Friday, August 26, 2011

The Contrition Before the Storm...

The Eastern Seaboard, as you know, is bracing for a hurricane.

I, on the other hand, am bracing for a little party I'm co-hosting Saturday. As my friends know, when I party plan, it tends to be a storm in itself....

Last night after work I make a stop at Target and Trader Joe's, not for batteries or water, but party stuff.  Priorities.  My fellow 'burb neighbors, however, only have Irene in mind.

Around town things are just insane: cars lined 14 deep getting gas, check-out lines so long you think it's Christmas, and not one box of mini vanilla ice cream cones to be found at TJ's. You just do what you have to do as emergencies near, I guess; buy chocolate, instead.

At Tar-jay, I'm paying and chatting it up with the friendly cashier. I report all the pre-storm madness I've just witnessed, then begin to editorialize a bit: I mean, why wait half an hour to get gas? Where are these people going anyway? It's just going to rain hard, we'll all stay home and watch movies, right? I heard in Virginia the Target is already out of water! Seriously?

Her head tilts to the side a little and she shrugs her shoulders as she tells me, in what I finally hear is a very sweet Southern drawl that, "Well...I'm from Louisiana, and I was there for Katrina. {This is the part where I want to run} I didn't expect to be under five feet of water, but the next day, I was...and there was no where to get gas. I couldn't just stay at my house. So...it really doesn't hurt to be prepared."

I want to hide under my cart. I apologize a zillion times, tell her how right she is, how silly I am, how to this day my mom still yells at me for never being fully prepared for anything, waiting always 'til the last minute to make things happen. Here I am two days (not my usual two hours!) before a party checking things off my list; I think I am really on top of things, but nope...I'm  just flitterin' about, as always, foot in mouth.

After countless I'm So Sorrys, I finally tell the lady I am from Tennessee. It's true that when Southerners meet each other outside the bounds of our region, there's an instant bond. In fact, the farther from home you are when you meet another Southerner, the greater your connection will be. My touting Tennessee is, admittedly, a last ditch effort to hope Southern charm can compensate for my contrition, as if  even just a little proximity to Louisiana might just wipe out this embarassment made in Maryland.

"Oh you are," she asks, "I miss the South sometimes up here, do you?" I tell her that I do...that I love hearing her pretty accent, that I am sorry, again, for being all worked up about storm prep, something about which I clearly know nothing.

"Oh, it'll be fine, you'll be fine," she promises, "but really... it wouldn't hurt to just fill up your car."

I'll be doing that today...no matter how long the line.
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7 comments:

Emily said...

Oh No. Insert foot in mouth--I totally am with you on editorializing things...and have accidentally offended someone...I can't wait to hear all about your party! :) (ps have you tried the wasabi almonds at trader joes OR the dark chocolate salted and turbino sugar almonds--Ah-Maz-Ing). oxo

Deviled Megs said...

Oh my word...this sounds exactly like something I would have done.

Dee Stephens said...

The party sounds awesome! Yes, people are freaking over the storm.
BUT.. to be honest..I'm feeling okay about it.
Charlotte isn't even suppose to get rain?
My rents live 3-hours East though towards the coast and my Mom is freaking out!
Even wanted to come over here and camp out.
Umm..no..

Sarah Beth - Dixie Gator Gal said...

I'm for Florida so hurricane's are old news to me. BUT if they said evacuate (which they did to everyone in NOLA), I would. So you can be prepared, and you can also follow the law. If she had done either of those things, your foot would not have been in your mouth, so don't feel so bad. Have fun at your party. I purposely didn't stock up on anything so we can go out to eat all weekend (although we might get a little wet in the process).

Hines-Sight said...

Great post. I covered two hurricanes in the news. What a pain. I'm so glad I'm not in the middle of coverage right now. Raleigh is going to get some rain, but you all may get a little more...Category one won't be too bad. After Fran, Raleigh was out of power for a week, and of course, gas stations couldn't work so I think that is why the "gas stuff" started. It would be bad to be on empty. :)

Capital Barbie said...

So how did you end up with the Hurricane? Over in Logan Circle we were fine!

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