The other day I was having a conversation with a friend about pick up lines/conversation starters. In a dating world where most guys can’t do better than something along the lines of the cheesy “Is heaven missing an angel?,” it’s refreshing when you hear something original and unexpected.
This conversation got me thinking—do I have a go-to conversation starter? My first inclination was to say no, but then tonight I signed onto match (yes, I’m still on that thing–stories to come) and, after reading an e-mail from a nice man, realized that I do indeed have a go-to line of sorts: my beer drinking camels.
You see, I come from quite the eccentric family, and among our various claims to fame is the fact that we own beer drinking camels. Yes, our pet camel lives right smack in the middle of southwestern Oklahoma. While it’s not common for me to blurt this fact out upon meeting someone, I have found that it proves to be a great conversation starter whenever a great conversation starter is needed (whether it’s during a date, meeting new friends, or telling stories with old friends).
When I was filling out my match profile back in July, I absolutely could not bring myself to create the prototypical profile with things like, “Hi, I’m Erin. I’m a super genius. I have a body that’s comparable to a Victoria’s Secret’s model. I make oodles of money at my incredibly impressive job. When it comes to homemaking, I’m a perfect mix between Martha Stewart and Betty Crocker. In my free time, I like to build houses for the homeless while nursing orphaned baby birds back to health.” Because, you know, even though those statements are all completely accurate (haha), I don’t like to be a braggart.
Instead, I opted for a “10 Random Things About Erin” kind of profile in which I tell them 10 things that, while telling them nothing of great significance about me, allow them to get a glimpse into my personality. Of the 10 things, #3′s “I’ve got two beer drinking camels” gets the most responses by far. I knew that this would be a good thing to include, of course, because in my “real” life, anytime I bring up my camels, it always brings about a fairly good conversation. What I didn’t realize was just how much this statement would spark other match-ers curiosity. (Incidentally, my number #8 random fact involving the way I prefer my toilet paper roll to hang brings in the second highest number of comments, followed closely by my # 6 love of math.)
Just to provide a sampling of the kinds of comments my camels inspire, I’ve copied the camel part of the five most recent e-mails that I’ve received:
I must say I found your list of ten things rather intriguing. I couldn’t help but chuckle about your #8 (this is my toilet paper comment). That’s always been a pet peeve of mine, too! Your #3, of course, obviously begs for follow-up questions, so I guess my first ones are – how in the world did you come about having two camels, and how did you find out they like drinking beer??
Your profile was a very fun read. The 10 random facts was a refreshing read and provides more insight than the usual hollow information from most everybody. At the risk of sounding somewhat gullible, do you really have two camels? I figure the camels are a euphemism for large dogs or some such thing.
Say what? Camels? That’s a hell of a thing to only make #3 on your list. Definitely did a double take on that one. Can you ride them? I guess they have to be sober for that.
Can camels get beer bellies? Do they live with you?
Interesting 10 random things about me list, especially the 2 beer drinking camels.
This last line is the one that came from tonight’s e-mail. After reading these e-mails, and responding to many of them, I thought it might be time to introduce my camels to the blogosphere. It breaks my heart to tell you that Curly, our one-hump camel, recently died due to a broken leg and infection (turns out there’s not a lot of vets who specialize in camel infections). We now only have Clyde, our two-hump camel (he’s been with us the longest), but they’re both so dear to my heart. Even though Curly’s gone, I want to share pictures and introduce them both.
Without further ado, here’s Curly:
And here’s Clyde (you’ll have to excuse these pictures–they were taken more than 10 years ago!):
That’s my arm holding onto Clyde, by the way. I would have left the picture uncropped, but I was afraid I’d break the computer.
Anyway, those are my camels! They’re somewhat famous around these parts. In fact, they’ve been featured on E!’s show Wildest Weddings.
I’d tell you that story now, but a big pile of gen psych exams is calling my name, so I’m going to get to grading and save that story (as well as the details of my camels) for tomorrow’s post.
Happy 9th Day Before Christmas, Everyone!