So today is Mother’s Day and you know what that means…well actually you probably don’t. Mother’s Day, like almost every other holiday, involves a trek to Baytown. Unlike most trips to Baytown this one involved interaction with people outside of my family. Mother’s day involves a visit to my grandmother’s church, Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church. Mt. Calvary is also the church that my mother and her siblings were raised in. That’s what we folks in the south say…she was raised in the church. That phrase is usually followed by I don’t know why she acting like she wasn’t. Meaning she is unpleasant, whore-ish, or both. I was also raised at Mt Calvary MBC. Pretty much everyone but my grandmother and one aunt left Mt. Calvary. So it was a bit of a homecoming to say. It’s kind of weird going back there. My mother and I go to what they call a mega church, thousands of members, multiple services, hundreds of ministries. So going back to a church that may have 100-150 people in it is a very different experience. Nice but different.
Well, the mother’s day visit generally goes the same every year. We all show up at Mt. Calvary and sit around my grandmother. She beams, we smile…they ask visitors to stand up. We stand and as the eldest grandchild I say something to represent the grandkids and the great-grands and then one of my aunts says something for the siblings. So that’s how this Mother’s Day went. This is the other phenomenon about returning to Mt Calvary, for some reason ( well the reason is that my grandmother spends lots of time beaming to her church friends about how great I am- which is kind of nice to have someone brim with pride about you the way she does about me), when I come home its like a star has return from the big city or at least I feel that way. The one thing about the after church chat that I always seems to mess with my head is the compliments. Not because I am uncomfortable with compliments, but because I am me and I think way too much. When someone tells you "Oh my, you are so pretty, you know I didn’t even recognize you, Sis. Jones had to tell me that was you. She was like that’s Linda’s oldest" Now I smile and take several of these compliments but like compliments about weight loss they make you think “was I really that… fat, ugly, awkward, bitchy, you get me. So after each one of these you look to beautiful to be that teenager who came to church here, I began to ask myself was I that awkward as a teenager? I mean so funny looking that you never thought that I might grow up into even a semi-attractive woman. Well, maybe so. When I think of me in high school I don’t think hideous however I don’t think what a looker. Someone once told me that people who are all that in high school have nowhere to go but down. His theory was that the pretty people in high school pretty much peak out before they can gain their freshman 15. So with that being said I guess I had nowhere to go but up from high school. However I would like to never peak and always get progressively better. There is always room to be smarter. Back to my trip.
So after all the pleasantries were exchanged at church we went to the only place that can handle a party of 20 ( which is a light version of what we normally have at mother’s day- we were missing several of my first cousins and my brother). We went to Ryan’s Family Steak House. Ryan’s is Baytown’s local all you can eat joint, they serve your typical luke warm American buffet along with pizza and taco bars. So while I was in line waiting to pay for my mother and my mega-bars I spied a girl a few people ahead of me carrying a confederate flag purse. YES A CONFEDERATE FLAG PURSE. Welcome to Baytown home of the redneck!! Don’t forget to stop by city hall on your way in to get your White Sheet and directions to the er…um.. barbeque yes that’s it barbeque. We can make s’mores on that burning cross right Elmer? The purse was a little unsettling to me, but it was so unsettling to my youngest aunt that she and her daughter went over by the young girl ( maybe 16) to make her feel uncomfortable about her choice of accessory. My aunt and cousin walked next to the Dixie family and pretended to look at some display board then my aunt stops looks at the girl and her purse and says "You can always count on the PWT" then my cousin says "PWT?" and my aunt responds, " Yes…POOR WHITE TRASH…Hhmph!". The girl and her family visibly uncomfortable didn’t say a word just looked down at their feet. WHAT WERE YOU THINKING!! I mean when you wake up and get dressed and pick up your confederate flag purse? Do you think that it is not going to be offensive? Do you think no blacks will call you out? I mean I am assuming you believe all the savage stereotypes, so whydon’t you prepare for confrontation- more than staring at your shoes???? and if you did then you should be big and bad enough to talk some trash back- Defend yo’ purse byzytch! See I would have appreciated it if there was some comeback to my aunt- if your racist and you know it CLAP YOUR HANDS!! I mean surely you know what that flag signifies to black people, and if it is not what it signifies to you ( as I once learned in college from a Georgian who had his state flag proudly displays)and if those two meanings differ take the time to explain that. I mean I know that, that little girl knew exactly what that flag means to blacks and it was her passive aggressive way of trying to let us know that she thought herself better. That flag represents when we knew our place! However I am not surprised by the action or reaction at all. This is Baytown home of the Lee high school where Dixie is still played (well at least when I was there in the late 80s early 90’s) YES DIXIE. I wish I was in a land of cotton!! Old Times there are not forgotten. Look Away…Look Away… Look Away Dixieland. I’m not sure about you, but I love cotton as much as the next girl, but I have never wished to be in land of cotton. Hell they didn’t stop flying the rebel flag until 1978 or 79. Enough about the residents of Baytown and my family’s passive aggressive fight of racism
After Ryan’s, we went on to my grandmother’s house to visit some more. My mom just became a Mary Kay lady, so she wanted to pimp her pink game a little bit to family and friends. LOL! I spent the time playing with my little cousin (my first cousin’s son- which makes him my second cousin), Harry a great big ball of 14 month old energy. I forgot to mention how my other cousin called me out for being childless, as if that was a bad thing. LOL! After my time with Harry I was so very glad of my choice. Actually, baby Harry, as my family refers to him was so much fun! He is learning to talk so he is eager to repeat everything you say. Harry had already taken a shine to me at church so by the time we made it to Grandmother Rachel’s ( or GG’s as she now goes by- Great Grandmother-GG get it) I was Harry’s newest friend. He ran around, tried on my shoes, sat in my lap, used my cell phone, and in general entertained me like no man has in while. Hmmm not sure what that says about the men that have been entertaining me. In all seriousness, after my time with Harry I tipped my hat of to my little cousin and her husband. I was like how do you get anything done? Working all day and then coming home to "work" with Harry. Wow! She really is an adult. I guess nothing grows you up more than kids. She was telling me how tired she is but when she was talking about how great it is watching Harry learn new phrases and words. I saw Mother’s day in her eyes. You know a mother’s life. How all the sacrifice is worth it to see the new things and the growth of your child, the you in them. Now, I am not saying that I am heading to a sperm bank, or trying to get knocked up or anything but I think Harry just left the OG with a softer spot for motherhood, than I had before I went to Baytown today.