My Life A Bit South of Normal

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Bless Her Heart

At one of the conferences I attended in the last year or two, I met a lady from New Jersey. We were with a group at dinner, in several meetings together, and then on a shuttle to the airport. We bonded when our flights were delayed due to weather for several hours. It is not a stretch to say that Bev and I have little in common and she saw me a source of amusement. If nothing else, she found my accent something akin to a foreign dialect. I was much too polite to tell her that the sound of her voice made my skin crawl.

But, other than those small issues, we hit it off and have kept in touch. 

However, during those hours of confinement in the airport, I spent most of the time explaining many misconceptions of life down here. "I've always wanted to go down south to visit." "Well, you should come down sometime." "I just can't imagine the heat and the humidity, and what it would do to my hair." "Well, that's how we keep the yankees out." After she realized I was kidding I added, "We do have air conditioning, you know."

"Are you married?" she asked. "Yes, and you?" "No. Divorced." "I'm sorry." "I'm not. He was a jerk." My mama didn't really teach me a good answer to that one. "Where did you meet your husband?" "At a family reunion, where else?" I said waiting for her reaction. She was speechless. (I could see the thought going through her head, 'My God it's true!') "Seriously, we were in school together. You knew I was kidding right?" 

Then I explained how I grew up in a small town and he grew up in a rural community and came from a generation of farmers. I joked about how he wanted to move back to the farm someday. 

"Well, you just hear things." "Like we eat road kill?" "Yeah", she said laughing. I laughed too and added, "Only if it is really fresh. And, never if it is a oppossum. But a fresh coon is a fine thing." With this, I may have lost her. After a minute or two, she asked, "You are kidding?" "Yes, I am kidding. We do not eat road kill." Then I added , "We use our own guns and kill them ourselves."

There I was, sitting in my Talbots sweater set, nicely pressed khaki pants, and tassel flats. She, on the other hand, was wearing a low cut top decorated with sequins, tight jeans, and heals. (As I have said before, good southern girls don't wear shiny clothes unless the occasion is formal.)  My headband was no match for her teased bleached big hair. I definitely felt out of my league. 

Finally, the weather delay was lifted and her flight was called. We exchanged email addresses. "Now send me your mailing address also", she said. "You know, the name of your place," she added. "Our town?" "No, your farm?" Then it dawned on me, "Honey, contrary to popular belief, we all don't live at Tara." 

But, bless her heart, I would rather live under the delusion that I was going back to the land of Scarlet than the world of the Situation and Snooki.

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