Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Keep Your Peace

You heard it in Bambi, "If you can't say something nice, don't say nothing at all." Well in most cases, that advice would work. But one thing I've learned is that Southern women are very opinionated. Good, bad or ugly, that's just the way it is.

I'm learning that one must choose her battles carefully. It doesn't do anyone a bit of good if you just go flying off the handle at every little thing that irks you. Let's be honest with ourselves: opinions are like belly buttons (bet you thought I was going to say something else). Everybody has one and none of them are the same. But let's just all take a moment to "unbunch" our big girl panties and realize that not every difference in opinion is worth the fight. Sometimes the best response really is no response at all. I don't really mean "turn the other cheek." It's more like "walk away before somebody has the chance to slap you in the first place." The last thing we need in this life is another enemy. Besides, if you have friends like mine you don't need enemies!

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Little More Shade Please...

My idea of a vacation differs from my father's. He likes to drag an armful of beach chairs, towels, umbrellas and lord-knows-what-else down to the beach every morning and set up his little "beach fort."

I consider myself to be much more sensible when it comes to my seat in the sand. I'd rather pay the little umbrella boy 80 bucks for the week and have my lounger and shade ready and waiting for me when I finally roll out of bed and onto the beach. Typically the umbrella boy is just that: a high school kid with a great tan and board shorts making money to take his little girlfriend out on dates during the summer. Note to self: when vacationing after school starts, be aware that "umbrella boys" are back in a classroom.

Our first day on the beach went something like this...

Birdie and I find ourselves a nice set of blue-cushioned chairs that hadn't been claimed and proceeded to lay out beach towels and reapply the SPF. Visa (Diane, we'll explain this name at a later date) and Poppa Earl take off down the beach for their daily trek. Grumps builds his "beach fort." My mom supervises (she's good at this).

A short time later, we hear from behind us, "Hey sweetheart. Need an umbrella?" Why yes, yes we do! How thoughtful of you! I turn around to see standing behind us a man much too old to be umbrella boy. This is the best way I know to describe the man that would be adjusting our shade preferences all week at Orange Beach's Summer House.

I'm assuming most of my friends have seen the movie Point Break with Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze...I'm not saying it's a good movie, just that you've probably seen it. Picture Swayze in this movie. Okay now add about 40 pounds to the midsection. Adorn him with a few (what appeared to be) jailhouse tattoos and remove his teeth. Yes, I said it. Remove his teeth. He began every sentence with either 'sweetheart' or 'darling' and never directly addressed any of the men in our group at any point during the course of the week. And he carried a power drill, which he used to pre-drill the holes for the umbrellas. (I personally find it much more amusing to watch them struggle with them the old fashioned way.) During our stay we learned much about "Snag Swayze," as he we affectionately referred to him. Not only was he solely responsible for an entire mile of beach chairs, he was also the father of five, and he wasn't about to give up his steady paying career for one of those rip-off $28 an hour BP jobs! On our last full day there, we were very disappointed to see that Thursday was obviously Snag's day off and he'd been replaced by what may have been his oldest son. I'm sure he would've been there if he could to tell us (or the women at least), "See you next summer, sweetheart!"

It takes all kinds, right?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Don't Worry Folks. He Made a Full Recovery!

I'll never forget the look on my daddy's face when I told my parents I was pregnant with Birdie.

As my mother jumped around doing what can only be described as some psychotic troll dance complete with giddy squeals, my poor daddy just stood there. His eyes glazed over...he had just realized that some guy (my husband of three years) had knocked up his baby girl.

It was early October 2008 and I wasn't really ready to spill the beans, but the fact that I could no longer hold down Sprite and Saltines was making it more than a little difficult to hide. Not to mention the fact that it was homecoming Sunday at church (all you good little Methodists and Baptists know that means potluck lunch) and all I could manage to put on my plate was a yeast roll.

He stood there silent for a few seconds, staring into space, no doubt thinking of ways to murder my husband for doing this to his only daughter. I made the mistake of asking him, "Daddy, are you okay?" To which he replied, "I feel like somebody hit me in the head with a big rock." Don't southern men have a way with words?

When I see "Grumps" with my little girl, I can only imagine how excited he must have been when I came into this world. In his eyes, Birdie hung the moon and stars and can do absolutely no wrong. Looking back now, I'm sure he'd change his answer to something slightly more eloquent!