9/30/10

If I'm Middle Aged, Do I Get to Live to 100?

One more month of 49 and then……(sigh) I’ll be 50.


I don’t know why I am stuck on this. It’s a landmark, a half century. I think I am bothered that I don’t have anything to show for it.


Let me share with you some things that may come in handy in your lifetime.

Don’t put food in the refrigerator with a metal eating or cooking utensil in it. I do not know why, my Mother said don’t do it, so I don’t do it.


Barbie’s full name is Barbara Millicent Rogers.


To say someone is “cussin’ up a blue streak”, means that they are spewing profanities so fast that they are putting a jet stream into the atmosphere.


If you should burn, cut yourself or have lice, use tea tree oil.


No other crayon besides Crayola has any serious value as a crayon. We Southerners calls ‘em “colors”.


If you hear a noise that sounds like gunshots, look at the clock and see what time it is. The police will need to know later. I once saw a tv crime show where the murdered person pulled the plug from the clock out of the wall right before they died, therefore establishing the time of death for the detectives. Well, when is the last time anyone used an electric analog clock? It’s asking a lot of a dying person to get the clock off the wall, pull the battery out, then expire. They should use that time to dial 911.


For gosh sakes, take care of your teeth, by gum. Dentures are not the dream answer you suppose them to be.


Dogs have owners, cats have staff. It’s true. Any cat lover will attest to this. Without shame.


Three things you never discuss with a mental patient: religion, politics or sex. Actually, that’s a good outline to follow with most people you meet.



Now, a few things I should like to see happen while I’m still rattling around.


Let gay people have their happiness. Legalize gay marriage. You’re lucky to find love, what’s the difference if it with one’s own gender? I’ve heard “It’s against the Bible!” The biggest rules are outlined and carved in stone. It’s called the Ten Commandments. People break those every day. Self avowed Christians take the Lord’s Name in vain, without the bat of an eye. Not all, but some. I do. I get angry, cuss a blue streak and “GD” pops out. I always whisper, “sorry, God,” in case he heard. If we can break those commandments willy nilly on a daily basis, why are we holding so tightly onto that one ideal? I left the church I was baptized in due to their constant badgering of gays, (among other overwhelming theologies). I really miss the music; it is Southern Gospel at its finest. N E WAY…..I think you should have the right to marry who you love, and you have no control who you fall in love with. This often leads to the breaking of commandment #7. Nobody’s perfect, we are all sinners, and we are forgiven. Everyone.


Bring the troops home. It’s been almost ten years. Let’s pick up our toys and go home. Too many young Americans dying.


Legalize Marijuana. Criminalize bullying. Eradicate intolerance. Abolish racism. Stop cancer.


Bring Shoney’s back to the Desoto County area. Slow down with the technological advances, we have enough gadgetry. If you loved the movie, the book is worth reading. Be excellent to one another. And…..Party On Dudes.


9/20/10

Ann and Dot PI

video

And, Speaking of Sneaky

I honed by deductive reasoning skills at an early age, just by being a little shadow in the lives of Dot and Evil Ann.

Dot and Evil Ann’s hubbies, Hardy and Jeff, were truck drivers. They were partners on long hauls between Lafayette La, and California. I have no idea what Californians would need from Louisiana, but they brought back fresh flowers, fruit, and candy shipments. They worked for the Durell Franks trucking firm, and I have never been able to find a track of this company ever existing, even when I moved back there in 1974. They were on the road five days and home three. That’s some hard driving back in them days, California and back to Louisiana in 5 days. One slept while the other drove.

So, that is how the Terrible Twosome met. They were road widows five days at a stretch. Just a couple of housewives, both aged 27. Dot had me, and Evil Ann had three boys, but they were not in the picture at this point, and that is a story for another time. So here are two young women, in the mid 60’s, with a five year old that was quiet and compliant. 3 channels on TV. A rotary dial phone and phone numbers that began with letters. That was as far as their gadgets went in those days.

When they first got together, they sat up late into the night, EA drinking coffee and Dot and I drinking Coca-Cola (We are life long Coke people!) EA and Jeff moved a lot, but always managed to live in “duplex” apartments, that were really just a few rooms converted into a one bedroom living space for singles, or young married, in grand homes with spacious porches and weathered rocking chairs. EA’s hobby was those oil paint by number kits, scenes of Japan. She had lived in Japan in her other life, and she had a budda she had gotten there, that always rode on the front seat next to her during her many moves. I am sure this is where my love for fat budda statues comes from. In one of these homes, the kitchen had a long counter between the kitchenette and little dining nook. We would all three sit at that counter on stools, Dot and I on one side, EA on the other. They chain smoked Viceroys and told each other their life stories, while KXKW radio crooned out country western music in the back ground. I will always associate Patsy Cline’s standards, the smell of lighter fluid, (EA cleaned her paint brushes with it) and green stamp catalogs with this room, and that time. EA would work on her painting, I would pour over the stamp catalog, and they would talk.

Dot and Hardy and I lived in a little one bedroom apartment, in the back of an office of some sort, it was somewhere around Simcoe or maybe Surrey, in Lafayette, that is all I can remember. The owners of the business had lived there, starting out, then built a big home next door and rented their old living quarters out. You had to be quiet in the day time, so as not to disturb the “office”. I remember there was a huge yard to the side where there were a couple of rental trailers.

Dot and EA made buddies with the young couples in the trailers, so I had kids to play with finally. It seems one of the trailer’s residents sister came to stay with them to escape an abusive relationship. She was very mod, (that’s a 60’s word, for my younger readers) and the owners son fell head over heals in love with her. She wanted nothing to do with men, she had had quite enough of them for awhile. He was the obsessive type.

Now, there’s the back story, here’s the scene: It’s late one evening, the big double windows in my mother’s bedroom are open and we are sitting there in the dark, watching the owners’ son circle the trailer where the mod girl is home alone, trying to peek into the windows. We knew it was Macky, as he was a large boy and kind of lumbered. It was frightening and a little exciting too. It’s like Rear Window. I’m Thelma Ritter. (That’s a movie, younger readers, watch it, it’s very good) After that, when we were in that room at night and situations necessitated the light being on, it was a lamp, right in front of the windows, the shade down. That way anyone watching cannot tell what is going on by watching shadows. Then you take care of your business quickly, outen the light and raise the shade, cos it is Louisiana and it is summer, and only ritzy people had air in 1966. EA and Dot pieced the whole story together, Mod Girl had complained of scary noises at night. EA and Dot were on a stake out, and they did not call the cops on the perp. They did worse, they told his mother.

9/6/10

I'll take Olivia Walton for $200, Alex

Suppose you could pick your parents.



Let’s pretend, for a minute, that reincarnation is the one truth. You’ve gone though life 1. You learned a few things. This time you get to put an order in for parents. Once you are sent back into a womb, you lose all memory of that choice and you live the hand you are dealt.


So, who would you pick? Would you want parents as close to the parents you had to begin with, or did you opt for total opposites on the menu of characteristics you filled out before the trip back to a womb.


Previously in the blog I have shared some Mommie Dearest type memories of Dot, but I am feeling thankful by comparison these days, so I wanted to share a pleasant memory. I am wracking my brain and cannot some up with anything specific, but I think I’m being a little guarded. So many pleasant things intermingle with wincing memories. But, she did have wonderful qualities, it’s just that, oh well, this only my opinion, but she was a beautiful young woman, but was rather plain as she neared 30 and I think she was always bitter about that.



Dot was beautiful, but she was also a rebel. Not rebellious in a functional ways, but with an “I’ll do what I damn well please” outlook on life. She would not be told what to do, by gum. She was backed up by an adoring Paternal Grandmother, an indifferent mother and “Daddy”.
Her Dad died before I was born, but I heard about him all my life. It’s funny that the older she got, the more “Daddy” came up. She always said she was scared of him, but I also think she really loved him, and wanted his approval. About this, I am of course, I am speculating as I have no paternal memories, whatever. Step paternal, Uncle like a Father, had those, but no contact with Vi’s dad, as discussed in an earlier blog.

Dot quoted him daily. He had been a cook in two branches of Service and he was the highest authority on all things culinary my entire life until 2001. He was serious, forbidding and judgmental. He was an alcoholic though, and that was also an oft discussed visualization Dot passed down to me. In his defense I want to add that no one else I have ever heard of had ever seen him the way she did. Except for the alcoholic part, sadly, everyone agrees about that.

With her father, and if you ask me, her conscious gone, Dot went a little wild. She was young, beautiful and in Memphis Tennessee in 1957, a career girl from Attalla County Mississippi employed as a long distance operator for Southern Bell. Her Aunt Meriwether lived in Memphis, and of course, fresh off the farm, Dot went there and found herself attracted to her aunt’s newly begotten step-son. Despite being “cousins” and the scandalous fact that Kenny was newly divorced, they became an item. Kenny asked Dot to marry him, and she hadn’t given a reply.
She mentioned it off handedly to Aunt Meriwether , the next morning at breakfast.

“Oh, no you’re not,” Aunt Meriwether scolded. “You’ll ruin your life.”

And, because she was told not to, she did, every step of the way knowing she did not love this man and that the marriage was doomed for failure.


I guess I had a Bohemian upbringing at the hands of Dot. I guess that I have somewhat raised my kids that way too. I like the kitschy, I don’t really do “sets”, it’s more, pieces I like for one reason or another. Dot loved “sets” though, they were very important to her. Back to the Bohemian……I spent my teen years in Lafayette La, and my mother liked to hit the bars, that was her thing. My mother taught me how to drink. She taught me to appreciate a good looking butt on a man. She taught me how to be self sufficient and support myself as a single woman. One trait she and I share is that we have two failed marriages. She died before I had been single barely 6 months from marriage 2. She didn’t see me buy a house and wrangle a fast paced life. I think she would be proud, but I also know she’d be critical. Heck, the way she haunts us, I guess she knows all about it.

I think I’d like to come back pretty much into the same situation I was raised in. I really had two mothers, sisters. Isn’t it funny how you know so much about your mother’s sister (in my case) and absolutely nothing about your father’s family except what you were told by your mom. My father had a brother who was a famous crime fighter in Memphis. I heard about him on the news and read about him in the paper, but never got to meet him.

Which brings me to Dads, I’d get to pick that too, on my next life value meal menu. I know I’d pick my UncaHoney , with all his horns filed down. The man he was before he broke his back. I moved away to Louisiana soon after that happened and I really did not see him again until ’86 and this was not the same man. So, I’d like to take UncaHoney ages 23-37, and mix in Indiana Jones, only because I want a dad as bohemian as mom. UncaHoney could out McGuyver McGyver.
James Garner and Doris Day should play them in the movie. Well, if the movie was made in 1960s, we could use them, but I guess Harrison Ford and Meryl Streep. But no, that’s only cool for a 80s movie. How about…..Johnny Depp and Lois Griffin?