By Cherimie Crane
Often there are precursors to problematic events that can easily be detected with our glorious God given senses. One can often see a large rock rolling straight for one’s face, sometimes we can even smell the latest Raechel Ray attempted casserole ablaze in our oven, and even as children we knew instantaneously that milk may have expired the moment it touched our tongue. There are, however, some instances where there is simply no precursor, no clue, no preparatory pause, no background horror movie music, and many times no easy way out.
Those are the moments that offer the opportunity to rise righteously or to fail so miserably and have us asking the most basic question: Should I have gotten out of bed this morning?
It is my quick wit, my fast tongue, and often my cute shoes that get me out of (and admittedly into) life’s little mud puddles. If I can’t joke about it or respond with a quality quip, basically my cute shoes and I retreat. Obviously, my life is somewhat public. Through my articles I have basically told the world that I am a work in progress, albeit a painfully slow progress, but progress nonetheless. My follies, fears, and fashion faux pas have unfolded in print and for public scrutiny. My writings are certainly not elaborate exposes or world changing documentaries. I do not fancy myself as Dan Rather or Barbara Walters, but from time to time, my bad days, weird days and wrong days make someone, somewhere smile.
Apparently, my words have the opposite effect as well.
This delectable little nugget of knowledge was sandblasted at me 7:05BC (before coffee). Barely breathing, slightly comatose, and with all of the style and grace of a bull frog, I made my way to my favorite coffee shop. No need for shiny happy Cherimie, they are fully aware that I require coffee before conversation. It is simply the natural order.
As I am standing patiently in line focusing on maintaining the upright position and anticipating the awesomeness that awaits me, I hear the term “Backwoods Barbie.” In my pre-caffeine haze, I felt sure I had misunderstood. Certainly they were really saying backyard barbecue or possibly a new flavor I had yet to try? No, in fact, this person went on to demolish, dissect and destroy my perfectly decaffeinated morning.
This polished and poised princess of pretention was explaining to all who would listen about the incredibly horrendous writings of this “Backwoods Barbie.” Good gravy, I thought, who on earth is this poor soul who is being bashed by Little Miss Morning Person?
Through sleep deprived eyes, I leaned over and there it was: and it was me. She had my latest article spread out as if she was potty training a pooch.
Well, this is fun, I thought. Although my photo appears alongside my inappropriate words, Little Miss Morning Person did not make the connection. In her defense, my pre-coffee self is a tad bit different than shiny, happy Cherimie.
Now, as all Southern women do (even the Backwoods Barbies), I immediately began hearing the voices of my mother, my grandmother, and Nancy Grace: the Southern Trifecta. My mother would say, “Just walk away Cherimie, pray for her and walk away.” My grandmother, in a slightly more stern tone, would ever so eloquently tell me to stand up for myself and never run from difficult situations. Then there is Nancy Grace. The reason I hear the soulful Southern twang of Nancy Grace is for the simple fact that she would be the one leading the search for me after I whop Little Miss Morning Person over the head. It is well known that Nancy Grace always gets her Barbie. (*Disclaimer* For the record, I would never whop anyone over the head, it is just an expression.)
Maybe it was wedding stress, maybe the lack of espresso, or the basic human nature to feel sad when being judged publicly — especially by someone wearing extremely unattractive shoes — but it hurt.
This kind, messenger of morning manners had no idea that Backwoods Barbie was standing right behind her. I suppose I could have clued her in, but doubtful it would have been a pleasant encounter. I suppose there are worse things in the world.
I didn’t say anything. I simply walked out and did what all women do: I steamed like broccoli the entire afternoon. I wish I would have introduced myself and if I see her again (it is Beaufort), I will do just that.
After this brutal confirmation that not everyone appreciates my Southern ways or enjoys my commentary of all that is mundane, I could have decided to retire. After all, I have a business, a family, and under sometimes thick skin, a heart. I would no longer have to bow out of a coffee shop in tears over comments from a less-than-stellar individual. But that would not be very Cherimie-like.
To Little Miss Morning Person, I thank you. Your words had a tremendous impact and reminded me of exactly who I am. I am not someone who runs out of a coffee shop. I come from a small town, a small family, and maybe even a small way of life. I can handle most situations with grace and poise, and the rest I can handle with grit.
There are actually many of us who hide the hay-stained heels of our cowboy boots. Lawyers, doctors, teachers, nurses, bartenders, and mothers; there are millions of us. Each day we deal with things that would cause most women a quick trip to the prescription counter. We are beautifully comfortable in our own skin, even when it is sunburned. We don’t feel the need to accessorize with pretention. Name brands aren’t as important to us as namesakes.
I am Backwoods Barbie, I just never quite had the appropriate title. Thanks to your unsolicited opinion, I now have a perfect excuse to say whatever it is that I wish to say and it will be said by none other than Backwoods Barbie. Backwoods Barbie will continue to look at life honestly, with humor, and with the power of the pen. My column that disturbed you so, will now be in honor of you and your assesment of my approach to life. If there is anything a Backwoods Barbie is good at, it is taking low blows from unworthy foes, finding good in bad, and holding our heads full of big hair as high as our red shiny heels. Bless your heart, that silly, inappropriate article you condemend with contempt is going to continue to grace the pages of the newspaper you couldn’t help but read. All I can offer you is sincere gratitude for reminding me of who I am and how I handle difficult situations. I may have run out of the coffee shop, but I ran home to my computer to give birth to the idea you so generously gave.
“Dear Little Miss Morning Person,
I don’t like your accent. And your shoes are ugly.”