Thursday, September 30, 2010

"Who do you go for??"

That's one of Jack's favorite questions to ask his 2nd grade friends.

And for those of you not from these parts....that's code for, "Do you like Auburn or Alabama?"

Mmmhhhhmmmm......I thought it was a little odd when I first moved here too. I was a mere 19 years old, and just trying to get used to the fact that when my mother-in-law said she was "fixin" to do something, that meant she was getting ready. There are actually a whole lot of terms I didn't know then that I do now....and frankly, that would probably make for a very comical blog post.....but I'm getting all sidetracked.

How in the WORLD was I to know that in the south, college football was like a religion? is. I had never seen anything like it.

I will never forget.... Darwin had just gotten out of the Marine Corps, and we had just moved cross country to his home town in south Alabama. It was November and just about time for the Iron Bowl. (And don't even get me started about the reaction I received when I asked what the Iron Bowl was.) guessed it. I got that whole, are-you-kidding-me look.

So the big day arrived, and even though I was clueless....I could feel the energy in the air. Everyone was wearing their team colors....and saying these crazy things to one another. You, "War Eagle" or "Roll Tide". And if you aren't from here....that's just a little weird to be in the store, and have someone look at you wearing your Auburn shirt (that you borrowed from your husband because you haven't added such a thing to your wardrobe yet), and saying, "WAR EAGLE!" And that was only prior to the game....because once it started, the stores were EMPTY. Did you hear me?? Empty. Except, of course, for the occasional newbie like myself who didn't see what all of the hulabaloo was about.

But once I had children and they got to school age, I started REALLY seeing the craziness. The whole WEEK of school before the Iron Bowl they would have activities for the kids to participate in. Wear your favorite team shirt....whichever team-gets-the-most-change-brought-in parties....etc.

Gradually, I became accustomed to the whole idea, but I still didn't love it, and I certainly didn't want to sit down and spend hours watching it on television.

And then it happened.

My girls got to middle school and began being "pep rallied" into going to the high school football games. How was I to say "no" when they had a "spirit bus" to ride on?? Kinda' hard to use the ole' "gas is too expensive for me to drive you there" excuse.

And then the girls started wanting to spend their Saturdays watching football with Darwin and having intelligent conversations about it! I was feeling left out, and if you know anything about me....I don't like being left out.

So this girl decided that if you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

And I did.

And I love it.

I even get upset when our high school football team has an away game and Darwin doesn't want to travel with the team!

And for those of you Bama fans out there, don't get your feathers ruffled. Shhhhh.....don't tell anyone, but I actually watch those games too, and pull for Alabama unless they're playing Auburn. Darwin grew up an Alabama fan, but lost his loyalty when his brother went to Auburn. And we do have a daughter fixin' to go to Auburn next year so......

Wait...did I just say "fixin'"?


I've actually been known to say "War Eagle" to a perfect stranger in public who is wearing the right attire.

So....War Eagle!!!!

I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I'm not really sure......

why the thought of turning 40 bothered me so much.

I mean, don't get me wrong....I don't like the way it sounds.

But all in all, it hasn't been as bad as I once thought it would. Of course it's only been a couple of weeks, but work with me here. I'm trying to embrace this.

I could have gone much worse.

I walked in to the salon that day, ready to chop off all of my hair. Well, okay, not really all, but darn near. I had looked through some of my old albums, (which I am WAY behind on since ending my reign as a Creative Memories Consultant...but we won't go in to that or the guilt that has ensued ever since.)


As I looked through, I noticed that the pictures of myself that I liked the most (and there weren't many), were the ones where my hair was shorter, neater, and high lighted better. Forget the fact that I was nearly 8-10 years younger.....I'm sure that had nothing to do with it.


So I walked into the salon on my 40th birthday....(thanks to my two teenage daughters who said they would pay for me to get it cut and high-lighted.....and I tried not to over-think that gift....because maybe instead of saying, "Mom it's a special birthday, so we're doing something special." they were saying, " something with that hair!!!!" ) Nope...that wasn't it....I refuse to let my thoughts wander there.

I was all set. It was coming off. I was going to turn 40 and my hair would be short again...easier to fix, take less time....I had myself completely psyched for this.

Until I walked through the door with my freshly washed and barely styled hair and not one, but BOTH stylists look up at me and say, "Wow...your hair has really gotten longer! I like it!! You aren't cutting it off today are you???"

WHAT????????? Are you kidding me??? You're going to totally make me second guess my LONG thought out decision to finally whack this stuff off and suggest that I grow it out?

For those of you who know me well....I don't make decisions quickly. Or without someone else's opinion. And if i don't like that opinion, I will ask for someone else's until I get the approval I'm looking for. I was immediately in decision-making-crisis-mode. And I was all by myself.

My voice cracked as I quietly cleared my throat and said, "Well, actually I was thinking about going shorter today."

"Oh NO.....don't do's looking good longer, and will help you keep your youth!"

Did she just say what I think she said??? Youth?? Decision making crisis over. I was turning 40 that day, and that was all it took. (This peer pressure thing isn't just for teens.....I'm just sayin'.)

Did I mention I was squirming in my chair this whole time? Well I was. I was SO nervous. Here I was...all set to come home with a "new do", and I was going to get to go home with an "old do" only longer. Sigh.

So in typical stylist fashion, she admires her work, telling me how good it looks, and how I'm going to really like I will be able to do so much more with it. You know the lines....I think they practice them in cosmetology school. And they're good at it....because she had me convinced that it looked good.

I come home....text my BFF (because of course I am needing someone's approval, and hers was one of the most important opinions)....then I think it's a good idea to try to take a self portrait with my cell phone and spend the next 20 minutes snapping pictures and sighing in disgust at how big my nose looks, how that angle makes my chin look, etc., etc., etc. Self portraits with cell phones are not easy. But a best friend must see a picture, so her 40 year old friend can get her approval and move on through her day!!

I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

Best friend approved. I can proceed through my day.

And it was all good until the day after. know all about the day after....and I am not referring to a hangover. I am referring to the day after a trip to the salon. When you get to wash all of that expensive-product-they-try-to-sell-you out of your hair and STYLE IT YOURSELF.'s scary.

After several days of attempting to style it and embrace the new look, I was frustrated and ready to take a pair of scissors to it myself. That is, until my daughters introduced me to their best friends, Ms. Chi and Mr. Paul Mitchell.

I was a nervous wreck as my 16 year old quickly ran a HOT straightener through my hair. I just knew I was going to begin my 40's with a big ole' burn right across the forehead or something. And thanks to some old hairspray in my hair from earlier, she and my husband were getting some good laughs at what a straightener can do to that! I was the brunt of this joke, and not loving it.

But then my almost 18 year old rescued me. And in the privacy of her room, she transformed what looked like a rock-star-gone-bad hair do, to a smooth, new look for me.

And now I love straighteners.

And being 40.

I'm just sayin'.