The Big Reveal

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On the Half Continent: in Belize

I’m one day late posting this, but I thought that would heighten the drama. That’s a lie. I had a really busy day yesterday, and the only chance I would have had to write a blog post was in the car zooming to Boston to have dinner with MEH (My Engineer Husband) and our two kids for the first time since Christmas. That wasn’t going to happen. Dinner was wonderful. (Truth.)

Anyway, I’m ready for some big reveals: what’s true and what’s not from my last post but also some revelations from my life.

I grew up all over the world, and I’ve lived on every continent. LIE.

Did you guess this as the lie? Congratulations! Especially because this was kind of a trick statement. The first part is kind of true, but the second part is false. The truth is, I’ve only lived on 3-1/2 continents. What does that even mean? I was born in France (Europe = 1). I lived in the United States for about three-quarter of my childhood (North America = 2). I lived in Africa for about one-quarter of my childhood (Africa = 3). And I lived for a little over a year in Belize (Central America = 1/2). I consider myself a TCK—third culture kid, which means I grew up (some of the time) outside of my parents’ culture—which has created both wonderful and difficult times in my life.

My first kiss was with a boy named Martin, and I married a man with the last name Martin. TRUE.

When I was in sixth grade, my family lived in Kenya. I never felt like I fit in after that (part of the TKC thing), so when I was a freshman in high school and senior Martin Radley invited me to a dance, I was over the moon. He was my first date…a senior! My parents were out of the country, and my grandmother was staying with my brothers and me, and I like to think that if my parents had been home, they’d have forbidden me from going out with an eighteen year old guy. After the dance, Martin drove me home, and he parked his car across the street from my house, away from the streetlight (and my grandmother’s line of sight). I remember my back pressed against his dark blue sedan when he leaned down to kiss me.

I felt very cool going on a date with a senior, but when he kissed me I felt nothing. (True story.) Later, when my parents came home, my dad teased me—for many years—about dating “Boo” Radley. My apologies, Martin, for admitting (after all these years) that I really wasn’t enamored with you but especially for you finding out that my dad called you Boo.

When I was in college, I worked as a squid cleaner at a seafood restaurant. Also TRUE.

Seven years after the date with Martin, I met MEH. I was a squid cleaner and dishwasher at a restaurant near Seabright Beach in Santa Cruz, California, and MEH Martin worked at another restaurant with my boyfiend (yeah, I know it was a train wreck, but the truth is I met MEH through my boyfriend). Anyway, MEH came in to have lunch at the restaurant, and I decided he’d be perfect for one of my friends and offered to set them up (I was the original Tinder, let’s face it). He accepted. I was unreasonably annoyed that he was willing to go along, and I had to admit to myself I was smitten. The blind date never materialized—MEH was too shy to call my friend.

A few months later I went to work at the restaurant where my boyfriend and MEH worked. (They as cooks, me as a waitress.) One morning I invited MEH out to breakfast on the pretense of helping me pick out a present for my boyfriend (I told you: train wreck). After breakfast we went to the beach, and that’s where we fell in love. The ensuing days were not fun, and I ended up moving from Santa Cruz to Berkeley. MEH followed. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Were you right with your guess? Have you checked out Hallie’s reveals (she tagged me to play Two Truths and A Lie)? You should also check out my friend Jamie’s Two Truths and A Lie post about why she’s not blogging (I tagged Jamie in my last post).




  1. Hallie says:

    I love your squid cleaner story! I never knew how you met MEH and now I know! I just love this whole post so thank you for being a good sport and playing along. Now off to read Jamie’s and see if Kenya wrote hers. xoxo

  2. So fun getting this behind-the-scenes look, Julia.
    Squid cleaner does not sound like a fun job. 🙂

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it, Jackie; I have to admit, it’s a little weird writing about myself. But I’m glad to talk about my squid cleaning past any old day. You might be surprised to hear that it wasn’t that bad. The worst was the black ink (if I punctured the ink sac, which I did a LOT when I was first learning) and accidentally poking myself with the sharp knife I had to use. *ouch* 🙂

  3. Jamie says:

    Yay. You were a squid cleaner. But alas I thought your lie was the truth. I’m not much for details. If I’d thought about it, I’d known you most probably not lived in Antarctica. Loved the story about how you met your husband. And glad you had a great family evening. Xo

    • I wish I had lived in Antarctica! Sounds like fun. Glad you enjoyed reading about MEH and me — I love reminiscing about it. The evening was wonderful, and my son is home for another few days. It’s great. xox

  4. Yep I guessed correct! Cool. Now I want to know do people really live in Antartica?? Loved your truth details and had to laugh because I said Boo as soon as I saw “Radley”. That’s the only association I have with that last name. LOL! I enjoyed both your posts. Lets keep in touch and try to blog more often. I haven’t written my follow up yet.

    • What, really? About Boo? That’s hilarious. I’m so glad you enjoyed and commented, Kenya, and yes, let’s keep in touch!! I checked this morning for your follow up because I am curious. I’ll go follow your blog to make sure I see it. Thanks again for your visit!!

  5. I’m so glad you did this! I’ve missed you in my RSS reader (although, admittedly, I haven’t been nearly as frequent with that or with posting myself, either). I did guess right (in my head), but your near-truth was even more interesting. What an unusual childhood you had! And I do have to wonder how one cleans a squid…

    • You made my day, Annie; I was hoping that someone would say exactly that. Thank you. I think I did have an unusual childhood, but of course to me at the time (and even now) it seemed like the normal-est. And, I’ll tell you what, in our next Skype, I’ll tell you exactly how to clean a squid 😉


  1. […] that’s it. Thanks to Julia for tagging me and bravo to Kenya Johnson for playing along when I hit the ball in her court. Check out […]

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