>Home Grown Ta-ma-dahs

18 Jun

>I’m reading this book, Long Time Leaving: Dispatches from Up South, by Roy Blount, Jr. (I’m also reading Summer of Deliverance by Christopher Dickey, James’ son — so, yes, I’m southern and I’m into southern writers. Shoot me. I can’t help it if I like to read things people write about eating grits when they actually know what grits are. And not just the “oh yea, I tried those with shrimp once.” The real kind. Yellow stone ground with butter and greasy eggs and bacon. NOT that instant sh**.) Anyway, I just read this part: “…after all, I am someone who is from the South and probably still has a lot of red state in him. As back home I am someone who went off up North and turned blue…” That’s my same conundrum. Except I moved west and live in a big ole red state. I just happen to have picked the little blue speck in the mid-north just east of the Rockies. Boulder. But it confuses people. The state is clearly red on most maps. Or at least was. So what is someone who only feels comfortable making sweeping generalizations about politics to do? Back home I am the ‘freak’ who votes democrat and recycles. Here I am the ‘freak’ who obviously grew up in overalls and married my cousin. It was nice to read that my new good friend, Roy, understands this concept completely. And eats grits. The real kind.

I go weeks without anyone saying anything. Then suddenly every second person or so will say, “Where are you from?” It’s weird. I’ve lived away for almost 13 years, so who knows why this accent thing is cyclical. All I know is that when I go back for a visit, all I hear is, “Wow. You’ve really lost your accent.” With the irony being that when I return, all I hear is, “Wow. You really have an accent.” The thing is, I really don’t care either way. I’m from the South. I probably should have an accent. It’s just annoying that every other person or so that I encounter in either place feels it highly necessary to comment on their perception of its state of progression. And the truth is that it really is much more evident after a bottle of red wine. Or when I’m getting a tattoo. Both activities which are not generally considered Southern. I should try drinking mint juleps and shootin’ some stuff to see what that does to my accent. I wonder if it would make me talk Northern.

Speaking of. How does living in Colorado make you have a Northern accent? That’s weird too.

This is all heavy on the mind as we plan our semi-annual trip east. Beanie’s inaugural visit. We hope she’ll learn to say, “Blay-us” when someone sneezes. Just like Miss 6 did.

So one more thing before I move on. One time the hubby’s highly educated grandfather was with us in Murrells Inlet, SC during a confederate flag rally in Myrtle Beach. We were fairly annoyed by the effort to keep it flying. Didn’t really buy into that whole ‘heritage, not hate’ thing. (Now you are beginning to see why we needed to flee. We could have been in mortal danger. ☺) Well, grand-dad was shocked. Being from up north, he had roundly assumed that everyone in the state and surrounds were like-minded on the issue. “Well, I thought you two were dyed-in-the-wool rednecks!” I think we visibly winced before we laughed it off. We loved and respected him greatly. So it hurt a bit. But it was said in complete innocence. He truly thought redneck and Southerner were interchangeable terms. Ouch.

We are strangers in a strange land. No matter where we are. Want to throw us a pity party? We’ll drink PBR and yell, “Whee-dawg-ay!” Or maybe we’ll sip bourdeaux and ruminate a lot. It just depends where the party is and what kind of mood we’re in.

I also need to watch what I say now. Mima just got internet access and she just may whoop my a** if she thinks I’m ‘puttin’ off on the South.’ And she’ll do it to.

Well, I staved off the summer camp crisis for one more week for a mere $210. That’s the really excruciating part of self-employment. Just when you are most busy and need the most paid childcare, you haven’t seen a check from a client in months. Oh joy.

The good news is that I found some pants that zip. Tragedy narrowly averted. So I guess it all comes out even in the end. But I would have preferred to have a hot new pair of pants for that $200. Or those really cute leopard with red trim flats I saw today at Chelsea. Or, say, groceries this week. I guess the trade off is that in two+ months I’ll have some of these invoices paid and Miss 6 will have had a fulfilling summer — and I’ll finally have some dough to buy clothes that fit post-Beanie…with no where to go to wear them. And so it goes…

Today is winding down on the back deck. Father’s Day 2007. I tried to call my step-dad, but he never answers and never calls back. My brown-noser brother got around that and flew in, surprising him by pulling up on a Harley around noon. (The card we sent should get there mid-week. ☺) Meanwhile, the hubby got to sleep in, eat breakfast at the St. Julien and have an 80-minute massage. We picnicked at the park by the creek, watched the insane tubers take the class 3+ rapids and went for a long walk. Then came home and took an even longer nap. My love affair with my city is renewed. I love it here. Even if I am made fun of regularly.

And I can’t wait to go back to where I came from for a comforting dip in the balmy southernese — in spite of the “you turned yankee!” parts. ‘Cause no one ever really leaves the South. They just go elsewhere for a spell.

SCREW THE THEME SONG: I’m goin’ to bed…☺


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