January 5, 2014

The Dirt Behind the Duds...

This photograph was taken by Marcel Speet for his 'Buurtgarderobe' (Neighborhood Wardrobe) series. I was asked to put something on that had a special meaning for me and so I chose my John Deere T-shirt and Black Petticoat.

The John Deere t-shirt is part of what i most lovingly call, 'The Redneck Christmas'* story about a party which took place at my step-sister Tammy's house. *First of all, I am NOT calling Tammy nor any body else in my family a redneck but there was an undeniable Southern-Fried flavor to this party which i knew, were i to tell this story to my friends back in the Netherlands they'd be thinkin', 'Dang, what a bunch of rednecks'.

It started subtly, when my step-brother Earl's phone went off and the ringtone played "Sweet Home Alabama". SKYNYRD! Nice start. We all had dinner then afterwards gifts were exchanged. We did this by playing 'Dirty Santa' which i had never heard of before. Not sure i remember exactly how it went but we took turns... first someone chose a present from under the tree and opened it. The following persons could then either choose to also take an unwrapped gift from under the tree, OR they could take a present away from someone else. It took awhile before the dust settled before everyone had a present, wether that's what they really wanted or not. Hilarity, mixed with wee flashes of mostly-playful, sibling ugliness ensued. YEAH!

I still have, and adore the present i received that night. A Ceramic Chicken Sugar Pot and Rooster Creamer i plucked from under the tree, and retained, from my most eccentric and entertaining step-sister, Adela. Besides the 'Dirty Santa' presents, EVERYBODY got 'John Deere' apparel. Um'hmm, we did.
No one actually got an 'I love Dirt' baby jumper
but only because nobody had a baby.

Okay, so we're starting to feel a little bit of a theme here, right? Well, now we come to the country-fide clencher of this whole story when one of my Nephews opens up his present...

Either Tammy's son, Hunter or his cousin, (Adela's son) Jonathan, who were both around 16 years old at the time, received a new Hunting Rifle...

with which one of them accidentally shot the other the following week. Yep, nothing quite expresses the joy of the Southern Holiday Season like the gift of firing power and then filling your cousin full of buckshot. Can i have a "Yeehaw", Brothers and Sisters??!! Yeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeehaw! Thankfully, after the removal of many a pellet from one of their lanky, wirey bodies, he was okay. I believe it was Hunter who shot Jonathon by accident, which makes this story pretty much perfect.

The petticoat story is more of a sentimental tale and nobody gets hurt which probably only makes it interesting to my parents, who are most probably the only ones who are reading this in the first place. (Hi Mom, Hi Dad!)

During another very memorable summer vacation in Mississippi, my Dad took me to The Promenade Square Dance shop. We had such a great time there. It was in a little wooden house in downtown Gulfport. Unbeknownst to Dad, the owner turned out to be a long-time classmate of his. I believe their last names followed each other alphabetically which meant they were always seated by each other in class. She was quite a gal. Strong, in-charge type with a gift for telling a great story, the one more humorous than the other. Dad told me later that she got a special award when she graduated from High School for having never missed 1 day of school, ever. From grade school all the way through high school, not one day. Dang.

While they caught up i walked slowly through the front room. From floor to ceiling it was a fluffy, ruffled organza petticoat dreamland trimmed in satin. I tried this black one on and while i was beaming at myself in the mirror, Dad said, 'Oh, Shelley that's so pretty, it's just beautiful but,... how ya gonna get it back to Holland, Sugar?' Smiling ear-to-ear i told him that i was definitely going to wear it on the plane. He laughed SO hard. And he's got a great laugh.

Anyway, it was just a really fun time with my Dad in a unique little shop during one of the best vacations of my life. Besides that, the petticoat reminds me of when my Mom and Grandparents used to Square Dance which is where my Mom met my Dad (who is actually officially my step-dad) in the first place. Grandma made me a little red and white gingham square-dance dress and petticoat exactly like my Moms. Although it wasn't easy to get me in a dress as a little girl, the petticoat was a different thing all together and i felt like one hot patootie. TWIRL!

1 comment:

Kalisa said...

Lovely stories that illustrate how deep our roots grow.