Thursday, June 27, 2013

You can't fix this with butter, Paula

Oh, Paula. You've gotten yourself into quite a mess, haven't you? My Facebook feed is full of people from back home who want to "bring back Paula Deen!" They simply can't live without the butter and the ridiculous accent. Girlfriend, I'm with you on the butter, but you are doing your IQ a disservice with your drawl.

We all know you are one smart cookie. Butter loaded, sugar sprinkled, passed down from your Mimi's kitchen cookie.

The thing is, I don't watch your show or read your cookbooks. Nothing personal, I just don't get into them. You have plenty of fans, so I know this little fact doesn't hurt your feelings. My opinion about you doesn't apply to your show, books, or endorsements. It doesn't matter to me one way or the other.

What bothers me is that the conversation so quickly turned to whether or not you should be punished, or persecuted, as many are calling it. It's really not the point. 

The point is that we are glossing over the entire attitude. We are once again, downplaying the fact that the glorification of the Old South is hurtful and does nothing positive for our community. Sure, the dresses were pretty, the houses magnificent, the parties to die for, but it was built on the backs of slaves.

There is nothing about that I can be nostalgic for.

I know what they say. It's heritage. It's our history. We've moved on.  Shoot, even the Supreme Court ruled that the South has worked through their race issues at the polls. Go, us. We have come so far.

So far that when a popular tv personality such as yourself is recorded under oath being nostalgic for the days of old when black men in white coats made an event glorious by reflecting the days of slavery, we simply argue about your tv show being cancelled.

You know, Paula, you are held to a high standard. You should be. You are white, privileged, and in the public eye. Using the n-word and waxing nostalgic for the good old days of slavery are not okay. Turning the conversation to your persecution is not okay. We have a responsibility to teach future generations, and according to the responses, apparently current generations too, that the way our ancestors built their wealth on the backs of others was not okay. That it is nothing to remember fondly or to be proud of. 

I understand that traditions run deep, and I know that food in the Deep South is a connection to our roots and our heritage. But you would do us all a lot of good if you could stick with the recipes and leave the fondness for plantation life in the past.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Loving her isn't enough

Last night I dreamed that Momma and I were shopping. We were in some hip little downtown area, very much like Asheville, and we were in stores like specialty olive oil and dried herb shops. Places you wander leisurely through, wondering how they stay in business, but enjoying the window shopping.

Momma was strong, beautiful, vibrant, and we were having so much fun.

They were shops I had been in before, because the employees knew me. I introduced Momma to each one of them, and they showed her things that I had mentioned to them reminded me of her. It was very much how I often shop, "Oh, Momma would like that."


She is on heavy duty chemo again, Momma. It isn't as easy this time around, not that it was ever easy. But it is easy to forget how much harder a weekly injection is than a daily pill. Especially easier to forget when you aren't there.

The boys made her cards. I made her a minky eye pillow with dried lavender in it. She called me when she got it and gushed about the cards. I was proud of my boys. Then we talked about the pillow and how she could heat it or cool it to use on her eyes or head.

She said, "That's so nice. Elizabeth always puts a cool rag on my head with I'm throwing up, so I'm sure I'll be able to use this."

And in that moment, I failed her. Here is your silly eye pillow, when you need someone holding your hand, wiping your mouth, helping you get to the bathroom or bucket in time. I made you a PILLOW. A scented pillow to help you want to throw up even more.

Next week, I'll be with her. I'll get to do those things, but only for a week. It's ultimately not my responsibility. Or is it, and I'm shirking it?

I'm long distance loving her with dreadfully out of touch care packages. Loving her doesn't seem like enough.