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Both of my grandmothers were named Belle. My parents met in a support group for baby belles. That’s why cheese is my god. Two out of three of the above statements are true, to be fair, though my life would be even more supremely ridiculous than it already is were it the case that all three were concrete fact. Though in the scheme of things, there are enough absurdities strung across the minefield of my life that make it perfectly rich enough without the need to add anything that is even marginally untrue. I am Southern, and whereas when I was a child nothing mortified me more, I have, in my proper forties adulthood, come to embrace it, celebrate it and at the same time, mourn it. Being a Southern woman isn’t the same it was when I was a child, and that makes me sad. The women to whom I looked as a child were feisty, strong, smart, take no prisoners and even less shit sorts of women. They could outshoot their men at both craps and pheasant, outdrink them, outswear them, outsmart them and outdress them. They would make khaki hunting gear and sequins seem equally seductive and were never, ever without less than six carats of diamonds and a glass of whiskey adorning their presence. Our public schools were outstanding: we were well taught, well read and well raised and would sooner die than end a sentence with a preposition or confuse ‘to’ with ‘too.’ We were encouraged to learn all that we could, make the best grades, be the best friend possible, explore the outdoors, get our hands dirty, compete fiercely when called for, laugh out loud and celebrate outrageously. We were raised to suck the marrow out of every second of life, learn from our mistakes, celebrate our victories and appreciate it all. Yes, I know that my small town was exceptional; I know that now, though not then. I know my parents constantly telling me – with a refreshing innocent belief – that I could “do and be anything I wanted to,” instilled in me a similarly naive verve and passion that drove and drives everything that I do. I know that whereas thirty-five years ago in the deep south, being a strong, smart, outspoken woman was the norm, things have since dimmed greatly and we now risk a permanence in beige. I believed my parents, I listened to my teachers (when I wasn’t challenging them in a high-spirited way), read Lewis Grizzard and sought to emulate those shining balls of fire women who graced my life. Yet all I have done since returning to this country after many years abroad is apologize for that. For all of that. I apologize because I am smart. I apologize because I am well educated and multi-lingual. I apologize that I am not ugly. I apologize that I do not lack confidence. I apologize that I’ve achieved everything I have without a man. I apologize because I am not narrow-minded and am frequently the most informed in the room. I’m tired of apologizing. I am who I am. I am a Southern born, well read, exceptionally educated, well traveled, whiskey fueled firebrand of a woman and anyone who doesn’t like it can fuck right off. I am a Double Belle.
The Ties That Blind
2017-08-15 06:57
Re-publishing this from the original writing on February 4 of this year. _________________________________________________________________________ We are imploding, self-devouring and it&rsq&hell…Read More
The Poison Of Pretense
2017-08-12 09:41
Or What Happens When The Polite Right Meets the Loved-up Left I woke up this morning to the news of the lovely candlelight vigil on the campus of the University of Virginia. Concerned that t… Read More
They Say It’s Your Birthday
2017-08-05 09:31
Yep, I do. I’m forty-eight years new today and consider that, on balance, I now spend only about twenty-five percent of my time being naive and neurotic as my second greatest accomplis… Read More
Andreas In Paris
2017-07-29 21:42
Quite an extensive excerpt from the next book. __________________________________________________ Andreas, Paris August 2006 My son went home to school at the end of July because he was stil… Read More
Lonely Or Alone
2017-07-22 09:02
And if the night runs over And if the day won’t last And if your way should falter Along the stony pass it’s just a moment This time will pass ~ U2, Stuck in a Moment ___________… Read More
The Shedding
2017-07-14 21:45
Do you have a $12,000 dollar sofa? I did. I don’t know why, but I did. I also used to have two Cartier watches, two Bulgaris and an extra little Hermes that I threw on for more casual… Read More
Everyone’s Weird And So Am I
2017-06-23 05:38
Once right after we first moved back to the US from Hong Kong, we were sitting in a bar in Nashville on a warm Summer day with my sister who already lived there and some of her more Bohemian… Read More
Hindsight (The Store Owner Man)
2017-06-21 13:17
I was not an attractive child. A learned man in our town once told my Mother that he was certain that I would one day grow into a great beauty. The features were there, he assured her, ju… Read More
2017-06-14 22:36
A 22-year-old young man arrived back home last night to his parents after more than one year of indefensible imprisonment by a megalomaniacal dictator. At least he’s home, one could th… Read More
2017-06-10 03:56
Last Saturday night, we were invited to a small party in honor of our son’s best friend who had recently graduated from college, as had mine. For us, it was a celebration for all of ou… Read More

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