Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Sage Instructions for the Southern Soul

Living alone has its perks. Perhaps Mama's quick reply,"Oh, sweet heart, I would never want to live with anyone again," when I suggested she should find some dapper gentleman to keep her company were smarter than I originally thought. I often feared she was lonely. But, as always, Mama proffered wise advice.

Now, don't get me wrong, my Mama was always one to offer sage instructions for the southern soul. As a child and young lady, I often had to interpret her instructions, words, and warnings making sure they were truly lessons from her heart passing on maternal experience and not lines quoted from Gone With the Wind (which often times they could be). In her mind chivalry was never dead, women should always be smarter than men, know they are, but never ever let the men know. Always wear a slip, never show up as an invited guest without a bread and butter gift, and don't let twenty four hours pass without writing a proper note.

Given her condition when she started waxing etiquette, often this would go in one ear and out the other, like the sound of Charlie Brown's teacher - wanh, wanh, wanh, wanh wanh, since it was the same over and over. Every once in a while some gem would catch my attention. One I will never forget was her comment, "Now when you find a nice looking young man from a good family, you know, like 'our kind of people'. who is in the medical profession, that's when you say to yourself -  'Now he can put his shoes under my bed any time he wants to." You just never knew. But I digress.

Back to living alone. Balancing a split life - the one in Charleston, by myself with my new job that I really enjoy, working with folks I admire, living a simple life with my two pups and then the rest of my world back in Orangeburg where my DH still lives in our house with all our "worldly" goods. 

Let's recap here:

My place:

  • Usually very clean, uncluttered
  • Decorated as I want and I can rearrange the furniture on a whim
  • The bed made up each morning so I return home to a neat bedroom each evening
  • Kitchen counter tops that still have plenty of open real estate 
  • A kitchen table that is free and clear
  • Dinner is ready when I want to eat, no one complains about the food, and if I want cheese and crackers for dinner there is no comment
  • I can see the Ravenel Bridge from my corner
  • King Street is two blocks away
Home:
  • Furniture where it was when we moved in 20 something years ago, easy to replace when vacuuming - find the dents in the rug
  • Kitchen table- rumor has it that the top is solid granite, wouldn't know since one cannot see it
  • Counter tops that are utilized to the max (ie covered)
  • Commode seat - in up position
  • I can no longer walk in my home office since it has become the overflow for anything that does not have any other place to fall on the floor
  • The room formerly known as my dining room is still that 
  • And there is still a seedling growing out of the middle step of the front stoop
Yep, Mama spoke wise words. Two households may not be as "stressful" as many of my friends feared. In fact, two households could strengthen this marriage. 

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