Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mississippi, You Crack Me Up

Of all the places in the world, it never occurred to me that I'd be living-- let alone raising babies-- in the state of Mississippi. It simply never occurred to me, and on the rare occasion I met someone from or living in the state, it was all I could do to keep from hiking my shoulders towards my ears and saying "Mississippi???"

And we all know that K and i don't intend to stay here forever. To us, the land lacks context, being without blue mountains in the background. And the schools... well, our town recently cut spending across the board, except for the athletic department. Because that's the only way someone might be successful, if they're really good at track or football.

But I digress.

What I LOVE about Mississippi is how CRAZY she can be, how South-of-the-1950s she still is. Sometimes this is bad, but mostly, at least for white upper-class folks, it's really kind of hilarious.


I recently had lunch with a California transplant. A JEWISH California transplant. She was kavitching ( :) ) about the lack of religious tolerance in this town, and I was laughing with her, because really, it's funny. City Hall meetings open with prayers (a fact that I usually don't have a chance to ponder because we're straightaway praying for a 16-year-old who got his leg cut off by a bush-hog or the like) and even though K. and I attend church, we're still regularly recruited by the other big church in town because the Baptists don't seem to really believe that the Methodists are Christians. This tickles me.

But she's actually NOT Christian, and so here's two of the things the Jewish lady told me:

- "alright, my friend was tired, and I think she'd had a little too much to drink, but she actually told me she stays up at night worrying because I'm going to hell."

- "Someone gave me a Nativity scene for Christmas."

A NATIVITY SCENE! FOR CHRISTMAS! TO A JEWISH PERSON! That completely slays me, I don't know why.

Add it in to truly fantastic times like when I was at a City Hall meeting and the mayor completely sincerely told us he'd really very much enjoyed his recent sexual harassment in the workplace training.

Also, the same mayor left his wife for a much younger woman about five years ago, and then returned home after a month or two. Apparently if you ask him about it, he'll tell you he had a stroke and refers to it as his "spell."

People are so nuts. I love it. I don't know if they just keep the crazy in better up North, but eccentricity is alive and well in this fine state.

This photo is from three years ago, when K and I tried to find Sardis Lake, not realizing the Corp of Engineers drains it for the winter, and then got stuck in the mud. We were rescued by these folks' papas and their four-wheelers in another surreal Mississippi Moment.


Angela said...

You know Sonia, who also writes for us? Also Jewish. She told me that she was going to start charging me an extra fee every time she interviewed someone who tried to save her soul.

Apparently, she could make quite a bit of money.

Anonymous said...

This is so rich.

And just how I imagine living in Mississippi to be. Of course, living it through your eyes makes it perfect :-}

And that creche for Christmas was just bein' thoughtful, girl!