Monday, March 5, 2018

Just Carry On

Suddenly Dixie was irritable. How could the plans she had been making for so long for this wedding, suddenly be falling apart? What was more important that a perfect venue? This only reminded her that their 200 year old Georgian home was no longer good enough.

It had always been in Harrell's family. The home was in excellent shape. Dixie had insisted that they needed to redo their kitchen and bath just 2 years ago. Harrell relented, realizing it had not been updated since the 70's. But this still did not satisfy Dixie. It was seen as truest example of 19th century Georgian architecture in Alabama and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Even though it sat on 2 acres in town on the Boulevard, where the old, well heeled families lived. Still it was not setup to host a wedding such what Dixie had planned.

After pondering all her options, Dixie called Bunny. Ivy Lane was one of the most lovely places around. That fabulous green lawn that sloped to the river with ancient moss laden oaks scattered about would make a fantastic wedding venue. 'Yes', she thought. 'Bunny Vontese would certainly let her use it for Kathleen's wedding.'

After some idle chitchat, Dixie got down to the brass tacks and asked Bunny about using it on the 3rd Saturday in May. Knowing that Kathleen wanted her reception to be a secret, Bunny said, "Oh, Dixie, I would be more than happy for you to use it. However, someone is already using it that day."

"Really?" Dixie was surprised. "I didn't realize it was available to anyone for a venue, I was just asking as a friend."

"Well, it really isn't, but this was a special situation and I was thrilled to offer it."

Dixie was very curious to know who was using Ivy Lane and for what occasion. She suddenly tried to find out without asking directly. If Bunny wanted her to know, she certainly wasn't telling. Dixie thanked her anyway and rang off. Who was having another event the day of Kathleen's wedding? She was pretty sure she knew that there was no competition for that Saturday. Well, none except Mr. Pace's grandson's wedding. And that had nothing to do with Gallagher.

Across the street, Aunt Cordelia decided that it was time to get the family together. As unpleasant Harrison's girls could be, they were still family. Good or bad, family was most important. She called Belva first. Belva was surprised to hear from her aunt. "Good morning, how are you doing? I haven't heard from you in a long while?"

"Aunt Cordelia, you sound great."

"I am doing well. My question is, how are you?"

"Just fine, just fine. I'm so sorry I haven't been to Gallagher to visit you. Things are just nuts over here."

"Really? Well, I can understand." Cordelia paused, "Belva, are things really fine?"

"Of course? What could be wrong?"

"Well, there was that unfortunate run in with the law Culler had. I know you were mortified when it hit the papers."

Belva tried to make light of the issue. "Oh, well that ended up being a misunderstanding and it was dismissed by the judge." Belva laughed nervously.

"Dismissed by the judge or was he lucky enough to just get probation thanks to excellent legal representation?"

"Well, yes. But, that's really the same thing. He wasn't guilty."

"Ah yes, a minor technicality. Anyway, that is not why I am calling. I am very happy that the situation worked out for Culler." Pivoting, much to Belva's relief, Cordelia continued,"I am calling to invite you over for supper tomorrow night."

Belva seemed to stammer, "Well, I'll have to check with . . ."

"Of course Wells and Culler are also invited. This is a family supper. I haven't seen them in so long."

"I know Wells can come, but I'm not sure about Culler."

"Belva, my dear," Cordelia said in an understanding voice, "I'm well aware that you and Culler are no longer together. Unfortunately, those things happen."

"Oh, Aunt Cordelia, I was going to tell you. It has just been horrible."

"I can understand." She paused."Is there anything else you need to tell me." Belva was quiet. "Honey, I've known for a while about Culler's sexuality. Even before the nightclub incident. And, be honest it was no surprise to you. I also knew about your unfortunate separation." 

There was no response.

"Belva dear, keep in mind, you had nothing to do with his choice. Other than hurting you and Wells, there in nothing wrong or illegal about his sexual preference. I honestly believe that is in someones nature. Anyone who holds that against you, makes fun, or gossips about it only shows ignorance on their part. In my opinion, folks who act like that are no one you want as friends. Look at the positive side - you know he did not leave you for the love of another woman."

Belva could not help but smile. That was Aunt Cordelia, always able to find something positive in a bad situation. "Oh, Aunt Cordelia," Belva then started crying, "it has been horrible. You can only imagine what my friends have said - the talk around town. The legal mess did not cause a stir, but his, his desire to dress like a woman was just unfathomable. I am seriously considering sending Wells to boarding school to escape the talk."

"Belva, it will all be OK. Your father would tell you to hold your head high and carry on."

In a whimpering voice, Belva said, "I guess so."

"Oh, I know so. So, I'll see you and Wells at dinner tomorrow night."

"Yes mam." Belva paused. "Aunt Cordelia, thank you. I love you."

"I love you too dear, see you tomorrow night." They rang off.

Cordelia's call to Liza was uneventful and also not nearly as cordial. 'Well, at least one of them is acting decent now. There is hope. But good God it took a run in with the law, a transgender revelation, and divorce.' Thought Cordelia as she rang off with Liza.

No comments: