippie college girl and her beat up car.
  2. I once refused to give up my watch to a knife-wielding thief who was pointing the blade at my wrist on a public bus in the center of Bogota, Colombia. The watch was worth $19.95.  I was under the impression that my one year of martial arts training made me invincible.  Nothing happened – he got off the bus.  Boy was I stupid!
  3. My grandparents were chicken and peach farmers in Northern California.  My great grandparents were almond farmers in Southern California.  I was a fourth-generation Californian on both sides before moving to Arizona.  Small beans for my European friends, but the highly transitory state of CA often has few people with deep roots there.  I do miss the sights and smells of my home sometimes, but for the most part, I am very happy here in the desert.
  4. I consider myself a pretty easy-going and open person, but I can get riled up if someone tries to force me to believe there is "one right way" to do things.  This can be a magic formula for starting a business, a get-rich-quick-scheme, a way to dress, a political view, a religion or a diet.  The part that gets me so annoyed is the insistence that not only is their way "right," but that my way must then be "wrong" by default.  I just can’t understand why we have to squash out someone’s heartfelt belief in order to get across our own.
  5. I abhor senseless violence in the media but love to watch the Ultimate Fighting Championships.  I realize this may be a contradiction.  But I get so fired up watching the different fighting techniques and theatrics and strategy that I don’t mind if one is bashing the other’s head on the floor.  I know, I know, this should disturb me.  If it were the street, it definitely would.  But in the parameters of those "extreme games," I find it fascinating. (Small clarification:  I like the older versions, when the Gracie Ju-Jitsu brothers were allowed to compete without restriction, and the focus was more on technique and less about show.  There are some "Fight Club" versions that are horrific, and don’t demonstrate the skill and technique honed by seasoned martial artists of every different discipline.)

So that is more than you ever wanted to know, and probably hope to know about me in the future.  To all who tagged me, thank you so much for your kind intentions!

As perhaps the only entrepreneur-related theme of this post, I want to encourage you to do things often that make you feel awkward and uncomfortable.  This will help build your creativity, innovation and risk-taking muscles.

So despite feeling very uncomfortable to put anyone else on the spot, I will go for some safe choices and ask Marilyn, Glenda, Lisa, Nancy and Ramit if they care to share 5 things.  If not, don’t worry, terrible things won’t happen to you.

I am hoping this gives me a "meme-free" pass for at least a year.  🙂

6 Responses to “The all-in-one, too much information viral meme chain response”

  1. ann michael says:

    Pam – Rob (iScatterlings) had tagged you too! I had tagged him!

    I completely agree with you on this stuff. It’s one thing to write a manifesto (that’s related to the topic at hand) or even to write your blogging goals, but when it comes to chain letters, I’m with you. I would probably not have done the five things either had I not felt like maybe I was being too rigid! (I delete chain emails EVERY DAY without even reading them).

    I absolutely LOVE your #4 and agree whole heartedly. It’s the source of many an interesting conversation between me and my husband (he’s a “one right way” kind of guy about many things!).

    If there was only one right way life would be so boring with so many fewer possibilities. Exploration and curiosity would be stomped – couldn’t live in that world!!!!

  2. Nancy says:

    Thanks for the invitation to play! “Five Things” turned out to be way more fun than actual work.

  3. Gregg says:

    “War Memorial Oprah House” ??? Shouldn’t that be “War Memorial Opera House”

    That is hilarious … was that a Freudian typo?

    I fixed it – thanks Gregg!

  4. David says:

    I was so embarrassed by my parent’s Green AMC Hornet…

  5. Leah Maclean says:

    As your favourite Aussie I hereby give you a pass that exempts you for 1 year from this date of ever having to participate in blog memes/chain letters, by the power vested in me by the Australian cricket meme, oh I mean team.

    Thanks for playing Pam. I completely understand about the professional vs playful tug that can happen on a blog.

    We all know and understand how professional you are and the wisdom you possess about the corporate-entrepreneurial leap. And we honour that part of you. We just didn’t want you to miss out on the fun and feel left out.

    Enjoy your weekend

  6. good going, girlfriend!