When I got married, my mother wrote five pages of memories about me, her oldest son, to read at Southern Gal’s bridal shower.
And today, while spring-cleaning, those memories surfaced like the dust of yesteryear and Southern Gal plopped those scribbled words before me so I read.
Southern Gal kept dusting. Kept rearranging. Kept living in the present.
I, on the other hand, began reading about my childhood and suddenly, I was gone from the kitchen table; gone riding in my dad’s pickup truck and I pressed my face against the floor boards, watched the road fly by through the hole for the stick shift.
I spit my gum onto the road, spit it hard so it would stick and wouldn’t roll into the ditch because I worried it might be lonely there and that’s how my brain worked.
We bumped our way to the local farm store and my dad bought chicken feed for the chickens and a toy tractor for me. We rode home together then and later that evening, my dad tried to play “tractor” with me on the floor but I got too bored so I just went back to my sketchbooks and markers; empty pages stretching before me begging to be filled.
For something, anything to be created with all the glue and tape and colors and wouldn’t it be fun if I could eat something I made? So I tried and my mom wondered if I was normal and my dad went back to his newspaper with a sigh escaping his lips but it was okay because I was alone with my imagination and that’s all I needed.
Fast-forward twenty years and I’m still the same person.
I dream too much. I scribble words. I buy ten different colors of highlighters. I create. I love. I live. Vibrant colors fill my closet. I’m leery of people with perfect hair.
Nothing changed about the person I was except somewhere in those twenty years, life happened and I started shaving like I was a man or something and then I met Southern Gal.
It takes a special person to marry someone like me and I could sit here all day questioning her motives but in the end I guess it doesn’t matter much.
In the end, I suppose, it’s more important to just be “you” and accept it.
Yes, be a bit weird.
And you might not catch on. You might just be thankful you have someone who’ll wear footy pajamas and eat fish sticks and lime green sherbet with you.