Monday, December 11, 2006

The AFTBOTGOOGD


I guess the first thing you need to know about the family -- both the family of origin and the one we've grown -- is that we're not reverent. Some of us are spiritual. Some of us are religious. Some of us actually are both. But reverent, we are not.
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Something else you'll need to know is that we are GWTW aficianados. The women in our family read and reread Gone with the Wind every few years. The men used to go with us to see it at the movies and from time to time still will suffer through when it is shown on television. We've memorized far too many lines, and really it is a good thing that the film isn't shown at the movies any longer because we have to recite along the lines that we know. We also fling quotes at each other at appropriate (and sometimes inappropriate times). Bob was particularly fond of "Scarlett, I know you drink and I know how much you drink," whereas Bonnie's and my mother brought us up on "Miz Scahlett, ah don't know nuffin' 'bout birthin' babies!" Honna and I used to toss out "Cheer up -- maybe you'll have a miscarriage!" until we did it once too loudly in a public place and were mortified by the glares we received.
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Bonnie and I were so eager for our daughters to reach the Age of Appreciation and introducing Susan, Karen, and Sherry to GWTW was more fraught with meaning than the first training bras. Sherry, of course, was the last of the three, being a dozen or more years younger than her cousins, but at last the time came and she did not disappoint. She dug right in, fell in love with Rhett just like the rest of us, and soon was saying things like "There's dead folks down there and ah'm skeered of dead folks!"
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It was that Christmas, then, that the naming of the Annual Meeting began. Each year, Bonnie gathers some greens and puts a bow on them. I pick her up and we drive to the cemetery where we wire the greens around the family's headstones and sometimes think of a profound comment but mostly feel awkward and uncomfortably eager to get on our way to lunch, which is where we do the remembering and the talking. The cemetery just isn't our place for that. So that year when I left to pick Bonnie up, the boys were doing whatever and Sherry was re-reading. I told them where I was heading and flew out the door.
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And when we returned home, we learned that Sherry had turned a corner developmentally, having discovered adult irreverence. Immediately upon assessing us to be "okay" and not burdened with visible sadness, she got a twinkle in her eye and asked, "Have you been to a meeting of the Association For The Beautification Of The Graves Of Our Glorious Dead?" Scarlett couldn't have been prouder.

10 comments:

floribunda said...

hmmm -- I think we might be related!

Ms. Jan said...

I've heard you make reference to that expression and forgot where it came from. Too funny and it really sums up the whole experience of cemetary visitation.

Laurie said...

This was a fun post to read. I haven't read Gone With the Wind in at least 25 years. I love it up till the point where she marries Rhett, then it's just too sad...

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Citing major incompatability issues between blogger and blogger beta I've switched to beta; I know you couldn't bear to think of me not being able to weigh in! Loved this post!

paula, the quilter said...

Loved this post! I knew someone who could quote almost the whole script to Caddyshack. My GF and I throw out lines to (believe it or not) the ultimate Thanksgiving talking blues song by Arlo Guthrie, Alice's Resteraunt... "and they all moved away from me on the Group W bench until I said "And creating a nuisance"." LOL

Pam said...

I think I was 30 before I saw GWTW for the first time -- loved it, not sure why it took me so long to see it. And I've seen it many times since.

The Carolina Quilter said...

My DD and I love Gone With the Wind, too and we believe that Hell (pronounced Hale down here) is where Sherman is for what he did to Atlanta(Et-lanna)! Although if ever anywhere arose from the ashes, it would be Et-lanna. I'm also religious but irreverant. Makes for interesting choir practices at our church.

Susan said...

Too funny, Nancy. Here's my favorite. "I won’t think of it now. I can’t stand it now. I’ll think of it later." I call it my Scarlett O'Hara method of coping. =)

Anonymous said...

Oh Susan...that is mine too.." I'll just think about it tomorrow". I LOVE GWTW and can't wait until MY daughters are old enough to really appreciate it..darn having all those boys first!! haha
Aunt Jenny

Leslie said...

That *was* a fun post to read. My husband can on occasion be heard quoting Rhett, "I think your problem is that you need to be KISSED and OFTEN and by SOMEONE who knows HOW!"
OOoooo.... =)