For years, the message ran, in his most impressive "redneck" voice, something like this: "Howdy, this yars the ________. We can't come to the phone right now. We're outside sloppin' the hogs and feedin' the chickens. Sure would like to know why y'all called, so leave a message after this thing makes that little ol' beepin' sound." When the school system called my parents' house where I lived at the time, we still had this answering machine message, the same one that people would actually call back our house again just to hear it another time. As a result, the manager in charge of hiring me wrote a special note in my file: "may encounter adversity." Why? He thought I was some country girl from the back 40 who was coming to the big cities of Howard County, Maryland (which is a joke in itself, I might add).
When I called him one day to say that Mom was coming with me to sign paperwork, he thought my shitkicker and overall-wearing (not cool at the time like it is again now) hillbilly of a mother was coming to check out the town and make sure it was safe for her baby girl. All of this truth came out, and I explained that Dad is an extremely eccentric man; I am from a county affectionately nicknamed "Cow County," but I'm not a farm girl despite how many times I watched Green Acres and The Beverly Hillbillies (SO.MUCH.NICK.AT.NITE.)
Several years later, when Jeff and I were adopting our sweet puppies, Roxy and Squirt, the adoption lady called my parents' house for a reference. Once again, someone heard this message on the machine. She hung up and did not leave a message; in fact, she called me, asking whether or not I gave her the wrong number. And, once again, I had to explain my Dad's eccentricities to a stranger. Four of us lived in that house for a long time, but I am the only one who not once but TWICE had an interesting experience as a result of Dad's voicemail creativity. And people wonder why it's impossible to embarrass me.
Anyway, Mom accompanied me to Baltimore City yesterday because I needed to visit one of the professional buildings. If you don't know Baltimore, though it has its allure and charms (I met my now husband in a dance club there almost 10 years ago), then you should know that Baltimore makes a name for itself with its impressive number of murders per capita. Like everywhere, however, it has its redeeming qualities and not-so-bad parts of town. On the ride home, GPS took us the shorter route, which did not translate to the safer route. In fact, many of the houses were boarded up and the loveliest of individuals frequented the streets. As Mom stared at a boarded up house, commenting on its "shaggy curtains" and "light coming through one of the boarded up windows," I scolded her severely. "DO NOT ENGAGE. STOP LOOKING. LOOK STRAIGHT AHEAD. IF YOU MUST, LOOK WITH YOUR EYEBALLS BEHIND SUNGLASSES, NOT WITH YOUR HEAD TURNED." She asked why and I responded, "you're looking into a boarded up window. You don't know what's looking back at you." She kept her head straight the rest of the time. I guess that's what the "country" taught me.
I now understand why my high school Chem teacher told us that if we were somewhere we shouldn't be at a time we really shouldn't be there, we need to pull our hoods over our heads, rock back and forth, and chatter incoherently at a trashcan. No one messes with a crazy person.
Now that I shared story time with you, I will share with you an outfit I wore while signing the offer we put in on a house last week (an offer the seller accepted, I guess I should add?).
Cardigan: Target, Mossimo brand (I finally got another one to replace the original I killed from wearing too much.)
Shoes: via DSW
Necklace: H&M via Poshmark shop
Purse: via Marshall's
Sunglasses: gift from Momma (LOFT)