Thursday, April 14, 2011

Us and Them

My Mama likes to think she has an "open mind" and is not confined by the past. (I hate to tell her but it doesn't matter how far she ventures, she'll never dig herself out of the deep south and her youthful days in Marlboro county.) I will say she is very tolerant of race and religion and she is very well read. However, there is one thing I don't think she and her friends will ever be able to embrace, and that is NASCAR watching, beer drinking, cussing, floozy dressing red neck women. In fact they would rather not acknowledge their existence.

My mother refers to them as "girls who are not from good families." (They are from 'Broken Homes' and are products of alcoholics, divorces, and such in the family.) When I was growing up, I always thought they came from families who had more fun. Maybe that was why I found Bell Watling so interesting in GWTW, all she was missing was NASCAR. And I can assure you that was a matter of timing. Personally, I never saw anything wrong with them and neither did my Dad. Mother had her own agenda. I was going to have a proper upbringing. (And, I guess I did despite my family issues with alcoholism and divorce.) But I digress.

Mama always had the "us and them" outlook. Dad had the "us and them" outlook, also. But the way he looked at it, if "them" were having more fun, then "us" needed to go join "them". Mother was convinced it was a slippery slope to a ruined reputation, a life in a trailer park, and a guarantee that I would drop out of school. I knew none of that was going to occur because as much fun as my Dad was, he had certain expectations of me and I was not going to let him down. Mama on the other hand was more concerned that I was invited to the right parties, dated the right young men (from "good" families like ours), and socialized with the right friends. She always assumed (1) I would get these "right" invitations because these "good" people liked me, and (2) if that happened, of course that would be what I would want to do.

I learned early on just to throw the name of a Dr's son or daughter in the list of people I was going out with. Or, mention one of the larger homes in the Country Club where we were going to hang out. In her mind, any socialization with the medical profession was upward mobility and nothing nefarious ever happened at an estate.

I think her world was shattered my junior year in high school when one of the nice girls from a "good family" like us, who lived in a large house in the Country Club (unlike us) had to suddenly leave school for a year and move out of town. I'm not sure what was worst - the reality of the issue (that was spoke about only in whispers) or trying to discuss it with me.

Of course I knew the scoop from the get go, but made it as unbearable as I could for her. To this day, anytime she tries to sully the reputation of a good ol' red neck woman, I remind her it wasn't a NASCAR watching, beer drinking, cussing, floozy dressing red neck young lady, who did not come from a "good family" who had to leave school that year.


Anonymous said...

I really can't stand when it is one of our own putting down our culture in one form or another. I am sure your mother would have never approved of this either. Thumbs down!

AC said...

I cannot control my mother's opinion. I only know that I like people for who they are not what they are (or what they are trying to be). I am not putting down anyone.