You guys, I am so sorry that I have neglected my little blog for a bit now, but it's because I have been visiting my family in Georgia.
Every young person in NYC (aside from those who grew up here) comes from a place that, in comparison, seems lackluster, ordinary, average...but after you've been in NYC for a while, isn't that exactly what you crave? When you are constantly inundated by fabulousness and extraordinary culture and tremendous cuisine and so forth, don't you just want to sit in the middle of nowhere at an everyday outdoor barbecue? Don't you just want to be somewhere where people think that "The Break Up" is an edgy movie? Or a place where the hip people have just started to layer their monochromatic polos popping all three collars up for a rainbow flourish?
I do...and so I went...to Georgia.
Ahh, the southern comfort...and the Southern Comfort.
Basically, what happens when I go to Georgia is that I get to live the life of a 76 year-old socialite with the joints and the energy of a 26 year-old. It's genius. I get to go out for different lunch, tennis, and golf dates, but I have no arthritis. This is the glorious life at my grandmother's house.
One thing that a young, liberal, artsy New Yorker must remember is that if she thought her family's views were a little backward before she went to NYC, then they will be backward, upside down, and inside out after she has lived in the city a little while.
My grandmother arranged for my friend Julia (of the Bruni Digest
) and I to take a day trip to our family's ancestral plantation, where my great uncle handed me a coozie of Coors Light and then relayed the details of his pipe dream to move a Mexican family onto the property so that the wife could work in the house and the husband and children could work in the fields. At this, Julia and I blankly stared off into the distance while gulping down our brews, purposefully not making eye contact with the old slave quarters (I kid you not).
The plantation itself is an old farmhouse on 1200 or so acres of fields which used to grow cotton and wheat and other crops but is now mostly devoted to pine trees. My first thought was, "Jesus, so many Christmas trees...is there really this high of a demand?" And then I realized that pine trees can be used for other things besides Christmas...like wood...or paper. Whoops.
The inside of the main house is covered in ornamental taxidermy that ranges from a bobcat leaping, to a snake slithering, to innocent turtles mating. But literally, every inch of the house is smattered with dead, stuffed, action-posed wildlife. Lit-tle creep-ee. This is my great uncle's doing. In addition to showing Julia and me all of his bloody hunting photos, he also showed us one hell of a combover.
Anyway, the rest of the week continued in an equally Southern fashion. My accent returned with a vengeance and I got used to the idea of having a legitimate 5 o'clock cocktail -- not just a snapple half-filled with Georgi vodka, that I took to "Boy Beach" (also called Hudson River Park -- but if you can find a straight man there, I will give you a nickel). We played rounds of tennis and strolled through gardens. It was the most ladylike I have been in ages.
I would say that the only things that I didn't necessarily agree with were:
a) everyone's penchant for littering in the Chattahoochee river ("You done with that beer?Throw it over the boat. Yeah, just into the water.")
and b) everyone's love of the "to go" cup. Even my grandmother insisted that we take our vodka tonics in plastic cups with us in the car. And everyone who came to pick us up or take us anywhere also brought a six pack for us to drink. In fact, by the end of the trip, it felt downright rude not to have an open container in your hand, while we were en route to our next destination.
Oh Georgia...you are my heart and soul and belly.