True Story

{March 10, 2010}   Toot

True Story:  My body fails me in public situations.

If I can split my pants, trip, laugh till I tee tee in front of large groups of people, I will.

True Story: I’m a great faller.

I fall so much, I don’t even notice. This, of course, does not stop other people from noticing.

1)  As a freshman in high school I was at a “Senior’s party”. People were out in the open garage smoking, etc… I walk across the garage headed toward the door to the house to warm up/go to the bathroom… Whatever reason to not stand there by myself not knowing what to say to people. I slipped in an oil spot on the garage floor. SPLAT.

In my head:  Oh, Lord, here we go.

Now this shouldn’t be a big deal. At most, people should try to help you up and say, “are you alright”. But this is high school and people suck… So for the rest of the evening and all the next week at school some older girls, excuse me, bitches, pretended to fall whenever they were around me… Awesome…

2) One of the many times I fell down the stairs at home growing up, I landed at my Mom’s feet.

Mom:  Now that’s just stupid. You’re grounded.

3)  Walking across campus in Montana on icy grounds with Pump (just a friend at the time) and some other schoolmates, I fell. I mean really fell, and got right back up and kept talking. They all stopped and were like, “wait… Are you okay”?

I was fine, and annoyed at their concern. You see, my story I was passionately telling was WAY more important than my fall. Everything I say is REALLY important.

More examples of this ol’ body embarrassing me:

1) I got my “monthly” in class unexpectedly in 8th grade. This is really cool. Thank God it was fall weather and I was able to wrap my jacket around my waist and go ask the teacher permission to go to the bathroom.

Sidenote:  Why do teachers make you so terrified to ask permission to leave the room. Damn it. I’m pissed now. I think they are the reason for half of my nick names through the years.

The greatest part about that day in 8th grade was that the teacher, whom subtlety was apparently non-existent, got up as I was leaving the room and Lysoled my chair.

There are many of these incidences I could bore you with. I will get to the point.

In 8th grade one evening I was hanging outside a friend’s house with some girlfriends and “older boys” (high school boys). What were our parents thinking? None of them are good. I don’t care who their parents are. They are all walking hormone- crazed, want-to-be, sex-machines.

So, I’m doing what I do best, probably trying to bum a cigarette and be funny (yes, I was that one). Someone said something hilarious and I lean back, dying laughing and you guessed it… I farted.

I said it. FART. I disagree with many southern belles. I don’t think that is a dirty word. Maybe it’s because I am the mother of a man-child.

True Story:  In some circles, still today, I am known as Toot and Fartin Martin.

{February 26, 2010}   I’ve always been a great writer

True Story:  I LOVED Camp

I was ready to move out of the house and get my own apartment when I was 2. Always independent. So, of course, I couldn’t wait to go to camp every year.

Camp Mac wouldn’t accept you until you were nine, but we found a camp that would take me at 7, so I didn’t have to wait the gruelling 2 more years to fly the coop for a month each summer. Camp Mac is the bomb!

The picture to the left is an example of the beautiful letters I sent home every year.

Camp letter #1

Dear Mom, I am having a great time at Camp Cosby. I’m going sking, I sure can’t wait. we have archery, it’s real fun. you did not sighn the part about mini bikes but they let me go. Ashley

P.S. I love you

I was sometimes taken out of camp for a diving or gymnastics meet for about 24 hours. Apparently, once I got back to camp I needed to update my parents about what went on at the sporting event, because total strangers picked me up from Camp and returned me. WTF?

Camp Letter #2


Hey, What’s happening in Jasper? I got a gold on the low board and a fourth on the high board. Instead of missing campfire I missed rec hall cause of the rain. I got a boyfriend his name is Todd. Ashley

Love ya’ll

It’s important to have a healthy ego when young. I don’t think I was lacking. You also need to exclaim! every sentence in a letter home so your family “get’s it”.

Camp letter #3

Dear Mom, This will be your last letter, we’re having our basic rescue written test! I want to come back next year to Camp! I hope I get a lot of awards on award night! Campfire’s tomorrow night!

Love ya, Ashley

Camp Letter #4

Send me some embroidery string please! Ashley

I think I expected my family members to answer my questions telepathically.

Camp Letter #5

Hey ya’ll, What are you doing? Tonight’s college night I’m wearing my alabama boxers!  See ya’ll


My family never sent me any packages. It sucked! All my camp friends would get packages every other day. I would specifically request packages with forbidden gum & candy taped to the pages of magazines. By the time anyone got around to sending me one, it was time to go home.

In the letter below I am now appealing to my 5 years younger sister assuming she can read, AND go to the store to purchase the products I need and mail them.

Camp Letter #6

Hey L, Sorry the writing so sloppy but I jamed my fingure really bad playing tetherball. What have you been doing? When are ya’ll gone to write? Send me a toothbrush. I’m having a great time. We had rechall last night. (a dance) Send me some stamps please. I don’t want to get taken out of camp! Love ya!


Camp Letter #7


Hey ya’ll, My fingers better but still can’t be in talent night cause it’s tonight. I was just drinking out of my canteen. See I’m a wrangler so on long pants day we’re the last people into lunch cause we got to put up the horses. so theres no counsliers and we fill are canteen up with cool-ade! mom will you send me some cool-ade paks (please)! Havin fun! See ya’ll. Love,


Camp Letter #9


Mom, What’s happening in Jasper? Yesterday was fun it was Sunday. Tonight is Senior college night. I think we have courts. I’m having so much fun! Last night was movie night. Tell P that I told everyone he knew hi! And everybody said he was so good-looking. I have the same problem everybody thinks I’m good-looking too! Ha ha just kidding. Send me a package.  Ashley

I cherish these memories. I hope my son will have as much fun as I did. More camp letters later…

{February 23, 2010}   5 Quarters

True Story:  When I was little, I desperately wanted crutches, braces, and eye-glasses, in that order.

Be careful what you wish for.

Crutches: Wow! I had 11 casts on my left ankle and 8 on my right by the time I was at least 21, and several ankle braces since then. I’m not that accident prone. I was a gymnast and athlete for some time, so they tell me.

Once you roll that ankle your are screwed! Just writing that word makes me flinch. There is something called muscle memory, I believe. I am no expert, but I can tell you thinking about hurting my ankle makes it hurt. It’s like nails on a chalk board. I am a believer in the amputee’s phantom arm.

True Story:  In my life I have also broken ribs, my nose, most fingers and toes & my tailbone twice.

I am extremely lucky that I have not broken my neck, which ironically, is the area of this ol’ bag of bones, that requires the most pain management today. (Hence the need for the pill swapping party). I sometimes wonder what the hell it will feel like to be 80, God willing. (We do have some good stock in my family if you don’t party too hard).

True Story:  I use to jump off the roof of our carport as a kid to try to “score” some crutches.

Glasses:  This great desire of mine faded along with the sexy librarian fantasy.

And now we come to BRACES. 3 times baby. Awesome!

True Story:  Apparently, I have a jacked up mouth. Things could be worse.

1st time:  For crooked teeth. What else?

2nd time:  I don’t really know. Something about a small mouth, messed up jaw, blah blah blah… If they didn’t cost so much I would think my Mom just did it for torture.

True Story:  After having them tightened and in dire need of Advil I would tell mom my mouth hurt.

Mom:  Your fine. You have a low pain tolerance.

3rd time:  This time there was an apparatus involved. That’s what it’s called, “an apparatus”. It was a piece of metal that spread across the roof of my mouth. And you have to find a Sadist to stick a key in it and turn it. WTF? How is this not child abuse. It was to widen my jaw. I still don’t know why?

The good news about all of this is that I was about 12. Which means I was at the height of my “really good-looking” phase.

Let me paint this picture for you. I’ll start from the top.

As my aunt would say, I had a puff-ball on my head. This was the mid-late eighties and teasing of the bangs was cool. I had greasy, teenage skin and my lovely, natural nose (a bit wide at the bridge). I was probably wearing some hideous sweater. My Mom liked to buy the discount clothes and this was before Wal-Mart had Hannah Montana lines. And of course, it being 1987, I had on probably 4 different pairs of socks in multiple colors in order to appear fashionable. My feet wouldn’t fit in my shoes but I looked Great!

Now, this apparatus-torture-thingy caused my front two teeth to move apart from each other. Are you getting it folks?

A really sweet fellow from school nicknamed me “5 Quarters”. Naturally, because you could fit 5 quarters between my 2 front teeth.

Love me some middle school.

True Story: I drew the line at jaw surgery.

When I had my wisdom teeth out and was passed out on gas/general anesthesia, the surgeon called my mom back to the operating room to point and laugh at me I guess, and showed her how when totally relaxed, and he put my jaw together, it was still all jacked up.

I woke up in restraints with them telling me they were going to wire my jaw shut for 6 months. I ran screaming! I was about to be a freshman in college. How was I going to go to keggers?

True Story:  That’s the way I remember it.

{February 19, 2010}   Pills & Alcohol

True Story:  You never know what life lessons will stay with you forever.

When I was a teenager I liked to have a good time. I’m not condoning it, just admitting it.  I think I turned out alright. I’m going to go with the big picture school of thought here, and say I am more than the sum of my parts.

Anywho, My best bud and I in high school would occasionally have hangovers. Now back then of course, they would be gone by mid morning. Nothing like the horrible beasts that attack your brain on Saturday mornings as an adult.

Well, her father was a doctor and we discovered where he kept sample meds at home. We figured out that if we took one of these, I think they were called Darvocets, on Saturday morning, we didn’t have a hangover any more.

A few months later we were down at the beach one weekend, riding in the car with my Aunt. Everyone was hungover, adults included. My Dad had married his 3rd wife the night before and we were piled in the car headed out for some grease. My friend and I mentioned to my aunt that we wish we had one of those “samples” to cure our hangover.

My Aunt:  I had a friend that took a pill and drank once…. Still drags a leg….

To this day, my friend and I are scared to take a Tylenol when we have a hangover.

{February 8, 2010}   Host with the Most

True Story:  You can catch ticks y’all.

When I was in the 10th grade we had this black lab. She had been hanging around our house for the last 5 years and I hadn’t paid her any attention. One day out of the blue I decide she is “My Dog”, and “My Dog” sleeps with me. I thought it was cool to have a dog that loved only me. Starved for love I was. Turned out ol’ Slick loved that her ticks jumped off of her and on to me.

I’m in class at school, a science class I think it was. We were taking a test and I was bent down over my test writing, zoned out on Ritalin probably. If you haven’ t guessed by now I have ADD and was one of the first kids of my time on speed.

 Anywho, I didn’t realize that the guy behind me had raised his hand and informed the teacher that I had something on my head. I mentioned before that I have really crappy, thin hair, right? Not too hard for him to see my scalp from that proximity.

I finally hear my name and jerk up.

Me:  Huh?

Guy behind me:  You have something on your head. I think it’s a tick.

The teacher calls me up to her desk. I been down for her.

Teacher:  Yep. It’s a tick. Go to the nurse’s office.

Can you say embarrassment? On my fast walk to the nurse’s office I think of ways to make all the kids discuss something other than my tick for the rest of the day, like maybe pull the fire alarm, or streak naked through the halls during class change. Anything would be better than them calling me tick all day.

I am determined to make Slick (an outside lake living dog) “My Dog”. So of course I let her sleep with me again that night.

Next day in the same class. This time I am slumped back in my desk, not listening, with my head back. The same guy who sits behind me raises his hand and interrupts the teacher’s lecture.

Teacher:  Yes?

Guy behind me:  Ashley has another tick.

This time I just get up and walk out of the room to the nurses office.

True Story:  I was called Tick 2, Tick Squared and the Host with the Most for some time. That bastard behind me is a doctor today, and I kicked that damn dog to the curb.

{February 4, 2010}   Senior Portrait

True Story:  I am not that photogenic.

My Mom hates my hair. She has tried and failed repeatedly my whole life to fix it. You can’t fix it. It is what it is. You can only try to find something nice to say about it.

She had it fixed up purdy for senior portrait day. My skin, like most teenagers, could be oily at times. I don’t love my smile, and try different ones out from time to time. Wait for it… I’m setting the scene here.

I take the picture.

A few weeks later I was at the lunch table in the cafeteria eating with my friends. For those of you that don’t remember this is where a lot of social suicide goes down… in the lunchroom.

This particular day these assholes had a table set up in the back handing out preview packages of your senior portraits. I walked over, very cooly, and gave them my name. They handed me a folder containing a photo of something resembling my face. I very quickly handed it back.

The lunch table:  Where’s your picture?

Me:  Uh, not sure. I think they forgot me.

After school that day…

Me:  Mom, we got to get new senior portrait pictures made.

Mom:   Why? I’m not paying for it. (you will see this sentence a lot from my mom). They take your picture at school for free.

Me.  Uh,uh. Trust me. I’ll pay you back.

We take outside photos. I don’t love them but they are better than the alternative. I turn them in to the teacher in charge of the yearbook. He hates me. Not sure why. I was smart, a smartass, and more than once my friend and I stumbled in after partaking in beverages we were not old enough to buy. (Don’t judge. We were all teenagers and smarter than adults). 

In my high school the yearbook isn’t available until the fall of the next school year. 

Skip to my freshmen year of college. My younger sister was a freshmen at our high school. I asked her to pick up my yearbook for me.

I get a phone call one day.

B:  I picked up your yearbook.

Me: Oh, yeah?

B:   The picture…

Me:   What picture?

B:  Your senior portrait.

My stomach drops.

B:  It looks like you have been severely burned and have down syndrome.

et cetera