March 8, 2005

Now We Are One

Faster Than Kudzu turns ONE today. Look, here is the VERY FIRST NON-TEST ENTRY, and it is an infomercial, Lord help me, pratically a diet TESTIMONIAL except with illicit cabana-boy gropings, typed in lo these 365 days ago...

I am going to celebrate by squatting in my closet and hoovering up a box of Samoas in toto (Samoas are NOT on the South Beach Dieet, btw) where my kids can't see me and ask me to role-model SHARING. In my opinion, Samoas come in a single serving box...Right now, already regretting the sin of gluttony which I am about to commit, I kinda I HATE those chocolate-crack-peddling Girl Scouts. They are very bad for my BUTT. And my MANNERS. And hardly anything ever makes me use BAD MANNERS because...I am southern.

I am SOUTHERN means...many things. I remember once, before my editor knew me very well, she complimented me on handling an awkward social situation with a modicum of grace. Perhaps it surprised her a little, because I think she already suspected me of dorkhood (I have cheerfully confirmed her suspicion by now. I am an inveterate and unapologetic El Dorko Supreme) and klutziness (which I confirm for anyone in passing by tripping over dust motes. I SWEAR TO THE LORD one day you will be reading my obituary and the cause of death will be something like "she broke her fool neck when she fell off her RIDICULOUS TOTTERY SHOES that she had NO BUSINESS WEARING when Lord knows she can barely cross a level room in FLATS with the WIND AT HER BACK)

Whoops I just digressed all the way to California. ANYWAY, my editor complimented me on, essentially, my manners, and my response was to laugh and say, "I can't help it because, Oh my LORD, I am SOUTHERN." She didn't know me very well then, and I THINK she thought I meant, "I probably have better manners than you *superior sniff*" but a more accurate translation of "OH MY LORD, I AM SOUTHERN" is "I am extremely mentally ill, but at least I can be depended upon to do the socially correct thing."

For example, if one southerner is in a crowded theatre and someone yells FIRE and a panic ensues and people rush the exits and other people get knocked down and trampled and killed, it would be very easy to pick out the southerner. Oh, he'll be trampling folks to death along with the rest of them, but he will be the only one saying, "Scuse me, ya'll" while he does it. Even at the least and most extreme levels of mental illness, you can spot the southerner: The southern party drunk will hang your lampshade on the hat rack before he vomits into your umbrella stand, and you can spot the southerner in the crowd of cannibal cultists by looking for the guy who is using the correct fork.

In other words, "OH MY LORD I AM SOUTHERN," means good manners tied to a specific set of shortcomings and faults, including but not AT ALL limited to:

1) I am incapable of approaching a topic of importance directly, but instead dance around it and skate near it and then make Significant Eyebrows at the other person in the conversation in the hopes that they are either psychic or savant level eyebrow-expression-readers.

2) Being a participant in ANY sort of confrontation makes me panic -- I try to simultaneously try to serve cookies and crawl under the bed. I can't help it -- I do it even though experience has taught me that that way lies excessive vacuuming and cookies with cat hair on them.

3) Not only can I not stand to be a PARTICIPANT in confrontation, but I can't stand to WITNESS it, and will peacemake relentlessly until the original confrontators are making out with each other and thinking up ways to murder me.

4) The sight of someone crying raises in my bosom a physical, almost irresistable compunction to leave the room and make pie. I believe pie will fix it.

5) When it comes down to doing what is right and doing what is polite, I have to struggle mightily to have a HOPE of choosing to do what is right, and I often fail miserably.

Five is the CORKER. Five is the truth inherent in "OH MY LORD, I AM SOUTHERN" that I hate most, and I fight five like hell. I still remember with burning shame being 19 and allowing a young man I met at a party to say in my presence the MOST OFFENSIVE THING I have EVER heard out loud in public and I did not challenge him or tell him not to talk like that in front of me or even just make a loud, rude farty noise with my lips---NOTHING. I sat there with all my nice, Raised Right southern girl friends, complicit, not responding, allowing him to INCLUDE us in his DISGUSTING opinions by our silence. Wrong. Wrongwrongwrong. But good manners. *spits*

Whoops! I just got serious. AND AT A BIRTHDAY PARTY! That is ALSO bad manners---for shame. Lift a glass (or a cookie...or a BOX of cookies) to Kudzu today, and THANK YOU, seriously, THANK YOU, all you regulars, you commenters, you e-mailers, my fellow readers and my fellow writers, you who surf in by whatever means or links and get comfy and come back and keep me company. Alla ya'll---Thank you for coming.

Posted by joshilyn at March 8, 2005 7:19 AM

Ha! The early bird gets to say Happy Birthday first.

***Happy Birthday, Faster Than Kudzu***

Oh, my goodness, the COFFEE's ready. Scuse me, y'all! *tramples several hapless coworkers on the way to the coffee maker*

Posted by: David at March 8, 2005 8:14 AM

Happy Blogiversary!!!!

Posted by: AGK at March 8, 2005 8:26 AM

De-lurking to say happy blogiversary (thanks for the word AGK!)
Will try not to sneak back to lurking status!

Posted by: kim at March 8, 2005 9:00 AM

OMG! I'm Southern! No wonder I don't fit in up here. Thank God I've been diagnosed. Next time my hubby asks me why I didn't just tell some rude person to go to hell, I'll remind him "I'm Southern!".

Happy Bloggy Anniversary!

Posted by: Em at March 8, 2005 9:22 AM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! I am a regular and love reading your blog. Even if you only write about your flamingo pink socks I'll still be back to read. AND I'm from the north but also have good manners, however probably not as proper as you southern gals!


Posted by: Peek at March 8, 2005 9:24 AM

Happy Birthday, Kudzu! We love your southern self out here in Kansas! Y'all don't change nothin', hear? ;)

Posted by: Amy at March 8, 2005 10:26 AM

Happy blogiversary!

Posted by: Aimee at March 8, 2005 11:07 AM

Mmmmmm... samoas!

Happy 1 year of world-wide exposure of insanity!

Posted by: Kestralyn at March 8, 2005 11:33 AM

No, really, thank YOU.

Posted by: Amanda at March 8, 2005 1:08 PM

Happy Birthday!

Is it true that the worst, the VERY WORST thing a Southerner can say to you is "Bless your heart"?

Posted by: Martha O'Connor at March 8, 2005 1:34 PM

No, Martha - the worst thing a southerner can do is to call you "precious". "Bless your heart" makes it ok to say almost anything - as in, "she's so ugly the dog won't lick her, bless her heart."

Posted by: Amy at March 8, 2005 1:44 PM

Hapyy Birthday chez Kudzu! I'm glad to know that other people feel awkward correcting others' mistaken notions. (I am from the South-west, maybe that's it.)

Posted by: Sheryl at March 8, 2005 6:27 PM

Happy Blog Birthday Kadzu!! :)

Posted by: Mary Jo at March 8, 2005 6:43 PM

Happy One Year .. of posting some of the most enteraining things I have read in ages! Manners seem to be not only a sothern thing.. Thank you so much for the laughter!

Posted by: Sammi at March 9, 2005 11:39 AM

Lookit, I had the first comment on the first post! Yay me. I just beat out the spammer by about 2 weeks. :)

HBD Pluffy...

Posted by: DLFP at March 9, 2005 12:03 PM

Congrats on a year, what a pleasure it is to read your antics. Keep up the great work.

Posted by: Joe at March 9, 2005 5:55 PM

Happy blogiversary to you!
Today your Mental Illness Number is only 2!
We all love your tottery shoe(s)!
And we'll all buy your book, too!

(I totally sang that with the flat not-quite-twang of upstate New York. It was PRECIOUS.)

Not only do I heart you, but my father confessed to me tonight that since I have slowed my blogging, he's reading others... and... you are his FAVORITE. Naturally. Good taste runs in my family!

Posted by: Mir at March 9, 2005 9:15 PM

Thank YOU, dear. You are the pudding in my cake mix, the glistening drop of retsyn on my breath mint. You have caused me to become the sort of person who tries to reproduce your blog entries in conversations (which never, never manages to convey the brilliance). So yes, I am a dork, but YOU? Are worth it.
Happy blogiversary.

Posted by: Kira at March 10, 2005 12:45 AM

Happy ONE Pinky :D

I scored "43% (Yankee). Barely into the Yankee category." yay me :D

Posted by: Flowdizzle my Nizzle! at March 11, 2005 1:23 AM