life is strange

Life is funny.

Well, not funny ha-ha…but rather funny strange. Although, I’m sure funny strange can be humorous, I’m not exactly sure who’s in on the joke…you know…who finds it funny? Not me.

So I guess what I mean is, life is strange.

It wasn’t so long ago…at least if feels like it was just yesterday, when in actuality it was more than fifteen years ago…I was living in Los Angeles, California (the third stop in my whirlwind moving adventure) after having lived in multiple cities in both New York and Pennsylvania. My husband at the time, we’ll just call him Mr. X, was working for a major international corporation and contemplating where the job would send us next. Being the good Yankee girl that I am, (fluent in the f-word, college level sarcasm, and assorted other snarky attributes) I told him I would go anywhere in the world…as long as it wasn’t the southern United States. You know…the South…where I live?

See? Funny. Ha-ha. It’s ok…I get it, you’re laughing.

The first stop on our grand tour of the South was Birmingham, Alabama. I must admit (and it doesn’t even pain me to do so) the people in Alabama were gracious to a fault, and to this day, some of the sweetest people I’ve ever known.  They even tolerated my abrasiveness with poise and charm. To them, I was the girl from Los Angeles…L.A….Hollywoodland…as close as they would ever get to the likes of Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt.

But of course, I had only moved from L.A. I wasn’t from there. Not only was I completely on the outside of the celebrity inner circle (the closest I ever got was a drive-by sighting of Jerry Seinfeld in a Jaguar dealership in Brentwood while looking for OJ Simpson’s house…which I found but had forgotten my camera) I was also a New York Yankee by birth. This dangerous piece of information was kept a secret until just before the time we had packed up and loaded the trucks, two years later. My friends excused this travesty with their signature grace, but the rest of the locals turned on us like an angry mob. The torches and pitchforks were replaced by NASCAR hats and college football flags, but they were no less frightening. I tried to throw them off my trail by pledging allegiance to the Crimson Tide…or the Auburn Tigers…whatever I had to do. But it was to no avail. Our welcome had been worn out…luckily just in time for the next job transfer.

No sooner had the angry villagers decided our fate when the moving trucks rolled down the street like a fleet of white stallions to ferry us away.

To Georgia.

I know…Atlanta is major metropolis. At the time, Ted Turner and Jane Fonda were reigning King and Queen of the city. The Olympics were still very fresh in everyone’s memory. How bad could it be, right?

Right. It would have been fine, I think. Well, if Mr. X hadn’t found so much joy in rooting for his hometown Yankees to beat the Braves…loudly.

In public.

Yes…he proudly wore his Yankee team attire as often as clean laundry would allow. The hat. The jersey. Why, I think he would have worn the entire official team uniform had I not refused to be seen with him.  Which, in hindsight, might not have been such a bad idea.

But that’s a story for another day…

More than twelve years have passed since moving to Atlanta. So I guess you’re wondering if I’ve affected a southern accent…picked up any of the colloquialisms (y’all, fixin’, etc), adopted the diet of the region (grits, greens, and black-eyed peas) and no I haven’t. To any of it. I’m still the snarky Yankee I was when I moved here, and I make no apologies for that fact.   

Well…I make a few.

In keeping with our theme of, life is funny (strange), I remarried after moving to Atlanta. To a guy who was born in the south. I know…funny. Ha-ha.

Despite my attempts to be on my best behavior, my husband will occasionally ask me to become mute in mixed company. I can smile and nod. I’m allowed the occasional small talk…very small talk. And I have to promise not to say the f-word even once.

I can do that…mostly. But I still manage to get myself into so much trouble when I remind him fried food of any kind is an f-word. An f-word of the worst kind.

Until the next time…I’ll be shunning grits and greens with all of my Yankee charm and grace.

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on January 16, 2012 .