Thursday, March 20, 2008

How I Fell in Love w/ a Southern Belle

I've got many a good story to share, and it will take many blogs to articulate them. But one in particular, that I wanted to share is about my wife and how I came to fall in love with her.

Missy has often said that my immediate family are wannabe rednecks....except for Grant of course. But with dad taking a liking to Bluegrass music, myself enjoying dirtbikes so much, and Joseph enjoying big tires and constantly working on his truck, she considered us wannabe rednecks.

One of her strong points when we were dating was her family, especially her mother. She's a great woman. She raised her two children while working a 3rd shift full-time job and always seemed to be home when the kids got on the bus, when they got off the bus, and she even had dinner ready everyday for them. On top of that, her mother was pretty easy on the eyes even at an advanced age. Missy was raised in humble circumstances by a family deeply rooted in southern tradition. When she says she grew up poor, she's not kidding. She did indeed live in a house without indoor plumbing...and beings that she was born in 1978, that's quite a statement.

So, when I first met my wife, she used words like chimily (Chimney), and phrases like "fuuuther up the road," or "lieberry" (where all the books are kept.) Even her name was peculiar. I was in absolute awe when I learned that her real name is Melissa, but she goes by Missy. Her father is known by his nickname, Big Buck, while her brother goes by his nickname, Lil Buck. EVEN the dog had a nickname, Lil Bit, the evil chiuahua from hell.

We started dating the summer before my mission. We resumed dating after my mission and we were students at Rick's College in Rexburg. On Christmas break, we both came home to Virginia.

Missy and I had a dinner appointment at her grandparents across the mountain. I'd met them once or twice before and they were aware that we had been dating. We arrived and her "nanny" was still cooking "supper." I thought I'd make some small talk with her and I said:

"Hey good looking, whatcha got cooking?"
Nanny responded in her very thick southern accent with what I couldn't quite understand:

I knew that there was no way were about to eat ostrich, dipped in batter and fried to perfection, so I asked her again.

"What's that?"

She responded slower and slightly louder over the cackling pop of the hot cooking oil:

I still couldnt' understand. I didn't want to offend her, but I really wanted to know what exactly it was I was about to eat. I'd never seen the delicatesn before. So this time, I thought I'd make a joke to express my confusion:

"IS that straight from Australia?"

"NO! I juz cain't say it riight." Then slower and with more emphasis: "Oiiiiiiiiischas."

I nodded as if I'd understood and left the room and found Missy in the dining room. "Missy, what's she saying?"

"Oysters you idiot now shutup and let her be."

So, now that I know I'll be eating fried oysters for the first time in my life I'm content to soak up the atmosphere. Her grandfather, or "Granddiddy" is also very southern. We made some small talk and then Nanny was ready with dinner.

Fried oysters aren't anything I'll be putting on my home menu, nor is it something I'll be ordering at AppleBee's, but they're not all that bad with ketchup.

Then, her grandfather, as he scarfs down a few of the oysters says:

"Ya'll bess not be stoppin on top dat mountain. Ostrich makes you honey."

Me: "What's that sir?"

granddiddy: "Well you know what they say, ostrich makes you honey."

Me: "Uhhh, Missy, what's he saying?"

Missy: "Oysters make you horny, now shutup and finish eating."

Those oysters sure did the trick and made that an unforgettable we didn't stop on top of dat mountain, but I'll never forget the night when I ate my first fried ostrich, and it turns out that ostrich makes you honey.


Alice Wills Gold said...

Man, Jarrett, you really need to get your mind out of the gutter!

I always like hearing the Southern accent though...tell Missy that she needs to hang on to her vocab a little bit better, so someone can pass on the is so fun to listen to.

Rach said...

so did the ostrich honey work?

crashomatic said...

I don't think the ostrich honey did anything miraculous....AND I'd defitinely remember if it did.

The gutter? The depths of a man's mind go far beyond ostrich honey.