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June 3, 2011

Question of the week

I love my reader email. Ya'll know I am pathologically opposed to giving advice until someone asks for it, and then I give them not just advice but one of my many half-cocked theories. And I have so many theories! One day I plan to write a book of all my theories. I will call it: My Head Had To Be Surgically Removed From My Own Backside!

Here is this week's email:

Hello Ma'am!

I would like to first state that this is NOT a joke. No matter how funny this may seem.

I was a born and raised southerner ( by the grace of God ) I've spend the last and only 22 years of my life in backwoods Georgia, and to be honest, I've loved every second of it. But now I find myself in a bind.

I've met this girl who happens to live in Las Vegas, and I've met her several times. Like face to face. I've been in her home and shook hands with her father.

My main question is this:

How badly does the world outside of the south suck? Is love worth moving out there to be with her? I figured you would know being a member of Dixie, then moving out west yourself.

I suppose that's it. Thank you kindly for your time and your funny knitting related stories,


Hi Benjamin,
I do appreciate your note. And being Southern myself I can appreciate the reason for your letter and simultaneously feel just fine being called ma'am. Even though I have a traumatizing birthday coming up in a couple of weeks. But enough about me!

Your experience moving out west will depend entirely on your attitude. I have noticed that when it comes to Southerners there are two types: hothouse flowers and kudzu. My philosophy here probably applies to all sorts of folks (New Yorkers, I am looking at you) but I only feel comfortable sharing my harebrained theories if they are based on my own experience. And I know Southerners.

Hot house flowers are fascinating, healthy, and lovely. They are also very particular about their circumstances. They like staying in the same location and dealing with a limited number of variables. They enjoy their regular meals and regular admirers. They hate being hauled out to the parched desert and shoved in a car for hours on end and dealing with pests and irritants. This does not mean there is anything wrong with them -- quite the contrary. They know exactly what they like. They know where and how they will best flourish and bloom. They very much prefer to stay in their hometown environment.

Kudzu will grow any damn where. I am kudzu. I was not the loveliest girl from my high school, or the most popular, or the most affluent. Instead, I was vigorous and determined. As soon as I could scare up the will and the way I moved out west. My life is unpredictable, and I have to clench on to any old thing sometimes. But I have seen a whole lot of this planet, beautiful, amazing things. I have met all kinds of people, I have had experiences that swerve from tremendous highs to crazyass lows but it is never boring and I never give up. Kudzo keeps creeping because it just cannot stay still very long. You can cut kudzu at the knees and next week that shit will be back on your porch.

So ask yourself, "Am I kudzo or a hot house flower?" This is not to say you are born and declared one or the other. You get to choose. I think I was born kudzu but once I landed in L.A. and acclimated (it takes a year or two) I slowly developed Hot House Flower tendencies. Now I am a prissy city person who expects everything to be just like L.A. I suck! But I sure love it here.

Now that I have gone on and on with another one of my ridiculous theories, let me break this down for you:

You are 22. Georgia will always be there. Move to Las Vegas. Throw your heart into it. Choose to be kudzu for a while. Approach it like a challenge. Get into it, visit all the amazing places in the West. Learn the lingo, eat the food, figure out how to have an open, happy attitude. You may not live there forever but while you're there you will have an adventure. And what is life without a little adventure?

Do not get this girl knocked up under any circumstances until you have been together a solid five years. I may be crazy in other areas but in this one I am spot on. Wear a condom. EVERY TIME.

Move. Be your inner kudzu. Take this on like a story you're going to tell someday back in Georgia. I have never once regretted anything I did in the name of true love. Be vigorous and determined. Best of luck to you!


Posted by laurie at June 3, 2011 2:28 PM