“TMI”… If ever an award were MEANT for me…

Anyone with a teenager is probably familiar with the exclamation, “TMI!”–meaning Too Much Information! In the case of our teenager, that’s usually connected to anything related to–shall we say–life in the bedroom…  He’s aware we enjoy a…well…lively life, and by now he knows he shouldn’t ask a question unless he actually wants to hear the answer.  When he came home to find us in a fit of giggles and wondered why–well, it was because we’d just set all the neighborhood dogs to howling.  “Agh, TMI, TMI!” he howled–though I noticed he fist-bumped his dad on his way out of the room…

I’ve long been known for telling stories on myself–stories in which I’m the person to whom something embarrassing happens, or I’m the person who does something stupid.  One acquaintance (though she enjoyed the stories) took me to task for “telling on myself” when I could have kept my foibles and fumbles secret by just keeping my mouth shut.  “Why would you TELL people that shit?!”

Well, a few answers to that question. First–my lack of scruples on the score of maintaining-my-own-dignity gives me LOTS of stories to tell.  And I DO find them funny (and so did she). And hey, nobody else can get mad about me telling a story when I’M the butt of it.

And on a more serious note, I used to live a life full of lies and secrets. That didn’t work well for me.  The illusions everyone believed–that I had a “perfect” career and a “perfect” family and the whole white-picket-fence picture–were just that: illusions.  That was a life I was trying to drink my way out of.  I was literally trying to drink my way out of life.  Only the husband-at-the-time knew that things weren’t hunky-dory (or should have known, after two years in marriage counseling–although even he managed to be astonished that I had meant it when I finally told him I needed Out).  And because I’d allowed the lies and illusions to thrive, everyone around me was astonished and upset when I took the leap out of the white-picket-picture.

These days I just don’t have secrets.  All my “dirty laundry,” in fact, gets aired right here.  And while I confess to pausing occasionally and wondering if I’m spilling TMI (the fertility clinic story comes to mind), my response so far has been “oh, what the hell.”  Half-assed just isn’t my style–whatever I’m doing.  That hasn’t always been a good thing in my life, but it’s undeniably an accurate assessment of my M.O.

So whaddaya know? There’s a new blogging award in the blogosphere, and Miss Lizzie Cracked (not broken!) at Running Naked With Scissors has seen fit to bestow it on Kana’s Chronicles. Thank you, Liz!

The TMI Blog Award honors those blogs that discuss everything in detail and do it well.  

These bloggers aren’t afraid to discuss their most awkward, embarrassing, and intimate experiences with honesty, humor, and little to no filter.

Yup, that would be me. This award acceptance, naturally, comes with the requirement that the recipient tell an embarrassing story on herself.  Which leaves me with just the one dilemma–which embarrassing story to tell?

Well, let’s see… there was the time I gave an annual report to the Board of Directors of the state school for which I was the Curriculum Director, not realizing that the back of my skirt had been tucked into the top of my pantyhose since my last trip to the ladies’ room…  (Yet another reason NOT to wear pantyhose! I don’t own a single pair these days…)

with my mom & my daughter aboard “Sundance,” 2007. No, I’m not posting the picture of Mommy falling off the boat.

Or there was the time I was skippering in the San Juans, and had just taken the kids hiking on Stuart Island and returned to the anchored boat, and realized we’d tracked mud across the stern and leaned over to swab it up (I prefer my sailboat ship-shape, thank you) and fell in, headfirst and fully dressed… and the only thing my daughter (aged three at the time, with a piping little voice) would tell anyone about the week was that “MOMMY FELL OFF THE BOAT!” (Thanks, by the way, to my own mother–who wouldn’t let down the stern ladder until she had first found her camera!)

Or the cell phone I dropped in the toilet, and the kids found me with its innards spread across the bathroom counter making a desperate rescue attempt with a hair-dryer.  (My son still jabs me about the “Poo Phone,” which I continued to use for several more years.  “If the call won’t go through, just jiggle the handle!”)

Or the time I was sunbathing topless in the fenced backyard, and the guy from the power company showed up to check our meter…

ask me how long I was serving customers like this before my hubby ‘fessed up to his handprint…

Or the time I was dating a guy in one of my college biology labs who didn’t tell me he had an identical twin in our lecture section… (Comedy-of-errors until I realized there were two of him. Funny side-note: my roommate ended up marrying the twin…)

Or the time I didn’t realize my nursing-blouse had popped open and one of The Girls was saying hello to the gentleman with whom I was having an earnest conversation.

Or the time when my husband and I were running our Hawai’ian restaurant and he patted my ‘okole in the morning and didn’t tell me all day that he’d been covered in flour at the time…

Or maybe I’ll just break the rules (another M.O. of mine) and let all those teasers stand in for my one embarrassing story.  And with that, we’ll move on to the good stuff: passing along the TMI Award to some other fearless bloggers, whose embarrassing stories I look forward to reading:

Cheers, gang!  Write on–fearlessly!

About Kana Smith

I am... a writer, an explorer, a coffee-drinker, a recovering addict, a barefoot linguist, a book-dragon ("bookworm" doesn't cover it), a raconteur, a sailboat skipper, a research diver, a tattooed scholar, a pirate, a poet, a spiritual adventurer, a photographer, a few kinds-of-crazy, a joyful wife, a mom... a list-maker! :) View all posts by Kana Smith

38 responses to ““TMI”… If ever an award were MEANT for me…

  • Keoni da Kook

    My first thought was,”Why would anyone share an award about jaw pain?” And then I remembered that that was TMJ. Oh well, back to English Acronyms 101 for this Hawai’ian…


  • lizziecracked

    Super post – I KNOW I gave it to the right person! Rock on! :-)


  • Mickey Mills

    You strike me as one of those people that others are drawn to and just can’t help but tell you all kinds of things you don’t want to know.

    Thankfully my lawyer told me to keep that kind of stuff to myself and for cripes sake, never write it down.


    • Kana Tyler

      That’s actually a trait my mother has in spades. By the time she gets to the cashier in a grocery line, she’ll know the life story of the person next to her in line… People just TELL her things! She’s a story-magnet. And a story TELLER extraordinaire… But she is also a lawyer, and she never writes it down. ;)


  • Kathryn McCullough

    Oh, Kana, I love this. It’s the PERFECT award for me, as well! I’m honored. You are so right–if you are the butt of your own joke, who can get mad? I’m always telling stories on myself! Thanks, my friend!


  • Cerridwen

    Great post, Kana! For my part, I just wish more women had the courage to tell their true stories. Not only is it much more interesting than anything we can make up, but it helps us to stay authentic, grounded, and focused on who we are – the main goal, right? Brava, Dear Girl! :o)


  • Southern Sea Muse

    Gotta watch those meter dudes, sister! I mean watch FOR them. :D Reminds me of a conversation I had with my supervisors recently, when I told them I almost gave up humor for Lent because I usually wind up saying too much or being inappropriate. They told me,”No, it’s what keeps this place alive, don’t stop…you just say what the rest of us are thinking!” So then I go home and question, so why do others have the prudent discretion to plug their mouths, and I don’t? And I wind up like you, oh, what the hell? Somebody’s gotta speak up and say it! Keep it up, Kana!


  • Beth Parker

    Great post, Kana! Keep being you!


  • anny cook

    Wonderful post! Great award!


  • D.J. Lutz

    Like you, I do not like to “go half assed.” I just tell people I am more of a full ass.


  • granbee

    Congratulations, I say, amidst all my guffaws and belly-laughs! You are DO deserve this TMI award so very richly! I myself just tell on myself through the vehicle of my allegorical critterly characters! I am unfamiliar with any of your nominees, Thanks for the heads up!


  • CJ

    What glorious stories. In my opinion, there can never be too much ‘telling on oneself’. Thanks for doing so with such panache!


  • ntexas99

    That might be one of the things that drew me like a magnet to your blog … first it was the writing, or maybe it was the “just let it all hang out and so there” attitude, or that you showed the shimmering hints of someone who has been there, and done that, and lived to tell the tale. I’m a little bit awed by how you just put it out there, even though I’m doing the same thing in my blog (but only when it comes to telling the stories of my past) … maybe hanging around in your neck of the woods will help me “jump over the picket fence” myself, and adopt the same attitude in my every day life, as well as when recalling the stories of my past. In fact, the idea of that possibility makes me smile.

    Congrats on the (well deserved) award. :-)


    • Kana Tyler

      Welcome to life outside the picket fence! I think you’ll find it refreshing. :) And I’ll look forward to continuing to read YOUR adventures…


  • Ileandra Young

    Wahahaaaaa, lol, you have the absolute best stories! Its one of the things that drew me here and I hope you keep on telling them.

    As for me, thank you for passing on the award! ^_^ That’s certainly a post I’m going to look forward to writing very, very much!

    *happy dance*


  • idahograndy

    …of course, I could post that picture of you in the water. Tee hee.
    Hugs from the lady who finally put down the ladder.


    • Kana Tyler

      The thought DID occur to me! ;) (As well as the thought that you have JILLIONS of embarrassing stories to tell about me…) Maybe we should put you on a “guest spot” here! ;)
      Love you, my Ma!


  • SusanWritesPrecise

    Great post, and congratulations!


  • Annie

    Dear Kana, if you win 1st place for the TMI award and I’m definitely 2nd. I tend to ‘put it all out there’ and I found that it doesn’t necessarily win any popularity contests! However, that’s me and is not a whole lot I can change about it. I don’t want to be going through life scrutinizing every word that I say and hoping that it doesn’t offend somebody; because, truth be told, it’s going to offend someone.

    My husband always points out that if I didn’t take this, or I hadn’t phrased it that way, thing would be so different. But I don’t want to pussyfoot around the truth, I just want to make my voice heard. Some times I take a lot of heat for that, and unnecessarily so: BUT IF I CAN’T STAND THE HEAT, IT’S TIME TO GET OUT OF THE KITCHEN!

    By the way, I noticed that the boat that was in your picture the writing of Boulder, Colorado; are you living in Boulder? The sister of mine who uses the TMI phrase is from Denver. Though for some reason I thought you were from Idaho.


    • Kana Tyler

      I used to spend my summers in Boulder with my grandparents, but you’re right–I’m in Idaho. The pictured boat was a charter (in the San Juan Islands off the coast of Washington state) whose owners & registration were in Boulder, though the boat stays in the Pacific. :)


      • Annie

        San Juan Islands were the destination of a day trip during a family reunion at Fort Sheridan. My brother lives in Port Townsend/Irondale area. Funny thing is, we were on the ferry to SJ Islands when I ran into my best friend from Chicago ON THE FERRY!

        I’d become a bit tired of my family at this time, butting heads with them and that kind of thing, that my dear friend and I left the group, rented a car and took off towards the Pacific west coast,


  • barkinginthedark

    congrats…and THANK YOU for not giving me this award. have you checked your heel for toilet paper lately? continue…


  • John

    We all love your TMI’s!


  • Jennifer Vidal

    Congratulations! :)


  • Nerdy Woman

    Congrats on the TMI! I don’t know if I’ll ever get one, but my teenager insists I live to embarrass her. TY for following my blog. Gonna do the same to yours cuz I think you’re telling my story too… I won’t be ready for total revelation for another 6 months or so. :) TY Kana for a great read!


  • taraisarockstar

    Thanks for the inspiration…I commend you for your bravery–to open up about yourself and not care what anyone thinks. I hold back more than I want to but I’m working on getting to that point!


  • Let's CUT the Crap!

    That EXACTLY what I like about you, Kana. No holds barred. You’re pretty grounded and don’t take shit from anybody. My kind of person.


  • Sandy Sue

    Honesty is sort of required for me. It’s too easy to slip into delusion and half-truth. If I’m going to do this blogging thing, I’ve got to dig deep and put it on display.
    Sharing this trait with you (and your whip crack prose) is what makes you a friend in the ethers.


  • TMI; You Say That Like Its A Bad Thing! « Writing: A Conversation Without Interruptions

    […] read through her entry about the award, had my giggle and then sat down to have a little think. Really? I thought, […]


  • sparklebumps

    Can you ever really be truly embarrassed? After all, your awesomeness kinda covers up an embarrassment you might suffer….


  • Melissa Crandall

    Letting it all hang out has become my new mantra as I enter the second half of what I hope will be a long life. I, too, kept up the facade(s) for a long time (too long). No more. Spill those stories, ladies! We’re all in this together.


  • The Dying(?) Art of Knowing Your Neighbors « Kana's Chronicles

    […] wrote the other week about living inside the illusion of a “perfect” life complete with white picket fence… Well, this neighborhood doesn’t have any picket […]


  • fgassette

    WELCOME! Thank you for subscribing to follow my blog. I hope you are encouraged, inspired and like the photos I post. I hope to share post and comments with you in the future.



  • Annie

    Kana, That’s quite an homer; TMI award is given to those who ‘drop’ TMI and then backpedal well! If you have a penchant, an ability to do that and do it well, that’s QUITE an ability. I often fall flat on my face. Hubby walks right into divulging TMI and really doesn’t know his boundaries. Kudos to an award winner who not only can tell a good yarn, create a good one, and write well.. Such a joy to read your insights on life!


  • Synchronicity or Swim « Kana's Chronicles

    […] summer volunteer prospect. Our contact turns out to be a guy I dated in college. I mentioned (in my TMI-award post of embarrassing stories) the time I dated an identical twin who didn’t TELL me there were two […]


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