Truly a Southern Girl

Perennial plant

Thank all y’all for your patience as I get back up to speed after my operation, which went swimmingly. I thought y’all would appreciate knowing what I’m like going under anesthesia, because the staff in the operating room sure did.

The anesthesiology nurse told me that while I was being put under, I tried to manage my environment unlike anyone else.

It seems I said, “It’s too bright in here. The light’s not right. I won’t look pretty.”

There you have it.  All my upbringing distilled into one foggy demand for more flattering lighting.

 

Fat-Bottomed Girls

Chicken dinner

 

There’s a saying here in the South that we do not like to admit is true. We like to think of ourselves as evolved, strong, dare I say even refined. Underneath our perfect pedicures, perfect blonde highlights, and perfect Talbot’s ensembles lurks a dirt road tomboy hungry for mama’s cooking. Yes sirreee, “It ain’t fit to eat if it ain’t fried.”

My weakness for fried food is hard coded in my DNA. I’m certain that I was weaned from mother’s milk straight to fried chicken as a toddler. Otherwise, I can not explain the visceral reaction I have to the smell of hot grease. My knees buckle a little and my mouth starts to water. The smell triggers genuine primal desire and woe be to anyone standing between me and the source of deep-fried deliciousness. This is why I have never, ever owned a deep fryer. I knew that I could not be trusted with one in my house.

My brother-in-law Bull got a deep fryer one Christmas. He wore it out. Broke it from overuse. Swore he wasn’t going to replace it. Somehow a brand new one managed to sneak into his kitchen as if the grease fairy had delivered it in the night. How did that get here?

Not to let an appliance go to waste, the new fryer got fired up and put to good use in no time at all. I have listened to Bull wax rhapsodic about fresh French fries at midnight, okra as snack food (it’s a vegetable you know), and hot doughnuts on Sunday mornings. If a man can love something with a plug, Bull is definitely engaged to his fryer.

I am what polite, artsy people refer to as Rubenesque. To put it plainly, I’m a big girl. I am also diabetic. I have no business even looking at deep fryers. Yet I found myself in Kohl’s department store one day in the kitchen section. I was holding a 30% off coupon. Small appliances were already marked down. I could have gotten a waffle iron, I guess.   I could have chosen the sno-cone machine. I could have walked across the aisle to Women’s Shoes and gotten those adorable espadrilles I found. I think we all know where this is going. I bought the deep fryer. Cue Queen’s Fat Bottomed Girls on the iPod for the occasion.

When I got home with my new favorite appliance, my husband Gruff could not believe it. I think his exact words were, “Woman, have you lost your mind?”

“But Bull just adores his fryer, and I had a coupon, plus it was already on sale!”

“Bull weighs less than one of your legs and he is not diabetic. What were you thinking?”

“I had a really good coupon and it was on sale and, and, and I wanted it, okay?”

“Fine. It’s your funeral. I suppose you want me to break down some chicken to inaugurate your new doomsday device?”

“Yes, please. That would be lovely.”

The deep fryer has been all I dreamed and more. Oh my God, the fried chicken!  It’s been smack-your-mama delicious.  Fish and chips so fresh and crisp, it would make any Anglophile weep.  Peach hand pies, the filling sweet and the crust shattering with every bite.  So good.  Oh and French fries in minutes is like the best thing ever.  I love crinkle cut fries.

After getting a couple meals out of the Ore-Ida sack, I was reading the empty package. It seems that the good people at Ore-Ida think their package holds 11 servings. Eleven? They are misinformed. There must be some problem on the production line that they need to be made aware of. Their bag only holds four servings. That’s misleading the consumer. Eleven servings. Please. You’d think my endocrinologist mandated those portion sizes to Ore-Ida. You know, I don’t think I’ll mention to my doctor that I am the proud owner of a new deep fryer. The news might just make her cry.

Gruff’s right. I have lost my mind. I’m insane. I am indulging in self-destructive behavior. I should be ashamed. I am a weak, pathetic woman. I am also a woman who’s having hot doughnuts this Sunday! Oh happy, happy, joy, joy!

Mermaid Summer

 

beach ball

Well, it’s officially summer. I know this because I have received twenty catalogues in the last month whose covers feature gloriously happy women wearing swim suits. I bet you missed the most important part of that sentence. I’ll run it by you again. Featuring happy women wearing swim suits.

You think I’m going to moan and whine about the awful pressure to get your jiggly parts firmed up to be trotted out at the community pool. Nope. Wrong. So very wrong. I recognize that a lot of people are nowhere near comfortable in their own bodies. A lot of people would rather eat a bowl of dirt than be seen in a bathing suit. I hope to change that.

During my adult life, I have worn swim suits ranging from a tiny size six to a robust size 28 and everything in between. Right now, I’m hovering around a size 20 and I’m totally cool with that. My point is that no matter what size I am, I have never been the thinnest chick at the beach and I’m never the fattest one either. I’m just part of the crowd that comes to the sea to have fun. We’re there to play with friends and family. We’re there to eat boardwalk fries and get sand in awkward places. On that note, I once complained to a friend about my thighs getting chafed from sand. She said, and this answer tells you everything you need to know about this woman, “Awww, my thighs rubbing just means I’m becoming a mermaid. I can’t wait.”

I know some of you are thinking, “But what if someone says something mean about me? I’ll just die!” No, you won’t. Here’s some perspective. I had more dim-witted comments slung my way when I wore a size six bikini then I do now. Being thin doesn’t protect you. Being slim doesn’t make stupidity dissipate. There is no force field for assholery. Some people are simply hateful and your size really doesn’t have much to do with that. Their problem, not yours.

When I was single, I used to consider taunts a useful early warning indicator. Thank you for publicly announcing to every female out here that you are undateable. Thanks dude, for saving us the time and trouble of getting to know you before realizing that you’re a huge waste of oxygen. We all, every last woman out here, appreciate the public service announcement. Very thoughtful of you to warn us off by yelling something repugnant in our presence. Bravo.  Continue reading