Thursday, July 8, 2010

I Don't Eat Vegetables

I was pretty much born and raised in the country. From early on, my diet consisted of fried chicken, fried fat back, sweet tea, Pepsi, and scrambled eggs. We had home made biscuits made with lard and dipped in molasses for breakfast. Lunch came from a fried bologna sand which lathered in mayonnaise. Dinner saw us chowing down on fried pork chops, fried corn bread, and collard greens cooked with.....ham hocks.

By the way, heart disease runs in my family.

I loved to pull my chair up to the table, along with the rest of the family. The eggs would disappear before the steam cleared out. The pork chops were gobbled up before the pig even quit squealing. This was down home eating at its finest. I ate everything that my Granny put in front of me. Everything except the collards or any other vegetable. I just don't eat vegetables at all. I know. It is very 4 year oldish of me.

And it's not like I have tried various kinds of vegetables and found them not to be of my liking. No. I simply look at whatever earthly concoction that's brewing and turn my nose up at it. I refuse to eat anything that comes from the ground.

Let me tell you why.

I was about 5 or 6 when I first lived with my dad in Virginia. My parents had not long divorced and my dad was in the Navy. My sister and I lived with him in VA Beach. During the day, while my dad worked, we went to a babysitter. I do not remember her name. Well, sometimes we had to stay late at her house. This late night schedule resulted in dinner with the babysitter and her family. She used to cook stuff that none of us kids would eat. Eggplant.....soup that tasted like cardboard.....squid. Where were my pork chops? Where were the biscuits and the Pepsi? She would give us unsweetened kool-aide.

One night the babysitter set before my sister and myself a bowel of black beans. "Try them," she advised. I quickly turned my 5 (or perhaps 6) year old nose up at it.

"I don't wanna," I remember saying. She told me to try it and if I didn't like it, I didn't have to eat it. Fair enough. I tasted the nasty stuff and managed to swallow.

My sister shot me a look. "You didn't eat enough," she said. "You need to take a big bite. How do you know if you like it?"

"I know." I told her. "It's nasty. She doesn't cook good."

"She just cooks different. Try a bigger bite, or I'm telling daddy you're not doing what you are supposed to." My dear, dear sister. Always there for me when I needed her.

So, being the good little sister instilled with the fear of my father, I took a big gulp of the black bean mush. I'm not sure if it was the taste or the texture that did it to me, but I ended up regurgitating the meal back up. My eyes watered as the beans shot across the table.

Instantly, tears sprang to my eyes. I began to hiccup with fear as the babysitter stormed down the hallway towards us.

"What in blazes hell is this mess? Were you playing in your food, girl?" she demanded. I wasn't able to respond. My sister quickly came to my defense and tried to explain what happened. Her words fell on deaf ears.

Now, I don't remember much about the babysitter. She was a black woman with short curly hair. The woman could have stood all of 5'2". For all I know, she could have been a dwarf with only one arm. But, in my memory, she was a massive Amazonian woman. She stood at least 7 feet tall. She was broad shouldered with muscles as big as my calf. She had blazing red eyes and a mouth that was big enough to eat small children.

That's how I remember her anyways.

She snatched me from the chair as she accused me of playing with my food. She marched me into the bathroom. There she ordered me to pull down my pants. I remember going into hysterics at that point. I also remember hearing my sister cry in the other room. With the wired handle of a fly swatter, she whipped me.

Dramatic? Yes. A therapy causing event in my life? Definitely.

Later that evening, I sat in a bath tub. My dad's girlfriend, Rita, had come to retrieve us. As she saw the bruises on my legs and buttocks, she gasped. I didn't say anything. I didn't have to. My terror and shame at being whipped in such a manner had turned to anger. However, I knew revenge would be mine. Soon, that horrible monster would get exactly what she had coming to her. It was inevitable.

See, my daddy was home.

He stood in the doorway and surveyed the damage.

"I'll be right back." was all he said. I can't tell you anything about the exchange between the babysitter and my dad. I can tell you she never kept us again. I only saw her once after that. She would barely look at me as she limped by.

And now I'll hardly touch a vegetable.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Story of Auntie Wes and Steve

Come, my followers. All three of you. Come and gather around the fire and listen to the tale of Auntie Wes. It is a story full of love, lust, broken hearts, and a possum. Come, I say. Sit a spell.

See, a long time ago Auntie Wes was young and full of life. Not like she is now....A decrepit old hag that is searching for stray cats to give a home to. No! Once Auntie Wes was carefree and looking for love. Like the country song says, it was in all the wrong places. But, she was looking none-the-less.

Well, one night Auntie Wes met a nice gentleman. We will call him Steve. Steve was 6 ft tall with curly black hair. His eyes were brown and he had a smile that was lined with the straightest, whitest teeth one has ever seen. He was what the old timers called a real looker. He was such a looker that Auntie Wes saw him and it was love at first sight.

Actually it was lust at first sight. But, they both start with the letter "l" and have been known to induce sweaty palms, the shakes, and gas. So, who really cares?

Auntie Wes was no slouch back then either. She had long, brown hair and legs that just went on for days. The men liked Auntie Wes and paid her a great deal of attention. Not like now-a-days, where the men only look at her long enough to ask her to put down the liquor bottle and escort her out of the store. Last time she got kicked out of the Piggly Wiggly, a man was nice enough to hand Auntie Wes back her wig that had been knocked off during the scuffle. And who said chivalry was dead?

But, I digress. Auntie Wes saw Steve at a party one night. It was a cookout celebrating the retirement of Old Kay. Old Kay had been a barmaid for 40 years. She finally decided to retire because she didn't have any good teeth left to use to open the beer bottles with. Steve was showing off his homemade tattoos that Bubba had put on him while they were cellmates in prison. Bubba and Steve were the best of friends. Steve kept saying how he couldn't wait for Bubba to get paroled and they could become roommates. Auntie Wes thought Steve was quite generous for opening up his home like that.

Auntie Wes saw Steve first. He was indicating the size of something with his hands when she made her way over to him. Right as Steve exclaimed, "Man! That thing was huge!" Auntie Wes caught his eye and smiled. He smiled back and offered her a drink. Over a shared pint of grape flavored MD 20/20 they talked about life, jail time, and NASCAR.

After a few hours of conversation, Steve proclaimed his devotion to Auntie Wes. Feeling the stirrings of love (along with at least a half a pint of MD 20/20) as well, Auntie Wes invited him back to her camper that she was staying in. It was a brand new used 1975 camper that was kept behind her cousin's single wide trailer.

"I just dig your Spud McKenzie shirt," slurred Auntie Wes.

"Thanks baby," Steve said. "So, tell, uh......."


"Right. Ahem, Wes. You lived here long? I mean, this is some nice digs you got."

"Not long." Auntie Wes informed him. "A couple of months. It's all I need right now."

As our two love birds began to get to know one another, there came a knock at the door.

"Are you expecting anyone?" Steve asked. Auntie Wes denied any knowledge of who could be at her door.

The newly formed couple began to pick up where they left off. Ignoring the bothersome noise, Steve began to fidget with Auntie Wes's bra snaps.

"Be careful." she warned.

"I got it. I got it." More fumbling. "What the hell is wrong with this thing? Is there a trick to it?"

"Nooooo. Damn it. Let me get it."

"No, I got it," a frustrated Steve said. "I've done this plenty of times."

"Apparently you haven't," Auntie Wes shot back. "Hurry up. I'm losing my buzz."

"Just....damn it! Turn around." Steve turned Auntie Wes around and snatched her shirt up over her head. "What the hell kind of bra is this? What are these? Hooks or snaps?"

"Get this cotton-pickin shirt off my head! I can't see a thing!" Auntie Wes shouted.

Another sound came from the other side of the door. Only this time it was a pounding.

"Who the hell is it?" Steve shouted.

"Don't you yell at my company," Auntie Wes stumbled around the small area that served as a kitchen/dining room/living room combo. "Who's there? I'll be right there. Dag-nabbit, you asshole! Get this shirt off my head. My arms are pinned in it."

"Well, if you just hold still, I would." Auntie Wes knocked into the cabinets, which in turn flew open. A frying pan fell on Steve's head.....knocking him out cold.

More pounding on the door. More screeching from Auntie Wes.

"Steve, now I mean it! Get this shirt off of my head. I ain't playing with you! Steve? Steve?!? Steeeeevvvvvvveeeeee!"

About the time Auntie Wes was figuring out how to wiggle her way out of her newly made straight jacket, Steve was coming to. He was bleeding from his nose and seemed a little out of it.

"What the hell did you do to me?" He demanded as Auntie Wes straightened out her shirt.

"Not a thing! You crazy fool! You have got to be the worst date a girl could ever get a hold of!"

While they stood there glaring at each other, another pounding came at the door. Furious, Steve flung it open.

"Ah, man. Ah, shit. Ah, damnit to holy hell and back." Another string of obscenities flew from Steve's mouth. But, in the interest of our story I'll stick to the basic cuss words.

"Who are you?" Auntie Wes asked the red head standing on her threshold.

"Don't worry about it," glared Red. "Steve, come on. I want to go. Now!"

"Who are you to be knocking on MY door and demanding MY man?" Screeched Auntie Wes.

"Your man?" Steve snorted. "Since when? I am a grown ass man! I do whatever I want whenever I want. I can do anything I want!"

"Really? You sure as hell couldn't get my bra undone, Mr. Man." Auntie Wes shot back. Turning to Red, she shouted, "Now the who the hell are you?!"

Grabbing Steve by the arm, Red drug him out of the camper. "I'm his wife," she exclaimed as she slammed the door shut.

Poor Auntie Wes. All she had wanted to do was find love amongst the crowd. With her head hung in sorrow; she cried drunken tears of broken heartedness. She stumbled blindly into the small bathroom to wash her face. As Auntie Wes reached for a towel in the closet, she grabbed a fury four-legged something.

Dear followers, I am not sure who screamed the loudest. Auntie Wes when she realized that she got a hold of one mean possum, or the possum when he realized he was gotten aholt. Needless to say, Auntie Wes ended up in the emergency room for rabies and the possum ended up six feet under.

I'm not sure where poor Steve ended up.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Keeping the Kids Safe

I often wonder if my parents truely loved me. After all, I rode in the front seat of the family station wagon without a seatbelt more times that my mother will comfortably admit to. I remember laying down in the back car window and waving to the travelers driving behind us. I will daringly admit to riding my bicycle on a paved rode without the benefit of a helmet or knee pads. And let us not forget the countless trips between Fayetteville, NC and Stafford, VA in the bed of my dad's truck with nothing but a camper shell protecting me from the outside elements.

This is how I grew up. Dangerously. I ran around the neighborhood til dark.....barefooted. I know. I know. If you had known it was going on, you would have called DSS. My caretakers were thoughtless people.

I try to do better by my children. My three year old wears a helmet when riding his tricycle. His older sibling sports a helmet, knee pads, and bubble wrap when cruising down the road on her Dora the Explorer bike.

I take it a step further within the confounds of my car. Both children are strapped in a car seat by a sixteen point harness that I bought from the boys at NASA. I lovingly stuff pillows between their seats and the doors, protecting them from the possibility of shattered glass or the occasional fly that wonders in through the window. I also travel at a safe speed of 30 mph when driving down the interstate. I will not risk the chance of one of my beloved tax deductions flying through the windshield if I so happen to have to come to a complete and sudden stop.

My home is a fortress of solitude and security. I do not let other children near my precious cherubs. I can not risk them getting infected with the Swine Flu, Bird Flu, SARS, Chicken Pox, Meales, Mumps, Mad Cow Disease, Foot and Mouth Disease, or anything else that the diseased neighborhood kids may be carrying. I keep a jug of Clorox and Lysol handy in every room. This way the children can disinfect themselves once they are done eating, playing, watching t.v, sleeping, and bathing.

While I was growing up, my parents sent me to school and that was it. I was never enrolled in any educational activities. The sculpting of my young and impressionable mind was left to strangers at the nearby public school. I have taken a more aggressive approach and have become an advocate for my children's education. I home school both children. I teach them reading, writing, arthrimatic, chinese, spanish, crocheting, origami, home ec, and basket weaving. I believe an educated child is a happy child.

I do not allow my children to play video games. For recreation, they are allowed to read books approved by myself. I give them books such as "The History and Culture of the Amish" or "Meditation for Children". I do not like for them to read anything that will get them excited. Excitement can elevate your heart rate, which makes your blood pump faster, which can lead to a stroke......I read that on the internet.

My children are happy though. I know this because I have taught them a special song to recite on command. It goes something like this:

I am happy. I am happy.
Hug me. Love me.
But, do it from a distance.
I am happy.

I am dedicated to keeping the ankle biters safe.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


As I look apon the weekend and make plans to celebrate the white man's independence, I can not help but take stock in my new found life and freedom. I have finally moved into my own place. Each child has thier own bedroom. I can walk from one end of the house to the other completely naked. (Which I have done on several occasions...just because.) I wake in the morning to my 3 year old squealing with delight or whinning with displeasure and I am not stressed. There is no worries about waking anyone else up in the house; simply because there is no one else. Life is good.

But, life is stressful as well. Being a single parent means having only one income. However, I take this stress in stride. I know money is going to be tight. I expect it. So far, I have been able to obtain whatever it is that I need. Thanks to God, I have not had to sell my ass. Yet....

Work is going ok. There is never really anything to report when you sit in an office all day by yourself working on paperwork. My companion is the radio and the handful of people who call or text me throughout the day. They are welcomed interruptions.

My love life is non-existant. There are those that are interested, but no one that I feel God has planned for me. I am patient in that area. A relationship is not something I really want to rush in to. I am perfectly happy talking and taking things day by day. However, I do miss having a manly presence around the house. I often times wish I had someone just so I'd have a warm body to snuggle up to. Someone to appreciate my cooking. All in due time, I suppose.

I have not had to threaten to kill the ex as of lately. We talk as friends. Phone calls are exchanged and advice is given when needed. It's a nice relationship that I have begun to appreciate. There is no tension. I am thankful that we can act as adults and put the kids first. I wish my own parents had been able to do that.

So, life is good. I feel good. The kids are good. What else is there to say?