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Voice Lessons

Issue Date: Friday, Mar. 07, 2003

Ya’ll I am so excited. Next week I get the office all to myself. Yes, I still have to drive a frillion miles to work every morning, but I will be here alone all week. YAY!

Hand-Boss has steadily been calling me Miss Suzanna since the “yoo-hoo” incident other day. Call it a small battle won. Hey, I’m not picky.

I get to listen to my music at a level other than barely audible next week. Listening to music (that I can actually hear) in the office is a treat for me. Normally, when I set up my trusty little music program to run through the play list randomly, I can hear maybe 15% of the tunes. I have everything on the play list from Al Greene to Afroman, from Bonnie Raitt to Bach, from Chaka Kahn to Charo. Ok, I’ll quit. The play list has songs that are normally quiet like Eric Clapton playing classical guitar and songs that are hoppin and louder like “Woman Trouble” from Artful Dodger and Craig David. So I set the volume to a whisper for the louder songs and then I can’t even hear the softer ones. I have bat-girl like hearing, but my southern breeding wins out and I situate my surroundings as not to offend others.

Let’s talk about that for a moment shall we? We shall.

There is a quote in Clerks by Dante (Brian O’Halloran) that says something to this effect: “My mother told me when I was little that my training toilet lid was down so I shit my pants. … The point is that I would rather shit myself than make anyone else uncomfortable.”

For many of you this is unfathomable. The fact than anyone would go out of their way that much to make anyone else comfortable is asinine to you. To the southern woman, it is a way of life. Not saying that I would crap my pants (visual of SNL skit Ooops I Crapped My Pants enters my mind), but being bred to; in all honesty; be a hostess sometimes has its disadvantages.

Southern women are taught from an early age that we are to make sure the needs are met for anyone who enters our homes. Oh come ON… get your minds out of the gutter here. I’m talking about sleeping arrangements, snacks, beverages, meals, temperature… blah blah blah. You get the idea. This Mary Poppins behavior is encouraged by southern mothers at such things as Sip & See* parties, at bridal showers, baby showers, casual get togethers, and formal gatherings.

*A Sip & See party is to welcome a baby home from the hospital. The new grandmother usually holds a tea for all of her friends to come look at her grandchild. Oohs and Aaahs typically ensue.

I notice that my behavior is sometimes a thing of curiosity to Mister. We were watching a TV show last night as we munched happily on the flavorful pork chops Mister cooked on the grill. The show had a woman who wished to say something to someone, but when her idea was shot down before she even verbalized it, she muttered something like, “Oh, yeah, me too.” Mister turned to me and said, “What was that about?” I couldn’t tell him what I was thinking at that point, I was embarrassed by my thought process. This is strange to realize that I would (like the goofy chick on the show) rather let my thoughts go unheard, as to make anyone else uncomfortable.

Normally I am something of a jabber wocky, not of the George Lucas variety, but just a talker. I, in the past, usually let the more flammable topics go by the wayside because I do not want to make people uncomfortable, even if they do ask for my opinion. I have found something wonderful tho, Mister gives my real feelings a voice. I can tell him that I like something or find something strange and he doesn’t discount my feelings when they are verbalized.

Another weirdness with my family, not to sure if it’s a southern thing or not, is the hush-hush of anything unpleasant. I have a checkered past. It’s not plaid or anything, and I was never in jail, nor a topless dancer or a truck stop waitress. I was, however, previously married. (Back of the hand to the forehead in a dramatic “Goodness me! Not that!?”) Yes friends, I was married for almost 6 years to a night shift cop in East Texas. Whee. Anyway, I was talking with my parents one afternoon and mentioned something about how Mister and I were talking about our pasts. My parents gasped and said, “No man wants to hear about your past! Trust us.” Mister assured me that this is not the case, that he enjoys hearing about my past. That it gives him insight on what I went through and what made me what I am today.

See? He gives me a voice.

I hear a fire truck going by the office outside. What is it that makes me want to sing along with the siren?

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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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