By Backwoods Barbie
Once again the deadline looms as I find myself staring at a blank screen with an equally blank mind. Funny how that works, I can write a novel in two days, if it isn’t required. Quality quips, meticulous metaphors and optimistic opinions flow as freely as my strong black coffee; as long as it is the result of free will and not a ticking timeline. There comes a point each week when I realize Shakespeare himself couldn’t pull it off; the guilt sets in comfortably as I dodge anyone who may read my quirky column. All it takes is a “I missed your column this week,” and I am immediately transported to my third grade English class with no excuses, where not one single hall pass remains.
It is the comments from the readers that prompted me to forego this week’s guilt guillotine. I was reading through many of the comments of my past articles and a few deserve a response.
“I truly enjoy your column when you aren’t touting your opinions. It seems you have an opinion on just about everything. I would like to see you write about something more meaningful.”
Bless your heart. There are two things I have never lacked: freckles and opinions. I don’t suppose I will be able to rid myself of either anytime soon. I find meaning in the mundane, joy in the trivial and inspiration in insult. Of course, that is just my opinion.
“Your optimism is refreshing, but I don’t think you understand what it is like to have to work hard to support a family. Your writings are encouraging, but it seems like you have it made. I wish my life was as charmed as yours.”
The most charming aspect of my life is the misconception that it is or ever has been easy. I can mend a fence, drive a tractor, cook a nine course meal, change a flat; most of which was mastered out of necessity by the age of seven. The fact that I do it in heels and with a smile doesn’t suggest simplicity. Maybe life is charmed, by choice.
“After reading your articles, I want to buy a house just to witness a few of the shenanigans you seem to fall into ever so gracefully. “
It is without hesitation I confess to an uncanny ability to fall into, over, around, even up. This notable talent has been a reoccurring theme throughout my life. Anyone who knows me well, has witnessed the halo of horror that glows from a life of learning to transform a trip into a twirl, a stumble into a stunt and humiliation into humor. I have spent most of my life getting up, it is great practice for just about any challenge.
“Each time I read your article I hear the voice of Dolly Pardon or Ellie Mae Clamped, that makes me laugh.”
I take that as a compliment, it certainly could be worse. I don’t imagine too many people reading my column hear Dan Rather or Barbara Walters. If they do, there is reason for immediate concern.
This last comment was by far my favorite. It was written to me after my encounter with “Little Miss Morning Person” who coined me as Backwoods Barbie:
“I grabbed a handful of the newspapers and spent the day mailing your article to women who have run away from situations where they were being put down. I found myself cheering for you while reading and wanted to whop that woman over the head too. Women can be so mean and you turning this around this way just makes me wanna hug your neck. Maybe you are a little backwoods and that is alright with me.”
Obviously, I do not in anyway endorse whopping anyone over the head (in any situation where it can be proven). It wasn’t my finest moment but the responses I received from that article alone, made looming deadlines a little more important. Apparently there are many backwoods barbies in Beaufort. Thank you for the encouragement. Your comment is taped to my notebook to remind me that being publicly humiliated isn’t always a bad thing.
Alas, I now have an article primed for submission. I appreciate all the comments and suggestions I receive from those who find time to read my column. It isn’t brain surgery, it isn’t world changing, but it is real; as real as a backwoods barbie.