5 random things about me

One. From 4th grade up to my late teens, I was a dog show kid. My parents bred and showed Miniature Schnauzers as a hobby, so just about every one of my weekends in my formative years was spent traveling to podunk Texas towns for shows. The Christopher Guest movie Best in Show satirized the larger, national events, but most of the shows we went to were held in small towns, at muddy fair and rodeo grounds, where we had to set up our grooming stations in barns. Larger cities like Dallas and San Antonio allowed for more civilized convention centers with actual floors.

Things you should know about dog shows: White dogs are covered in chalk, black dogs are dyed blacker, and the scene is probably more political than Washington. The smell of hairspray mixed with dirt and cigarette smoke is permanently engrained in my memory.

I did a few years of junior showmanship, but I spent most of my time reading, doing homework, wandering around bored out of my everloving mind, and crushing on a fellow dog show boy. And eating lots and lots of concession stand food.


Two. When I was in kindergarten, I tried to change my name to Elizabeth. My own name was full of random letters that made no sense together, and I thought Elizabeth was the most beautiful name in the world. When I asked my mom how to spell it, she wrote it on a pale blue Post-It note for me in her impeccable handwriting – E L I Z A B E T H. I took that Post-It directly to my teacher and informed her I had changed my name.

Unfortunately, since I had given her my cheat sheet, I had no idea how to actually spell ELIZABETH anymore. So I just wrote a jumbled mess of letters at the top of my worksheets: probably an E, maybe an L, and a Z. There was definitely a Z. I should have practiced more! Who changes their name and doesn’t learn how to spell it? A 5-year-old, that’s who.

Later in the day Miss Barrow, my kindergarten teacher, crouched next to me at my table and said, “I’m going to need you to write Leigh Ann on your papers from now on, okay?” And that was the end of my run as Elizabeth. It was good while it lasted. I think. I don’t think I really got any satisfaction from it since I couldn’t even write it.


Three. As a child and teen (and an athlete), I had kind of a love affair with the emergency room. I made 11 visits for various injuries including (but not limited to):

  • chipping my ankle bone when I slipped off a step (1st of 3 times on crutches)
  • splitting my head open on a diving board while back flipping (1st of 2 times with stitches)
  • Spraining my ankle twice (2nd & 3rd times on crutches)
  • Splitting my head open again in college (staples!). Beer, piggy-back rides, and metal hair clips do NOT mix.
  • Splitting my pinkie finger open (2nd time with stitches). This one’s a story. I used to play fast-pitch softball. Coach gave me the signal to bunt, which as a lefty, I did often. I was thrown out at first base, but as I walked back to the dugout, my finger was throbbing. I blamed it on bat vibrations in the cold November weather, until I looked down and saw that my entire hand was covered in blood. Apparently the ball was inside and hit the bat exactly on my pinkie, causing it to burst open from the pressure of the ball. It didn’t explode or anything, but the more it swelled up, the wider the split became, and there was gross finger insides starting to stick out. Six stitches. I still have a scar.

I used to be able to recall all of them, but my memory fails me now. Best part is I have NEVER broken a bone.


Four. I have never been stung by a wasp or a bee or anything more harmful than a mosquito, and I am TERRIFIED of them. Like “sacrifice the children and run for the hills” terrified. Once as we walked from our front door to the car, a wasp dive bombed me, grazing my neck. I took off down the yard, leaving my poor children standing there on the front walk. MOTY. But that shit hurt!

A few weeks ago I was chatting with my neighbor when a yellow jacket (hornet? YOU BUGS ALL LOOK THE SAME TO ME) landed on my leg. MY LEG. I completely froze, and my neighbor was all, “Um, you have one on your leg.” And all I could muster was, “Getitoffgetitoffgetitoffgetitoff!” until he flicked it off for me. We’re very close in this neighborhood, flicking bugs off each other’s legs and all.


Five. I went to high school with that guy who was in Argo and Gone Girl. No, not Ben Affleck. This guy.


And by “went to high school with him” I mean we he was a year or 2 ahead of me, and we had no interaction whatsoever. I don’t think I ever would have placed him. I only remember seeing his name on the cast listing for Argo, and thinking, Scoot McNairy….Scoot McNairy….where do I know that name from? Then I saw where he was from, and it clicked. Back then he went by Scooter. And now he’s popping up in practically every movie I watch, so I can say, “Hey! I [insert finger quotes] went to high school [end finger quotes] with that guy!”


So….who do I want to see write up 5 random facts about themselves? Let’s see…

Corrin from Oh Hey, What’s Up?

Kari from A Grace-Full Life

Andrea from About 100%

Angela from Jumping With My Fingers Crossed

Amy from Banana Wheels

Join the Conversation


  1. Dear Elizabeth, I love every one of these.
    There has got to be some stories in those dog show memories.
    I have a scar on my left pinky. For real. Not from a softball, but from a tuna can.

  2. OMG I wanted to change MY name to Elizabeth in kindergarten because……wait for it…..it had a Z in it.
    What am I doing writing that here…..that is ratings GOLD.
    Off to write my random list………

  3. I’ve never told you this but every time I see your picture you remind me of a best friend I have in my 20’s..you two really resemble one another and she also grew up a dog show kid near Philadelphia, PA. It was a “WHOA” moment for me to read that about you.

    I love these, reading all about the little things. Very cool.
    Haven’t we all wanted to change our names at one time or another…maybe the 23rd time I was called Kristen or Christian or “Ker”sten instead of “Kear”sten. Yep. 🙂

  4. We were living parallel lives even as kids. Except for instead of dog shows, I was reading, bored, and/or chasing boys at my brother’s soccer tournaments that took the place of regular family vacations. And I declared my name changed to Jennifer. Great list!

    1. I’m pretty sure the boys at the soccer tournaments were much more drool-worthy than the ones at the dog shows. 🙂

  5. Geez, I didn’t know I could love you more, but I do. I loved your random things. Here are my random thoughts about your random things– 1.Dog shows? Really, I had no idea. You paint a very vivid picture and smell. 🙂 2. I think I will start calling you Elizabeth. Is that cool? 3. All the stitches and staples and sprains? You sound like my kids. Your poor mother. 4. You sound like you have nice neighbors. AND 5. You basically pretty much know Ben Affleck. I mean that’s how that five degrees of separation works right? You are one degree from Ben. Whaaaat?!

    1. I’d put another half to full degree between me and Ben, simply because I didn’t technically KNOW the guy that went to my high school. But still. That’s close!

  6. I don’t want to rub it in, but guess what my middle name is? I used to fantasize about making it my first name, and having so many killer nickname options – Liz, Libby, Beth, Betsy, Eliza. The possibilities are endless.

    These are all great, but that dog show stuff is serious fodder for a YA novel. Or at least a book that I would read (which might not say much).

  7. (Hit reply too soon.)

    And I agree 100% with Amy. A YA novel, with your sense of humor and surrounding dog shows in small town arenas, would be AMAZING.

  8. Whoop! Dog show girl, really? Color me impressed – what a unique story! I have to say I couldn’t get through reading about all your injuries. I need someone standing by with smelling salts. Yeah, I’m that much of a wimp.

    And you are hilarious, Elizabeth. Can I call you Betsy?

  9. Lizzie!
    Oh, it has to be Elizabeth. Beg your pardon.
    I’ve sprained my ankle about 4 times, bur have never broken a bone before either. Thank goodness. Let’s hope our lucky unbroken bone streak doesn’t end ever.

  10. My first visit to the ER was when I was 23 . . . went in as a Trauma 1, so I managed several of the “this would be cool” thoughts, as a kid, all at once: police visit (they were the first on the scene), trip in an ambulance (with sirens blaring), police escort, cast. None of them were cool as I imagined they would be, as a child. None.

    1. They are NEVER as cool as we imagine them to be. Just like when I kinda wish I could get sick so everyone would take care of ME for a change, but then I’m just so damn miserable.

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