We've lived in Utah, Nebraska, upper Michigan and now we've settled in Colorado...at least for now! Marley is 10, Isi is 6 and Enzo is 4.

Life is great!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

What Choo Talkin' Bout Phyllis?!?

I'm working on my personal history again. I started it about 4 months after we moved here, so about 18 months ago. I worked on it steadily for about a month and I had created a skeleton of my life. It was about 7 pages. Now, I have organized it into different sections and I've started fleshing it out with everything I can recollect.  People's names and funny stories, events, vacations, activities, even mean things my older sisters did to me.  You know...AAAAALL the good stuff.

I really don't think I have a good memory but when I get started and make an effort I surprise myself. I remember more than I give myself credit for; and yet, when my sisters eventually read it, they may remember events and situations differently. Even people not related to me, may remember things different than I do.  That is to be expected though because our perspectives were/are different, right?

All that explanation just so I can start telling you long drawn out (sometimes) funny stories.

I remembered this one in the wee hours of this morning. I got up to go potty and I was dead tired, sure I was pass right out, back to dreaming bliss, but once I lay back down I started thinking of my personal history project and I was remembering....and giggling.

Here is one story I remembered.

In high school, I think it was my Junior year, I took an accounting class. We sat at tables that accommodated four people, they were in rows with an isle down the middle of the room. We all faced the front of the class.  Each work space had a large computer monitor, key board and mouse. Under each workspace a computer tower. [When my kids read this and their computer fits in their pocket, and has a touch screen, they will think I am SO ancient. Sad. And funny.]

Anyway, I sat near the center isle, second row back and on my right was David Barberi, an LDS guy from my stake. He was a year behind me in school but I knew him and his sisters. I always thought he had similar features as Jerry Seinfeld (minus the curly dark hair) and he was funny.

He understood accounting a lot better than I and helped me quite a bit. Before I took that class I thought I might want to be an accountant.  After that class, no way. I wonder what David Barberi is doing today?  Would NOT be surprised if he is an accountant.

[sidenote: After I finally fell back to sleep, I dreamed that David Barberi was a rock star and his band was asked to be the entertainment at our District Girls' Camp. And I was the Camp director and they agreed. Weird, eh? But, I was just thinking about him and I do know someone in a famous band, Imagine Dragons. So, maybe not that weird...but Girls Camp?  I have no idea!?!? Except I went to Girls Camp with David's sisters!  That's it! Still....weird.]

Our teacher was Phyllis Terrell, a very smart and nice lady. She was very proud of her son who played football.  I can't remember if he was a college or pro player, but I remember she liked to talk about him and how proud she was of him.  So much so, that David would take any and every occasion or opportunity to get her side tracked on telling us about him. This would cause us to not be able to get through the accounting lesson and then she would postpone homework or assignments. It was funny...because it worked.  It was even funnier when Ms. Terrell finally caught on.

As mentioned, I would often be confused. Who knew accounting had so much foreign terminology? I thought it would be mostly, adding and subtracting. Not the case.

As a result, I started saying, under my breath to David, "What you talkin' about Willis?" We thought this was hysterical and would stifle fits of laughter. Even though, we were both too young to have actually watched Diff'rent Strokes (just searched the phrase to find out what show it was from), we of course knew the phrase.  Who doesn't?  Well?  Really, I bet some of my younger cousin even know that phrase? I think?

Then one day we found out that Ms. Terrell's first name was Phyllis and this famous phrase, with very little altering, took on a greater weight of hilarity.

For years after this, I still would say, "What Choo Talkin' Bout Phyllis!?!" instead of Willis and people would try to correct me.

No, it used to be Willis. But, I like Phyllis much better.


Okay, so what do you think?  Anti-climatic?  Too many unnecessary details?  What do you think my kids and grandkids will like to read? Not all my stories are funny and most of the them are anti-climatic.  Or maybe, "You had to be there." type stories?

My mom has been giving us sections of her personal history each Christmas and I LOVE reading anything and everything about her. It is so fun and I'm always sad when I'm done reading it.

Are you writing your personal history?  What do you thing about the idea?  Necessary? Unnecessary? Too much effort?  No time?

Tell me.

You are also, more than welcome to point out grammar and punctuation problems.  I try to proof-read a few times...but, I know they are still there. You can also, give your perspective on events inwhich you may have been involved....but remember this is from my memory and perspective...so I may NOT change those details. Or I MAY say, "Oh yea! That's right!!!! Thanks for the help remembering!"

Just so you know.


Sandy said...

I loved your Phyllis story. It made me giggle. We have a Phyllis story in the Alger family. Dad's father wanted to call Aunt Alicyn, Phyllis. Vearl would not hear of it.

Michelle said...

I love this story, but isn't it incomplete? Didn't you (like 10? years) later work with the little black guy who ACTUALLY made that phrase famous? Gary Coleman?

Becky said...

Michelle, this is true! What a great memory you have! That is s story for another day....I think. Yes.

pillingfamily said...

gary coleman?!? what! that one should be next i think. i need to do this very same thing. i took a personal history class once and had to write a bunch of these kinds of stories, and i'm telling you, it's all those tiny little details that people will want to know. at least it's what i like to read when i read other people's history and even when i read back on my own. i've been thinking for a long time that i need to write down a LOT more of my history.

Julie J. said...

Funny. I can't wait to read about the mean things I did to you. I'm sure there were/are a lot of them and I'm also sure that reading them will bring me the same sick satisfaction as when they actually occurred.
I too should do this. I'm too lazy though.

Shauna said...

I thought this was super funny. And I think it's precious that you love reading about your mom. And your mom is amazing and wonderful. She does the best things.

Guess what? I am doing something similar. I just started going through family pictures getting ready to scan so I can feature a family history project for What I Love Most in November.

Your kids will appreciate this so much. My mother in Law says it's really important to write about yourself, even details.

You should also look to your ward. WE have a few ladies who specialize in writing that is unique to how you would want to portray your story, so to speak. Good Luck!!!

Shauna xoxox

The Wells said...

I am all caught up on your posts. I love the pictures. Great details. I feel like I went through cold winter, fun excursions, and to church with you. I don't have any memories of mothering or torching you. I am looking forward to reading what you think I did. 😄