My mother’s family lives in a small Mississippi town with a population of approximately 2100 people.
This small town housed me during the summer. It found me catching fireflies (or lightening bugs as we called them) and playing freeze tag until darkness caught me. As I got older and friends went away, the little town did not hold the same appeal and mannerisms about my family and the town’s inhabitants became more striking – especially returning in later years as a married woman.
So, I honestly do not know how to define myself in this category but I hold one truth and it is strong – I am NOT catering to a man! It has always grated my nerves, holiday after holiday when we allowed the “menfolk” to come in the kitchen and get served first. I mean, the men folk did little more nowadays than watched television while myself and my aunts dredged up at 6 am to put turkeys and hams in the ovens and slaved all day so people could eat. I mean is this the olden days when women are keeping house – chile please. I work EXTRA hard and if I want the big piece of chicken and first crack at the chicken I’m dang sure going to get it!
Another pet peeve of mine, was that every one of my highly intelligent aunts and cousins (all medical professionals) seem to be “settling” for men because “it’s slim pickings.” What does this look like you ask? It looks like staying in a relationship with a man with 7 kids, one of which being a 6 year old child which you’re told you have no rights to raise – and frankly you don’t want to raise. But, when asked why not cut the relationship loose and see what else is out there you go – “the pickings are slim in these parts.” Or there are the little questions when I say I’m on work travel – “you ought to be happy your husband LET’S you do that.” See, I don’t even have a polite comeback for that!
The Time Warp
My final straw came at the hands of a shopping excursion. While out gathering supplies for the night before Thanksgiving dinner (we like to eat!), I spotted a scene straight out of “The Help.” There is a young Caucasian woman in the store, ordering an African American lady around – speaking of items she needs in the cart for dinner. Yes America, she has a black servant lady preparing her holiday dinner. And that was it for me!
So, I don’t know about your holidays but I can truly say: each time I go home, I find more and more items for my potential memoir.
How is your writing going?