Through the years, my mother has unleashed a small dictionary of Southern squirrel-hating, scantily-clad-teenager-disapproving, folksy, unedited wisdom upon the world, much of which she denies.
Your hair does not say “success.”
I am going to give you a book party because you will never have a wedding.
Your heart is good but your mind is evil.
(To My Sister Becky) Is Kathy a lesbian? It’s okay if she is.
(To my sister Becky, age nine, when she threw up at a Fourth of July picnic): Have a few more Cokes and brownies.
Kathy’s friend Alda: Kathy is the most successful businesswoman I know.
My mother: HA HA HA HA HA HA! (laughing so hard she almost dropped phone)
Hell if I know. (when asked the name of a long-lost cousin she fervently embraced at a reunion)
(Loving memories at the gravesite of an uncle while she was being taped by my sister for the family archives): He was a bastard and he belongs in hell. (Stomps on grave)
(About her lifelong enemy, JT Slater): I feel a peace about him after I stole his mustard greens.
(Showing off her blinding orange hair, the kind of color that, if it were on a Calico cat, would cause the cat to be put down immediately): I mixed two different hair colors myself.
(Upon meeting the first boyfriend I ever brought home): That boy looks dirty. And he has a big nose.
(The story she ran around telling the neighbors after I refused to clobber a raccoon with a stick after it ate all the figs off her tree):
My daughter was willing to sacrifice the safety of her mother for a rabid raccoon!