Who am I? (Hint: NOT Jean ValJean)

Let’s play two truths and a lie!

  1. I was the president of the FFA (Future Farmers of America for you non-rural types)
  2. I was a NJ State champion mime.
  3. I was born in the United States but I was NOT born in a state.

I’m going to let you think about that while I fill you in on who I am.

My name is Sarah. I erupted the same day as Mount Saint Helens volcano in 1980. If see my life on paper it reads like a fairytale. I am the oldest of three kids and #blessed to have parents who not only love us kids unconditionally but also still love each other. I grew up on an acre of land in Middle-Of-Nowhere, NJ, a town with a dairy farm, horse farm, and, at the time I lived there, about 1000 people. We had a police officer who retired in the early 2000s, some of my school friends were long distance phone calls and I remember when we got our first McDonalds in the town nearby. (RIP Dazodel)

We are Jew(ish) and we were one of the minorities in those parts. As an upper middle class, white girl I was the token Jew along with my friends Barbara and Eleanor. Ali moved here in fourth grade, Matt moved in during middle school then in high school Marty joined the club. (We went to the same synagogue but weren’t in school together until high school. BTW there were so few of us that our services were held at a local Methodist Church.)

While it was never a huge deal I remember during the holidays that Hanukkah was more of an afterthought and trees with lights weren’t CHRISTMAS trees but holiday trees. That was until the principal’s daughter converted to Judaism and all of a sudden those HOLIDAY trees disappeared…

I was half the child of your dreams. The half that had friends from many social groups, skated under the radar and had no idea high school parties were a thing outside of made for tv movies until I was a senior in high school. The other half of me didn’t study and didn’t get great grades but interviewed my way into college. What I actually learned from that experience is sometimes knowing how to BS is a more useful skill that studying.

I went to college to study theatre. Junior year I met Jared, a pre-med biology major, and we started dating. We moved in together after college, we got married when he was 23 and I was 24. I was a college admission counselor who got my masters in education. We moved to Manhattan and lived in a six floor walk up. We moved to Philadelphia for Jared to finish his pediatrics training. We had our daughter, moved to NJ and had a son. We also have two cats and a dog and live in a house with a white picket fence. I also make costumes for local drag queens and burlesque dancers which is what makes this story MY American Dream.

Now back to the little game we were playing:

I was the president of the FFA (Future Farmers of America for you non-rural types)
LIE
I may have had a cow escape into our yard from the local dairy farm but I was not even a member of the FFA.

I was a NJ State champion mime.
TRUTH
My friend Jenny and I were NJ State Champions in the pairs category two years in a row. One year we did a dramatic scene and I swear there was someone crying in the audience. And before you ask, WE WERE NOT THE ONLY ONES COMPETING.

I was born in the United States but I was NOT born in a state.
TRUTH
Not Guam. Not Puerto Rico. Not Hawaii (because it’s a STATE). Also not Canada because it’s a country and NOT THE UNITED STATES. I was born in Washington, DC. It’s a district and not a state.