Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I am, indeed, dreaming of a Smoky Mountain Christmas

Made it through the first of the family holidays more or less unscathed. We've never had a truly awful family gathering at my house, as we are of the "Avoid Public Confrontation at All Costs" school of Southern families, but unfortunately there are certain parts of my immediate family who fall a little short of the tolerance level that I am comfortable with, and there were a few tense moments in which family members vocally expressed both homophobia and racism. That's right, folks, it was TWO TWO TWO for the price of ONE, all in the course of maybe 30 minutes.

Because of the enlightened, liberal friends that I have who were also raised in rural West Tennessee, this is a topic that has been on my mind a LOT as of late. I cannot express the ultimate respect and awe that I feel for Liz, who recently committed the ultimate sin of verbally sparring with her father over the most tiresome issue of our region (make that our fucking nation), race. Anyone who knows me is aware that I am inherently anti-confrontational, and the simple knowledge that I have to, say, make a phone call to demand service, fills me with an anxiety so great that my hands shake while dialing the phone. HOWEVER. I don't know how much longer I can take this. I don't know how many more years I can be complicit to this fucking hate because it makes me sick and sad inside to know that it's being passed directly into the next generation. I can't imagine how I will react in the years to come, when I have my own children. I don't want them to hear shit like that, especially from people they're supposed to love & respect.

It makes my heart hurt, and I don't know what to do. It makes me wish Daddy was around, for some reason, although that may just be a kind of futile reaction to my own impotence in this situation.

In other words, DEAR ABBY, HELP!

Q: How did moving go? How are things in your new place?
A: I don't want to talk about it.

I'm getting all jingly/sparkly/jazzed about the upcoming holiday season. I'M GETTING A FUCKING CHRISTMAS TREE. YES I AM. And I plan to make paper snowflakes and cover them in glitter for a thrifty Christmas. Kind of like this:

Did anyone read that book? There was also a made for TV movie based on it, starring the incomparable Jason Robards:

They were poor, and her Daddy was kind of an authoritarian asshole and refused to let her have an Xmas tree, ever. And her mom was dead. (That's her grandmother knitting up there). And she was super-nerdy. But then, in an act of charity they got a free Xmas tree and she had saved the silvery paper from cigarette packs for MONTHS in order to create beautiful silvery decorations. I'm a bit foggy on the details from here on out, but I do know that at the end, her father's ice cold heart was warmed by all the Christmas good cheer and he was magically cured of assholism.

My favorite Christmas movie of all time, however, is probably this jewel:

Can you believe that this is the best image Google could come up with? Where in the fuck are all the Smoky Mountain Christmas enthusiasts? I know my Dolly-loving Tennessee girls are going to say "Amen" on this one... A Christmas movie with a Snow White plot! Orphans living in the hills! A sexy witch! Mountain Dan! What in the fuck?!?! I'm just glad it exists. Also, I have to say that I will uphold until my dying day that Dolly Parton is indeed a good actress.

Lord I've degraded very quickly. I'll hit "publish" before anything else flies from my fingers.

ETA: Goddamn, I love Dolly, but this makes me a little scared, then ashamed for being scared, but then scared again (click on it, it's too wide for this DUMB BLOG):

Please stop, Dolly! At least stop fucking with your face. I'm afraid you're approaching Wildenstein territory.


BetteDavisLies said...

My favorite Xmas movies are Susan Lucci's version of A Christmas Carol entitled Ebbie--a Lifetime original--and the Hallmark original from the early-80s, A Magic Christmas, where a white trash family gets help from a pedophile-esque angel.

Amen on the homo/racist comments. Dusty's grandfather all but called me a "fucking commie" at Thanksgiving.

schmutzfynk said...

my favorite xmas movie is white christmas and the charlie brown christmas.

i know i'm not from west tennessee or anything, but i do have some comparable experience. my daddy's family are all horrible pieces of shit that i refused to invite to my wedding because of their racism and biggotry. except my grannie, god rest her. i haven't seen them for any reason besides a funeral in over ten years, and the last thanksgiving i was present for (at deer camp, naturally) my uncle mike said 'jeezus, girl! you look like freddie kreuger or some shit. you are one weird... freaky thing. that's definitely your bitch mama coming out in you. damn shame.'

dolly parton is hilarious. and a good actress, none of that is changed by all of that goddamned silicone. what the crap, dolly!!! although, there's a great selection of quotes if you google her. she's pretty witty.

'i hope people realize that there's a heart underneath the boobs, and a brain underneath the hair'

you tell, em, dolly.


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