The perfect antidote to the excesses of NYC? Mississippi. After my week in Manhattan, I flew south like a bird to hang out at the family seat in Northern Mississippi. Which is just about as Southern as it gets, truly.
Mississippi has no time for the likes of Manhattan. It is the real America, all transfats and corn syrup and deep fried. The women do not give a damn about the vagaries of fashion, and the men do not give a damn about their women. The uniform is tshirt, shorts and flip flops, maybe jeans instead of shorts if you feel like dressing up or it is a ‘chilly’ night, i.e. under 80F. In the daytime it is never below 90, and the heat index which factors in the humidity is rarely below 100f. My hair freaks out and goes au naturel bouffant, while the slick on my face could solve the oil crisis.
My parents need to build a freaking pool, for god’s sake! Nonetheless, I still take great pleasure in lounging under the ceiling fans on the back porch in all sorts of weather languidly flipping through wedding magazines as their pages curl up in the moisture. Sauna?? Try living in one!
I also had the hedonistic pleasure of shopping at the Super Walmart in town, where cheap shit from China goes to be disposed of. Cute tank tops for 4 bucks! A nifty Timex indiglo watch! All this stuff I never knew I needed, thanks Wallyworld!
We did not celebrate the fourth so much past Daddy grilling some ribs and me and mom doing the sides. No fireworks, sadly. My brothers crapped out of going home and it was all boring.
Me and the parents did go to Tuscaloosa one afternoon. Shopping trips to T town were a huge treat when I was a kid, the closest thing to civilisation only 60 miles away! But this time we looked at the aftermath of the tornado and it was pretty shocking. A strip right through the middle of town looks like someone nuked it. I saw sheets of metal still wrapped around tree trunks stripped bare of branches. It just missed the university and the mall, so all things considered it could have even been worse…but it is quite bad enough.
On the upside, they have a Barnes and Noble in Tuscaloosa now, amaze! With Starbucks, no less!
A couple of thunderstorms rolled through while I was at home. I do miss a good thunderstorm, as long as it isn’t a tornado-y one. So peaceful, the thunder rumbling away all afternoon until the rain breaks, the heat lightning on the horizon the night before. I get physically homesick from missing the weather. The heat, the humidity, the storms, the ferocious sunlight, I miss it with every cell of my being. Being Southern is in my genes, I am bred to it. If I go too long without heat and sun and a good thundershower, this steel magnolia wants to curl up and die.