Thursday, May 09, 2019

GRIOT: Big Mama, Big Food, Big Love

I'm taking a couple days' break from reviews. I've received so many EOs for cleansing and moisturizing, I need to let my body (and skin, and hair) rest! I've washed my hair so much that I've rid myself of future dirt.
Today, I want to talk about memories. I've been in that mood. I was telling my niece the other night about the times I used to spend around Big Mama. My memory sucks so I probably tossed in memories that were handed down from my older brothers and sister.

We talked about how Big Mama would fix these huge and amazing breakfasts. When I say that breakfast at Big Mama's was an experience, I mean that even my mother (the Texan) was impressed. There were no simple, egg-and-bacon deals at Big Mama's. There's not a fast food chain around that could emulate these meals without adding a buffet line.

The first time I had a Big Mama breakfast, I thought I'd migrated in my sleep and woken up in the planet of No Freaking Way.

First, there was the food: slices of ham, fried pork chops, pan-fried potatoes, thick slabs of bacon, grits with salt and pepper, and biscuits that so huge and buttery-good that I think they are what the Israelites called manna. There were also eggs - scrambled eggs, sunny-side up, boiled and sliced - but who the heck could think about eggs with all that other food? One of my brothers used to joke that just two of those biscuits could feed half of a small continent.

When I say there was a lot of food, I mean, there wasn't just a dib of this and a dab of that. I mean, there was a lot of food. That was the first amazement.

Then there was the fact that there were so many people at the table. Family that lived two and three blocks away showed up for breakfast at Big Mama's. Talk about getting a start to the day, right? It was like a daily family reunion before folks went off to school or work or back to their own homes for the day.
The most impressive thing to me about those breakfasts - the thing that I never got over, even after I was used to all the food and family - was that they happened while dawn hadn't even thought about breaking. Seriously.

For a time, when my father moved our family there while he went overseas, we had to look for temporary housing. In the meantime, my mother, my siblings and I stayed in Big Mama's house. I'd feel like I'd just gone into REM sleep when I'd hear Big Mama walking around doing her morning wake-up calls.

"Rise and shine, everybody. The Lord has blessed us all to see another day!"

I'd just be wishing that the Lord would bless us to sleep another couple of hours. But, in Big Mama's house, no one was allowed to lay around in bed unless they were sick. Big Mama believed in that early-to-bed and early-to-rise thing. Super early. Crazy early. Early to bed like a narcoleptic wino, and early to rise like a rooster with anxiety issues.

Still, I loved being around my Big Mama - Miz Minnie Lee to a lot of people, but always Big Mama to me. She had her ways though...

Big Mama had a lot in common with most people of her generation when it came to how you raised and treated children. I always think of this image when I think of my Big Mama:

After she fed us all to stuffing before the crack of dawn, Big Mama made us face the day with prowess. During the school year, Big Mama could get 30 kids out of the house - on time, nourished, clean, looking good and feeling like there was nothing they couldn't do. She was like a fierce wind that pushed you out that door and into the world like all your dreams were just waiting for you to collect them. Even with all that freaking food in you.

Side note here about my aunties: I have the best aunties in this world. One of my aunties was a lunch lady at the elementary school. Who always got a fresh cinnamon roll for school breakfast? And who never had to worry that all the chocolate milk was gone? Me, that's who! (And I want to find that lost cinnamon roll recipe because I have never had one like those since childhood.)

One of my other aunties was our lioness. She'd run off bullies with a broom (true story), chaperon teen socials, carpool kids all over the neighborhood after the weekend get-togethers, and make sure that any stray kid was looked after.

Big Mama raised those aunties of mine. No surprise that they are all women to be reckoned with.
I guess I'm just glad that I have so many good memories of my Big Mama. I wish that many of the younger people I know could have experienced that kind of love.

Today, people like to call my Big Mama's kind of love "tough love". It wasn't tough love, it was just big love.


NOTE: I did make a couple of needed corrections that I only noticed when re-posting this. 

Re-posting a Funny

I've been laid up for several days and letting a bunch of scheduled posts take care of the blog. However, I was looking over some old posts and wanted to share this. This is a paste/copy of a post from June 2006 of something so hilarious that my sisters-in-law and I still laugh about it. I wish I knew where it originated. Please enjoy.

For My Lady Blogger Buddies

Okay - and the guys too. Anyone who wants to laugh. No post today, so enjoy this. It was given to me yesterday when I went to lunch with my office family. I'm surprised we weren't kicked out of the place. I'm not sure who wrote it, but YOU WILL LAUGH. (It's a little long...)

CAUTION: Be prepared to laugh out loud!

All hair removal methods have tricked women with their promises of easy, painless removal - The epilady, scissors, razors, Nair and now...the wax.

My night began as any other normal weeknight. Come home, fix dinner, play with the kids. I then had the thought that would ring painfully in my mind for the next few hours: "Maybe I should pull the waxing kit out of the medicine cabinet." So I headed to the site of my demise: the bathroom.

It was one of those "cold wax" kits. No melting a clump of hot wax, you just rub the strips together in your hand, they get warm and you peel them apart and press them to your leg (or wherever else) and you pull the hair right off. No muss, no fuss. How hard can it be? I mean, I'm not a genius, but I am mechanically inclined enough to figure this out.


So I pull one of the thin strips out. Its two strips facing each other stuck together. Instead of rubbing them together, my genius kicks in so I get out the hair dryer and heat it to 1000 degrees. ("Cold wax," yeah...right!) I lay the strip across my thigh. Hold the skin around it tight and pull. It works! OK, so it wasn't the best feeling, but it wasn't too bad. I can do this! Hair removal no longer eludes me! I am She-rah, fighter of all wayward body hair and maker of smooth skin extraordinaire.

With my next wax strip, I move north. After checking on the kids, I sneak back into the bathroom, for the ultimate hair fighting championship. I drop my panties and place one foot on the toilet. Using the same procedure, I apply the one strip across the right side of my bikini line, covering the right half of my "honey pot" and stretching down to the inside of my ass cheek (Yes, it was a long strip) I inhale deeply and brace myself...RRRRIIIPPP!!!!

I'm blind!!! Blinded from pain!!!!.... OH MY GOD!!!!!!!!! Vision returning, I notice that I've only managed to pull off half the strip. OH NO! What have I done???!!! Another deep breath and RRIIP! P!! Everything is swirly and spotted. I think I may pass out...must stay conscious...Do I hear crashing drums??? Breathe, breathe...OK, back to normal.

I want to see my trophy - a wax covered strip, the one that has caused me so much pain, with my hairy pelt sticking to it. I want to revel in the glory that is my triumph over body hair. I hold up the strip! There's no hair on it. Where is the hair??? WHERE IS THE WAX???

Slowly I ease my head down, foot still perched on the toilet. I see the hair. The hair that should be on the strip. I touch. I am touching wax. WHAT?! I run my fingers over the most sensitive part of my body, my "man magnet". Which is now covered in cold wax and matted hair.

Then I make the next BIG mistake...remember my foot is still propped up on the toilet? I know I need to do something. So I put my foot down. My

LIFE FLASHES BEFORE ME!!!!!! I hear the slamming of a cell door. Kooter? Sealed shut! Ass?? Sealed shut! Both sealed tighter than

Fort Knox!!!

I penguin walk around the bathroom trying to figure out what to do and think to myself "Please don't let me get the urge to Shit! My head may, quite frankly, just pop off!"

What can I do to melt the wax? Hot water!! Hot water melts wax!!!

I'll run the hottest water I can stand into the bathtub, get in, immerse the wax-covered bits and the wax should melt and I can gently wipe it off, right??? WRONG!!!!!!!

I get in the tub - the water is slightly hotter than that used to torture prisoners of war or sterilize surgical equipment - I sit.

Now, the only thing worse than having your ass and nether regions glued together is having them glued together and then glued to the bottom of the scalding hot water. Which, by the way, doesn't melt cold wax.

So, now I'm stuck to the bottom of the tub as though I had cement-epoxied myself to the porcelain!!

God bless the man who had convinced me a few months ago to have a phone put in the bathroom!!!!!

I call my friend, thinking surely she has waxed before and has some secret of how to get me undone. It's a very good conversation starter -

"So girlfriend, my ass and "kitty" are glued together to the bottom of the tub!"

There is a slight pause. She doesn't know any secret tricks for removal but she does try to hide her laughter from me. She wants to know exactly where the wax is located, "Are we talking your ass and crotch?" She must be reveling in humor and wants me to repeat it for her enjoyment.

She's laughing out loud by now...I can hear her. I give her the rundown and she suggests I call the number on the side of the box. YEAH!!!!! Right!! I should be the joke of someone else's night.

While we go through various solutions. I resort to scraping the wax off with a razor. Nothing feels better than to have your "man-hole" girlie goodies covered in hot wax, glued shut, stuck to the tub in super hot water and then dry-shaving the sticky wax off!!

By now the brain is not working, dignity has taken a major hike and I'm pretty sure I'm going to need Post-Traumatic Stress counseling for this event.

My friend is still talking with me when I finally see my saving grace....the lotion they give you to remove the excess wax. What do I really have to lose at this point? I rub some on my cooch, and

OH MY GOD!!!!!!!

The scream probably woke the kids and scared the dickens out of my friend.

It's sooo painful, but I really don't care.

"IT WORKS!! It works!!"

I get a hearty congratulation from my friend and she hangs up. I successfully remove the remainder of the wax and then notice to my grief and despair...THE HAIR IS STILL THERE.......ALL OF IT!!!!!!!!!! Looking like an Osama Bin Laden goatee!

So I recklessly shave it off. Heck, I'm numb by now. Nothing hurts. I could have amputated my own leg at this point.

Next week I'm going to try hair color.....

Now that's funny ........ Notttttttttt.

Send this on to other ladies who need a good laugh!


P.S.: I had to come back and edit at least 3 times. It's an OLD post and the formatting was awful..