Driving With Ms. Daisy

old red carFor years and years I"™ve read novels and watched numerous films about the genteel ladies who reside in the southern states of the US. I"™ve even had a couple of clients who from the lower 48 and I"™ve dearly loved listening to them talk. But the best of them all is a fabulous lady I"™ve had the pleasure of knowing while visiting Florida these past two years.

Ms. Virginia as I call her, is definitely a one-of-a-kind lady. The fact that she"™s has this adorable Southern accent only serves to make her more endearing"¦ and funny as hell.

Ms. V does not swear"¦ at all. She always manages to find some redeeming quality about almost everyone she meets, but if she doesn"™t find a person suitable to her discerning taste, she just simply avoids them rather than talk to or insult them. (Wise lady, this Ms. V!)

However, this poor lady didn"™t know when she first met me that I tend to pick up accents rather easily and love to do mimicry. I don"™t do it to be mean, but rather to relay a story or incident that has happened while I"™ve been in Ms. V"™s company to others. You see, most of the funny part is listening to her tell a story with that delightful twang of hers adding some pizzazz to the telling.

Ms. V is the only person I"™ve met to date who can turn a one syllable word into two and make it sound like a totally different consonant. Her "˜r"™s"™ come out like "˜e"™s, "˜o"™s"™ sound like "˜a"™s"™, and there are other letters of the alphabet that come out of her mouth so long and drawn out I have no idea what it actually is!

So far this trip I"™ve learned that the number "˜four"™ and "˜sh*t"™ are two syllable words pronounced like this: "œThare waren"™t none but "˜fo-ore"™ minutes afore I had ta run to the privy." And today, when we got lost going to a flea market no more than 15 minutes away from our condo, she said when pulling into the parking lot, "œWell, "˜she-it!"™ It done looks like thare closed!" (She was right ticked at the fact that only a quarter of the market was open for business when we arrived since we"™d gotten lost on the drive, driven up an off ramp, and hit a curb.)

The other day when she dropped by the place where I"™m staying to "˜chat a menute"™ she came out with one of the best one-liners I"™ve heard in a long time. She was talking about her husband pacing the floors and deadpanned "œHe were jest about climbin"™ the walls. Made me want ta cut a hole(r) in the ceiling so he"™d have a way to escape!" I almost spewed coffee all over the carpet at that one. She later went on to tell us about someone who"™d cut themselves and they were "œbleedin"™ like a stabbed ho." What she really meant was that they were bleeding like a stuck pig and the "˜ho"™ was supposed to be "˜hog"™ but not the way Ms. V said it. Again, I narrowly missed spitting out my drink all over the place.

Today"™s excursion, however, is so far one of the best. On the way to the aforementioned flea market, we were driving down a busy three traffic lane street when Ms. V decided she wanted to go all the way over to the left-hand turn lane. With God as my witness, she floored the gas pedal on her Cadillac and cut across all three lanes of traffic in under 30 seconds, and then proceeded to go through a red light. I calmly (not really) pointed out that she"™d run a red and she said, "œOh well"¦I"™ll prolly get another ticket in the mail in "˜bout three or "˜fo-ore"™ months just like I did the last time." No sooner had those words come out of her mouth then she jammed on the brakes so hard my seatbelt fetched up against my neck. She damned near ran another red light, but this time she turned, looked at me and said (as I was trying hard to get my breath back from being choked by the belt) "œHa! No sense ina temptin"™ fate. Figured I"™d best stop for this one."

The next lane change brought on a retort that was said in such a desultory voice I lost it and almost peed my pants. After she cut off another car (changing lanes again, I might add) she calmly said, "œWaell"¦" (Long, drawn-out version of the word well.) "œThat thare guy in the ker behind us done just flipped me the bird." HAHAHA! Imagine that! Someone getting ticked off because this lovely southern belle cut in front of him with about two inches to spare before her Caddy would have ripped off his front bumper.

I"™m not going to tell you about the rest of the excursion or how it took us 45 minutes to do a 15 minute drive to the flea market. Let"™s just say it was eventful and leave it at that.

Driving with Ms. Daisy is never a dull experience and being in her company is guaranteed to make you laugh until you cry.

I am, however, calling home and seeing if I can the payout on my life insurance"¦ just in case, because she just asked me to go "˜shoppin"™ with her again next week.

365 Days

Victory fingers Dec 2 14Today is a high-five, way to go, milestone day in my life. I"™m not looking for accolades, congratulations or any such thing from you, my readers.

This blog post is my thank you to me.

It"™s been 365 days, or 8,760 hours, or 525,600 minutes since I last smoked a cigarette.

Frankly, I don"™t know how I achieved this milestone as I resisted even contemplating quitting for 40+ years. I expended a lot of energy in fighting for my right to smoke and honed my argumentative skills by furiously debating with those who urged me to quit. (more…)

9 Words

I"™ve read a lot of self-help/motivational books over the years and have taken bits and pieces from each of them to build the life I lead today. Some of the "˜experts"™ claim that the most important statements one can make to another human being are "œI love you" or "œI am sorry." While both of these phrases certainly belong in everyone"™s vocabulary, (and should be used frequently in my opinion), I recently heard 9 words that should be shared with the people in your life, especially with those you are fortunate to be around in their early childhood. 

Last Sunday afternoon, my hubby and I went to an afternoon matinee at our local theatre. I got to choose the movie we"™d see, and since I"™d heard rave reviews of the film, The Help, based on the book by Kathryn Stockett, that was my pick. 

It turned out to be best $10.00 I"™ve spent in years. 

This amazing movie chronicles the behind the scenes feelings of colored domestic maids in the early 1960"™s in Jackson, MS. While I suspect that some of the incidents and situations in the movie were indeed true, I"™m choosing not to comment on the politics of the film, but rather the words that from the moment I heard them, I knew them to be some of the most profound I"™ve heard in my lifetime. 

The main character, Aibileen Clark, portrayed brilliantly by actress Viola Davis, tells her story of raising white children during this era. In one of the early scenes in the movie, Aibileen reaches into a crib, picks up the little white girl she is looking after, sits down with her in a rocking chair near the bed, and says"¦Â 

"œYou is kind; you is smart; you is important."Â 

9 words. 

Aibileen makes the little girl repeat these words after she says them to her as if repeating them will somehow make the child realize her own worth.

I"™ve been wondering all week long what would happen if all of us said these 9 words to the children in our life. Better yet, what if we, as adults, switched them around a bit and daily told ourselves, "˜I am kind; I am smart; I am important."

They say it takes 28 days to either break or form a new habit. I"™m issuing a challenge to everyone who reads this post. For the next 28 days, before you get out of your bed each morning, silently say these words: "œI am kind; I am smart; I am important." Better yet, if you happen to have children or grandchildren, or even young nieces and nephews, at least once a day tell THEM these same words. 

9 simple words. 

I wish I"™d heard them sooner.

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