There's this misapprehension everyone seems to have that Southern Women are docile creatures with big hair and Daddy issues who need nothing more than an endless diet of frou frou and a fainting couch. Did I mention that we all grew up wanting to marry our horses or Atticus Finch? Well.
I will cop to having big hair and quite frankly, I've always looked for the same qualities in a man that I could find in my late, much beloved horse. But a fainting couch? Frou frou? Most of us are more like Ellie Mae Clampett in spirit than Scarlett O'Hara. Think about it. Ellie Mae got to climb trees and hang out with all those cool critters by the cee-ment pond. What did Scarlett O'Hara ever do other than throw hissy fits, tease those pitifully inbed Tarleton twins and pine after that meally-mouthed Ashley Wilkes? I would go so far as to say - Gentlemen, would y'all please go into the other room and see what's on ESPN? Thank you. - I would go so far as to say that Ms. Scarlett was stuck in pre-sexual adolescence and was probably deathly afraid of orgasms, bless her heart.
Beautiful Alice would probably disagree on the grounds that she loves Scarlett. In fact when we were in college, there was a job announcement that got passed around asking for candidates to assist the docents at the Margaret Mitchell house for the summer. The flyer mentioned that the docents were actors who dressed as characters from "Gone With the Wind."
"So that means that someone down there is pretending to be Scarlett?" Alice stared incredulously at the flyer.
"I guess so," I said.
"But I'm Scarlett." she said in a deadly quiet tone that made one of our more Indiana Jonesish classmates scoot away from her.
"Honey," I said, "You're Alice and you're here in Kentucky. That girl was probably born and raised in Georgia."
"Hunh." She said. "Well, I'm just going to have to go to Atlanta and jerk somebody baldheaded."
I have to admit that I don't get that way unless someone wants to mess with my dog, my family, my friends or anybody whose work I like.
One of my ex-boyfriends will attest to the last item on that list. We were at The Beale Street Blues Festival when some intoxicated yuppies started screaming "You're fat!" at Etta James. ExBoyfriend Who Looked Like Liev Schriber pinned my arms and shushed me until a retinue of bikers a couple of rows ahead of us made their way back to the yuppies in an outreach effort towards peace, understanding and enhanced music appreciation.
The bottom line is that we're aware of our humanistic connections with each other and we're not afraid to use them. Say Tom Stoppard is a linguistic arriviste and I'll get my big, strappin' boy cousins after you. Make fun of my dog or Kevin or Alice and we're going to strip to the waist and duke it out in the parking lot. Did you say "Your Mama"? Do you see this Mephistophelean death stare? And we don't end our sentences with prepositions, Bitch.
copyright 2006 Jas Faulkner