Life in the Lowcountry

Delving into the past. It’s a process. Work with me.

She is transported to the past in order to bring you this blog…<insert Wayne’s World ™ deeeedledoooodleeeedeeeedeeeellloooodddoooodddllle here>.

It’s 1993, I’ve graduated, found a job, and basically fulfilled what I thought was my parent’s dream list of : “the things that you do after being educated.” I missed the part about getting married. Damn. One of many dreams that my parents had for me that have yet to come true, through no fault of their own. They just didn’t give the best impression of marriage. Dad’s version: “I married her, it’s FOR LIFE.” Mom’s version: “We got married, we made the family, I am a housewife, FUCK YOU. DON’T DO IT! Drinking is a much better way to deal with it. FOR LIFE.”

I’m being harsh. And snarky. FUCK YOU. I learned it somewhere. Nature vs. Nurture? Not just a theory.

Back to the story, It’s 1993 and I’m a year out of college, a year after or right as “The Real World” featuring Pedro, the AIDS guy who I totally fell in love with even though he was gay and had AIDS and by the end of the season died…”Spoiler Alert too late” he was the shit. I kid a lot but that guy had some heart and opened my eyes to the world. Brought me out of my hometown conservative homophobia to the “Real World”. And that’s what freaking reality TV should be, not this trumped up game of who’s going to screw whom ever else over like there is on TV today. (Or so I hear, I quit watching that stuff an hour ago.)

Again, I digress, but I do have a point, albeit a disturbing point, to make. Consider yourself warned. And intrigued. Although only you can consider yourself intrigued if you genuinely are intrigued, which, to beleaguer the point is something only  you can determine at this point by reading on. So to not further digress I will move on past this beleaguered point.

STEW. Not an acronym for anything, that was his name. He was the first AOL (acronym for America On Line) to seduce me online. He convinced the 20-something version of me to say dirty things to him.  I still have conversations we had saved on a disc somewhere but I cannot fathom how to get them off this freaking 3.5 floppy onto Word. I’m hopeless when it comes to computers. So back to the story, it was titillating, people! I tell you this IM chat was HOT! We did stuff I’m still proud of today. And probably was made mention in Penthouse forums simultaneously. I’m just sayin’ that I was young and horny.  And wanting to be talked about in Penthouse.

So Stew, that guy…he got me all hot and bothered while talking to him on IM. So I agreed to talk to him LIVE and IN PERSON! And he dug my voice. “OOOOOHHHHH what a sexy voice you have, can I stroke my cock to it? Can I make you feel good?” And I’m all like, “Um, stroke your cock all you like, you’re not going to make me feel good while you’re in New Jersey and I’m in California. Fucker.”  – He liked that. I was taken aback at the lack of seriousness. If you want a girl to feel good, FUCKING BE THERE to make her feel good. Don’t talk a game…So clearly Stew was out of the picture at this point. He walked the walk that he was walking… whatever that means. He was done for me. Stop it, I’m smart. Too much so, apparently.

Oh, but Stew story, meant to be something of a lesson. He was apparently some kind of movie previewer in the 90’s and had a thing for young chicks. And he wanted me to send him a pair of my unwashed underwear. GROSS!  So if you know the guy, call him out. Seriously, he sent me inappropriate videotapes, I repeat, “VIDEOTAPES”. He sent an impressionable girl “VIDEOS” which I can’t show ’cause they are on beta. But I digress. As I often do.

My favorite story that I don’t tell: Meeting with Stew. He’s such an enigma. He so totally “got” me that I find it hard to tell this saga. I don’t even think you can call it a “saga” without sounding “facetious” when  speaking of Stew.  Stew isn’t “Stew” in this anecdote, he was actually XXXX, but I don’t think it’s right to call people out when writing about them without their previous knowing of it so I’ll call XXXX, Stew. He’ll probably sue me later but fuck that, I got no money! I GOT NOTHING TO LOSE! And I never mean anything in mean spiritedness, Stew.

OK, done delving into the past. More recent past than my only reader knows about. Tom, want more? let me know. I can fill you in. Think this is entertaining? Please let me know. I am pandering here….


Happy Birthday!
October 15, 2008, 9:28 pm
Filed under: Birds and Bees, Life | Tags: , , ,

Today I turned 30-something and I’m still single. Mom and Dad are happy for me because I have a good job that (so far and God willing) is a good and stable job but they’re a little disappointed that they don’t have grandkids. My married friends with kids keep trying to hand off their kids to Mom and Dad but so far it hasn’t cut the mustard. I’m not bemoaning my single status, yes I’d like to be in love and attached to someone who “gets” me, but that’s not where I am right now. Life hasn’t thrown that my way.  I say I’m still single because it seems that until recently I was an anomoly amongst my peers.  Not so much now.

A couple of weeks ago,  I went back to my hometown for a reunion of sorts. It wasn’t a class reunion but rather a reunion of 10 years of classes who all participated in our marching band. We weren’t your everyday band – we won 3 Grand National Championships which is unparalleled to this day, I think.  Meeting up with people that you worked so hard to achieve a singular goal with and spent so many hours with on hot asphalt covered parking lots, on dusty, dry football fields, marching in light rainstorms, sliding in the mud, riding on long bus trips, eating Hardee’s burgers and biscuits, singing Boston songs, “Set it up, Do it Again!” and the endless drama of being in High School…seeing these people again for the first time since graduation and having the comment “You look exactly the same.” said to you over and over and over again – makes you wonder. Did I look 30-something when I was 16? Does 16 now look 30-something? Do things really ever change after high school?

Read your yearbook. It’s fascinating! I knew I was cool in college because I made friends who have told me how cool I am through the years. I have a few friends (since the reunion, quite a few more!) from high school who stuck with me and through good times and bad have had my back and know me better than my friends from college when I thought I was cool. But after this reunion and running into a guy who swore he was in band with us and I totally didn’t recognize at first, I got home, pulled out the yearbook, found him and DUDE! this guy got HOT after high school! Movie Star Hot! Brad Pitt’s got nothing on him.  While looking for his picture, I read over what people had written in my senior yearbook. One girl said that she was sure I’d be a brain surgeon. One swears I look like Molly Ringwald. (I hear this one’s with the FBI now…hope he’s not a profiler! I don’t think I look anything like her!) All of them saying, let’s not lose touch even though we’re leaving home and going off to college. Or let’s stay friends forever.  It’s high school, you lose touch with some and you keep in touch with others. You desperately hope at the time that these people who know you a little TOO well will keep your secrets (you’re a dork who happens to have the same haircut as Molly Ringwald but can make the cool or “in” people laugh) and still like you when you reach your full potential in college, or you fail miserably (hell, you don’t know what you’re going to do…it’s the FUTURE! and it is daunting even for the smartest amongst us.) You desperately want those messages to ring out from the past to say, if just for a moment, we connected. We got each other and had some fun and crazy times and you were there for me. If nothing else, we mattered for that time.  We mattered to someone and in some way that shaped our present time.

20 years have passed. So much has happened! Memories fade, get renewed or revised during reunions. Perspectives change. The darndest thing I saw during that reunion is that people do not change. Fundamentally we may grow up and progress into adulthood but we do not change. Maturity is an option but some of us do not choose it and even if we do, our core is still the same. The princess who wanted the fairytale life but didn’t get it is still trying to convince us she’s onto something. The player who had it all and the beautiful girlfriend is now married and none to happy with that situation and is trying to do something about it. We’ve gotten married, had kids, gotten divorced, remarried, adopted kids, come out of the closet, become alcoholics, drug addicts, dealt with parents dying, made fortunes, lost fortunes, moved out from home, moved back home, gotten over past hurts, and still dwelling in the past. We’re American High School Graduates.

What brings me to this state of mind? I had dinner with a college buddy of mine. He is one of the reasons I’m living in the Lowcountry today. We have been friends since my freshman year in college. He was always BMOC, president of his class (2 years ahead of me – it’s a pattern, old(er) people love me!), big in his fraternity and a student leader for as long as I can remember. He dated my roommate (as most of my guy friends have…hmmm. Think about that later.) and after grad school he lived in my hometown working for a non-profit organization. We live 100 yards from each other but in the past two years I’ve seen his roommate more than I’ve seen him. We reconnected and went to dinner tonight with his roommate. I haven’t laughed as much since the reunion! Sharing stories, we all connected even though we didn’t know the actual people being talked about, we all shared similar situations.  So now it’s late and I’m losing my train of thought. I’ll have to pick this up again.

Tom, you have a new fellow reader and Kristy and I are going to start a back and forth blog about the single vs. MWK lifestyles. Look for it soon! Kristy, glad to have you reading and let’s get this started!!!

I am. II
June 16, 2008, 8:48 pm
Filed under: Birds and Bees, Life, Uncategorized | Tags:

I am willing to accept that I am wonderful. LOL!!

My previous post drew such rave reviews I decided to expand on the subject so here is “I am.” the sequel ~

I recently met a friend whom I hadn’t seen since we were in school together. Not just any school, junior high school, 9th grade to be exact. The background: She moved to Chicago and I stayed in North Cackalacky. She went to Northwestern University and I went to Elon College. She pledged Phi Mu and I pledged Phi Mu. We were sisters again. Flash forward ~ we write letters, send Christmas Cards, she invites me to her wedding and I’m a poor college graduate who can’t afford the airfare. We get email addresses and write once in a while and then lose touch for a year. Next thing I know she’s got two kids (both boys), the third boy is on the way and she’s overdue. It’s Saturday, September 9, 2001 when she emails me that she’s going to be induced on the very next Tuesday. I was so excited when I woke up at 6 am to go to work! My friend is going to have a baby today and I’m a part of this in some way…she thought enough of me to put aside the fact that we hadn’t seen each other in over 10 years to share this very special moment with me, knowing I’d be there in spirit for her. She’d sought my advice for years about the first two boys – asthma, traumas, allergies, etc. and it wasn’t advice, it was just support…just to know that someone who knows her is listening and someone has got her back! And then I get to work that Tuesday morning and get my cup of coffee and sit down in front of my computer to check email and Tom Melton walked in and said, “A plane just hit the World Trade Center. Have you heard about this???” I clicked on my internet connection and tuned to MSNBC to see what he was talking about. I think I even said, “Was it on purpose or an accident?” No one seemed to answer. As I was watching the second plane fly into the other tower I thought, ‘Oh my God, is she watching this while waiting to deliver this precious child?’ and the next thought was ‘What the fuck is going on?’ I panicked and ran to my boss’ office and said that I needed to go home. He said that was ok and I left. I turned on the tv at home and grabbed my cat and cried. I panicked again and couldn’t stand being at home so I went back to work in a state of shock. I just knew I needed to be around people. I needed to be around people who cared about me. I called my mom, dad, brother, friends in NYC and anyone I could think about and made sure they were ok. I don’t think the shock wore off for days. I was in North Carolina and I cannot imagine what my friends and family and complete strangers went through in New York and DC and Pennsylvania. I had no idea what shock and horror I could feel.

I need to edit that last diatribe, it kinda came out in stream of consciousness…forgive me faithful reader!

So I met this child last week and I was very much impressed with him. He now has a younger brother (yes, she’s got 4 sons) and all of them are so freaking great! The oldest is 10 going on 30. The next in line is 8 but he acts 14, the 7 year old is not quite 7 and he’s more reserved than the rest and the 3 year old is a force to be reckoned with! (He asked if they were going to see “Ashwee” because they were in the car for over half an hour and he missed me. “Can we go visit Ashwee again?” Even with a birth date that carries a heavy burden, this child is so happy and friendly and not in the least bit scarred! His parents have reared him and his siblings in such a way that they will always be the best that they can be! I’m proud to call them all, kids and parents, my friends!

Dating in the Lowcountry
December 29, 2007, 12:49 am
Filed under: Birds and Bees, Life

I’ve come to realize through trial and error that internet dating is not all that and a bag of chips. I’ve done the free sites, the paying members only sites and both have yielded a lot of good/bad date stories for me but not a love connection. Mostly there are weirdos out there. I thought since I was fairly sane and decent looking that I would find the same. Seems resonable, right?

What in the world does an unemployed 58 year old divorcee think he has in common with an intelligent, well-employed and attractive thirty-something female? What in the world would we talk about? So, not being one to pre-judge and as I’m always willing to give someone a chance, I emailed the gentleman/grandfather. Yes, he has grandchildren. (I just want kids, not a grandkid yet.) He immediately asked me to meet him for brunch and I said, “Can we at least talk on the phone first?” I guess he figures he hasn’t got much time left, so why waste it with that ‘getting to know you’ bit that usually happens when you first meet. I know that’s harsh and probably not true but he did rush things a bit. Another one bites the dust.

Meet Josh, he’s 38 going on 17, he plays in a band, he’s got a young kid and an ex-wife and he’s not out for wife #2 no matter what he writes in his profile. He wants to be free to play his music and the field for as long as his libido will let him. We get along great and he lets me down easy. “You want different things than I do. We’ll always be friends…”

Here comes the fix-up! “Ash, I’ve got the man for you! My friend Patrick is so funny and you two would get along so well because you both are outgoing and funny and worldly! I can’t wait for you to meet him. What are you doing for dinner a week from Wednesday?”

News flash: Patrick is gay. Not that there’s anything wrong with that but I’m not a man. 🙂 I don’t want my competition to be Brad Pitt. It’s hard enough fighting for attention when there’s Angelina Jolie out there…or Heidi Klum…or any other young supermodel…I just can’t compete! So don’t hook me up with your closeted gay friend unless you just want me to out him. And in that case, just tell me that’s what he needs instead of getting my hopes up.

Having said all that, I still have hope. Dating and the search for love is not for naught. I will find love. I will.

************Update: 6/5/08 *************

So now instead of the ‘free’ internet sites, I’m trying the ones that you pay for and they promise to match you with ‘someone truly compatible to you’ where they match 20 some points of commonality…and deliver true love to your inbox. I am sure that hilarity will ensue. Stay tuned for the updates from the new blog, the EHARMONY files. Here’s a rough draft exerpt:

‘Pedro has requested communication with you. Log on to now to view Pedro’s questions and begin the path to discovering your true love.’    ~Flash forward~ The next day, Pedro has answered all the ‘close-ended questions’ and sent all the ‘open-ended questions’ and told me his ‘likes/dislikes’, his ‘must haves and can’t stands’ and has initiated ‘open communication’.  Something I said caught his fancy and something he said caught mine. A week later we’ve talked on the phone every night for a few hours and then… (stay tuned. he just called and I’ll update this tomorrow…)

Kids Questions
June 19, 2007, 8:01 pm
Filed under: Birds and Bees, Life

My loyal reader sent me an email today describing a situation where his 9 1/2 year old son asked him what a “ba-gina” was. He immediately took full responsibility of the situation and told his son, “Go ask your Mom. I’m sure she knew someone once with one.” And then it was decided by his wife (and wisely so) that he should have the Birds and Bees talk with #1 Son. His quandry to me was why it would be so good for him to give that TALK when as a young lad, he’d never been given the talk. I’m paraphrasing here but he said that his parents bought a 4 volume set on reproduction and told him that he need only look at it IF he wanted to. Then said 4 volume set was placed on the highest part of the bookshelf, faced flat with a 15 lb. globe of the world anchoring it down. Oh, and they were sandwiched between the Boy Scout Handbook and a Large Print Version of the Bible.

I had a very similar non-talk about sex when I was young and until my friend shared his experience of non-talk I had all but forgotten about it. Well, that’s not entirely true and I’ll explain why later. So here’s a recap of my childhood up to the big NON-TALK.

I tended to get strep throat. A lot. I had chronic strep and got my tonsils taken out in 4th grade. I got home from the hospital, ate lots of ice cream, recovered, went back to school and before the week was done I had strep throat again. Exasperated, Dr. Cooper (my pediatrician and a wonderful Doctor) said to me, “How in the world can you have strep throat? You don’t have a throat!” Another dose of amoxicillin for the child. Another thing I liked to do as a child (and a habit that hasn’t left me yet…God knows it maybe should have after what comes next) was to read! I couldn’t get enough. My 3rd grade teacher put a challenge to us to read as many books as we could over the summer and my best friend (Ruth Ann) and I read non-stop. We pushed each other to read the most books in our grade and we did. I can’t remember the exact number but it was close to 250 books. We’re not talking Tolstoy but they weren’t Dr. Seuss, either.

Back to the story. I was recovering, again, from strep throat. Anyone who’s ever had it knows how painful it is. Not being able to swallow without it feeling like you’re gargling razor blades or sharp glass is not fun to say the least. Mom felt some pity for me, I’d just gotten out of the hospital less than a week before and so she let me “recover” in my parent’s room where the TV was. I literally climbed up into their bed (king size, 4 poster, up high off the ground) grabbed my teddy bear, my pillow and sunk down beneath the covers to sleep. In walks Mom with a book in hand. She sits on the bed beside me and asks, “How are you feeling, Boots?” I just looked at her and with what I think was a remarkably adult response I said, “Like doo-doo.” She knew I was feverish and tired and so she placed the book on the bedside table and said, “When you feel up to it, read this. If you have any questions, let me know and I’ll try and answer them.”

HELLO. My curiosity got the best of me. Mom had given me lots of books to read before but not one where she thought I may have questions SHE’D need to answer. What could this one be? She’d left the room, gone downstairs to do some laundry or watch her stories (The Young and the Restless) and I turned towards the nightstand. I picked up the book and read the title, “Where Did I Come From?” with some subtitle that I can’t remember. It was longer than a pamphlet but shorter than a TV Guide. There were helpful hints about pronunciation of anatomy and one in particular struck me. (Plus I felt I had to ask a question to make Mom know that I read this and was fully comprehending what I read. Her book was valuable to me and my knowledge.) “Vagina rhymes with Carolina. ” ‘Is that so?’ I innocently asked. ‘Yes, Dear. IT rhymes with Carolina.’