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Southern Charm, Lacking
Being pregnant in the heat of a southern summer is not on my list of most comfortable situations to go through in life. Yeah, yeah, should have planned the pregnancy better and all that. Well, timing of the baby is not a concern when you’re just in the mood to get it on one night with your husband. Yeah, so back to my misery….Combine being eight months pregnant with another of my least favorite things to do - shop, and in a touristy trap - and really, it’s not going to bring out the best of my southern charm (yes, it does exist, it is just deeply buried). It just so happened that I was given the pleasure of taking a day trip to a little place called Helen, Georgia where I was able to not only shop to my little heart’s content but was fortunate enough to do it, all fucking day, while being a human incubator near the end of its timer.
If you have never set foot in Helen, you really aren’t missing much if you ask me. It’s your typical little mountain town that, I’m positive, you find in damn near every state in the union that has mountains. Hell, you’ve probably been to one - too many people, too many strollers with screaming, crying, cranky kids hyped up on candy from any one (or several) of the 50,000 candy stores (with homemade fudge, of course!) in the one square mile the touristy party of town encompasses. I’m sure there is a city ordinance or something that there must be a candy store every 200 feet and every 600’ there have to be one with fudge. Ugh. I hate these places. Detest them. These are the towns that that also have a bunch of those t-shirt shops where you can get anything pressed on. Oh! And the trinkets and Christmas crap shops. Criminy. I just want to walk in and smash every little feel-good glass dragon or glass Christmas globe or Christmas bulbs. I think you’re there now, in your mind, and you’re able to envision these little towns of sugary, money goodness that pretty on you with their trinkets and t-shirts and hand-dipped ice cream and putt-putt golf and ma-and-pa pancake houses.
You might be asking yourself why the hell I would go somewhere that obviously sends me into fits of crankiness. Well, as it turns out, once upon a time I was a nice person. A girl who was a good little family member. I went with my then-husband’s family that hot, humid, asphalt-melting summer day. Again, I’m about eight months pregnant with my first child. I was not the miserable pregnant woman, mind you; I was a very happy healthy one unless you put me into my own pit of personal hell that’s a wonderland of commercialism gone country.
I’m getting to the story. I swear.
We’re all walking around-my husband, parents-in-law, brother in law, his wife and their two kids. Walking and walking and walking and walking and pausing, looking at CRAP, and walking and looking and watching fudge and buying candy for the candy monsters and walking and ohh! Look at the pretty decorations. All the while I’m being a very good sport. I swear.
I stopped at one place to get some water since it was either that or beer in this town. No, that’s not a bad thing, but it might be when you’re pregnant…and don’t want to get lit up in public like a good pregnant redneck would.
About five minutes into our meal, a service person from the restaurant comes to our table to tell me I have to throw my water away because there are no outside beverages allowed. Wait, what? We all looked around-nope, no signs stating that. I said, “Well, uh, okay but do you sell water because I’m pregnant, don’t drink cokes, and certainly don’t drink beer.” Service person says no, so I think, oh, well maybe, since it’s 800 degrees, they’ll give me a cup of water. I ask, and get a “nope”. I a little stunned and thinking, “WHAT KIND OF FUCKING RESTAURANT WON’T GIVE OR SELL WATER…ESPECIALLY TO A PREGNANT WOMAN?” I ask that very question out loud only without the profanity and yelling.
Now wait…call me crazy (it’s been done), but they’re ready to throw out eight customers, 4 of which are drinking a good amount of beer, because a pregnant woman wants to keep her water (which they won’t sell or give to replace it)? Am I the only one who thinks this just makes no sense at all? Fine, okay, maybe we can talk to the manager who, surely, would understand the basics of making money and that letting one pregnant woman keep her water won’t exactly cause their bottom line to sink into the red because she won’t buy a coke to replace it. Surely...nope. We talk to the manager and are given the same line. By now, as you would probably guess, the guys are getting pretty pissed off at the ridiculousness of the situation, and, as men are sometimes wont to do, decide that arguing loudly is the best route to take.
So there I sit, Little Miss Troublemaker, while a scene is made on my pregnant behalf.
Did I pull the detestable, annoying, “but I’m pregnant!” routine? Yep.
Did they give in? Nope.
Did we leave? Yep.
Did the guys decide they aren’t leaving without their beers so the natural course of action is to walk out with the restaurant’s beer glasses? Yep.
I was a bit of a disgrace to my southern heritage that day as I became a bit belligerent and rude. I don’t think Scarlet O’Hara would be too disappointed though, since I at least kept my wits about me, looked pretty, and not once did I cuss.
DR may or may not have maintained her southern class and charm while birthin' her babies.