Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Back from Millpond

I am back from my trip. I didn't get to do every single thing I had imagined, but I packed so much into five days that I am exhausted from what I did do. I really didn't need to do anything else. Most importantly, I got to see everyone I wanted to see and then a couple more people came and surprised me, so everything worked out. I felt great the whole time too and had enough energy and appetite. I had been a little worried about that.

Some of the highlights of my trip were a visit to an Italian Festival where it appeared that New Jersey had exploded onto Northern Delaware, peppering the streets with too much hair product and people who were really inappropriately dressed for a casual street festival. I mean, come on, who in their right mind wears five inch stilettos to a street festival? What is wrong with these women? What happened to Keds and flip-flops? 

I also went on a long drive in the country with Memere Marie and her husband Ray which quickly turned into an Eastern Shore safari of sorts. On that drive I saw the following wildlife in its natural habitat for the most part: an otter, cows and calves, goats and kids, Canada geese and teenage goslings, purple martens, about 785 deer, rabbits, fireflies, turtles, bullfrogs, tadpoles, a bunch of calico kittens and a terrible dog.

I had a negative experience with a dog while on this trip.

While on the long drive, Memere Marie and Ray decided to go see the widow of Ray's best friend who just died. She has a bad case of Alzheimers and is emaciated. She only responds positively to them and they bring her bananas, which is the only thing she will eat. She lives out in the middle of God forsaken nowhere on what was once a big and prosperous farm. Her crazy daughter and the daughter's toothless husband live there and take care of her. It was all a tad too Southern gothic if you ask me.

When we drove up, kitties were everywhere, so I became very excited until I realized they were farm cats and had little interest in me. But they were kittens after all, so I pressed my luck with them. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, this filthy, slobbering, flop-eared hound dog comes bounding at me and lunges straight for me, while peeing on itself. Pee was flying everywhere and I had attempted to wear a cute dress for this excursion, as we had just gone out to dinner. I did not want this dog anywhere near me and I couldn't quite tell what its intentions were. I doubled over so the dog wouldn't jump on my stomach, but it got me hard on the right thigh and scratched me and bit me (and got pee on me) and then it grabbed the corner of my dress and attempted to drag me off. I was about near hysterics at this point, hollering and trying unsuccessfully to kick the dog, when thankfully the toothless son-in-law showed up.

I swear to God it was like something out of a movie. Here is this man, who has no idea who I am, trying to figure out if he should let the dog rip me to shreds or if he should save me.

"I'M MARIE'S GRAND-DAUGHTER AND I'M PREGNANT!!!"

That helped him make his decision. The toothless, and did I mention shirtless and wearing overalls, man picked up the hound dog and locked it in a shed and then, like all rednecks in movies, stood in front of me, smiling toothlessly and staring blankly at me. It was really an awkward moment. He looked me up and down and I looked him up and down and decided that he looked like Ben from "Lost" morphed with Elvis and starring in "Deliverance." 

Then his wife showed up. Now his wife is crazy and always has been. I don't know what exactly ails her, but she was born with it. The wife is also her own kind of southern, freakshow stereotype. She was a scrawny thing with fuzzed out yellow hair, kind of like an oily, baby chick. She stood in this particular slouch with her head hung forward, her eyes pointed upward and her mouth hanging open. One arm hung limply at her side, while the other she bent, crossed over her chest and held the hanging arm right at the elbow. It's the kind of posture that you just look at and go "Yup, somethin' ain't right with this girl."  She also doesn't speak, or at least she didn't speak to me. I couldn't get out of this place fast enough, kittens or not.


The next day I cooked dinner for my other grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins and I had to go to the Super Walmart because there really aren't many other choices for shopping around there. It became a profoundly disturbing experience and we'll just leave it at that.

Sunday we had my shower and so many people showed up to wish Baby Lawns well. I was sincerely touched and I had so much fun. I'd be lying if I said none of my relatives behaved strangely on this trip, because Lord knows they never disappoint when it comes to strange, but we had a lot of fun. At one point I lined up with several of my female cousins to take a picture and my grandmother called out: "There's gotta be at least 50 pounds of boobs standing there!!"


Several other people implored me to change Baby Lawns's name, which I am not doing. Now mind you, this advice was coming from a bunch of people whose children's names sound like the credits of an X-rated film, so I really didn't take them all too seriously. Memere Marie begged me to rethink and to name Baby Lawns "Lily" and I was like, this is not negotiable. If you wanted a child named Lily you should have named one of your own daughters Lily. Mommom Jewell hated the name at first and said it sounded too plain and old timey for her, but then she decided that it kind of grew on her and was better than Savannah Kaylee Isabella Madison, which is essentially what my cousins all name their daughters.


Best part of the shower though, besides Mommom's 50 pounds of boobs comment, was that one of my beloved childhood friends came and surprised me and that my 89 year old, great aunt has come out of retirement and has generously made Baby Lawns her own sock monkey. These sock monkeys have been a family tradition for three generations now and I know Baby Lawns is the last generation to get one. It means a lot to me for her to be able to have one too.


After the shower I got my wish. Bella and my half sister Chastity took me to Rehoboth Beach. Unfortunately it rained, so we couldn't do much, but we did eat a mess of junk and look in some shops. Still, it was really fun.


The big news in the family, I learned that evening, is that my biological father is getting married. This will be his third wife. The first was my mother, then there was Louise who died two years ago and now this one. She is several years his senior and he met her at church and like all Jesus freaks of their variety, they have decided to be impulsive and get married after barely knowing each other and never having touched. Chastity seemed fairly skeptical about the whole ordeal, but conceded that the woman was at least pretty nice. God bless 'em. I predicted this when Louise died by the way. In fact, I kind of thought he'd have been married several months ago. I didn't know to whom, but I knew he'd remarry fast. Religious fanatics love to get married in a hurry. The good news is that this woman is old so I won't get any more wacky half siblings out of the deal.


3 comments:

Jimijam said...

You're so lucky to have access to real life True Blood-esque Southern nutjobs!

Joy said...

oh my. My relatives are from the south (south south) and many sound just like yours. Our family is also UBER religious. I've gone to church enough for many people's lifetimes and will never go again. Love your stories!

♥ Calamity Anne ♥ said...

I swear I heard 'Dueling Banjos' playing in the background as I read about the crazy daughter and her toothless husband!!!

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