Southern… Hospitality

A trip to the South. We loaded up the family and our two Foster children and hit the road for our annual trip to Myrtle Beach to see Doreen’s mom, play on the beaches and as an added bonus see several of my siblings and other relatives at the 90th Birthday celebration of my Aunt Kitty.
Now, I’m not going to lie to you I have never been a fan of the south. Southern hospitality gives me the creeps frankly, even people speaking of Jesus and the bible becomes a little sinister when said with a thick southern drawl. Now add to that traveling down in a mini-van with my lesbian partner and our now 5 black children. I hear banjos playing a tune with every gallon of gas I pump. Crazy I know and most people are content to just stare at us as we stop for a bite to eat at a fine North Carolina eatery like… Wendy’s. Then there are the others that seem to only be calmed once they see our license plates and realize were just passing through. Once we arrive safely in Myrtle Beach and are greeted by Doreen’s mom and smiles of several of her neighbors who seem to all know we’re coming down this anxiety always relaxes and we just dive into fun and frolic of a beach vacation. This trip took a twist though…
Doreen’s mom, Lynne, lives in a development with a small pool at the end of the road of matching Town Houses. The kids love it and they really love “Bobo’s pool.” Yesterday at the end of a crazy day which included a trip to the hospital with me and my bum gall bladder the kids wanted to go for a post dinner swim. We load up with towels and floating devices and all follow Cooper on his skateboard to the pool to find that the gate is locked. Cooper skates back to get a key and returns with a very angry Bobo. She keeps looking in disbelief at the locked gate insisting the lock had been removed. The before I know it she has stormed off to a neighbors house (the one who deals with the pool) and returns with this man and she is uncharacteristically pissed at this man insisting that this lock has been put back in without knowledge of the people in the development. The more this thin, shirtless, tattooed southerner tries to argue that the lock had always been there the more incensed Bobo becomes. As the man, who is now on a cell phone call with someone about the pool lock, walks away to get a different set of keys Bobo completely surprised me. She suddenly started saying things like, “of course when my grandchildren show up.” “What do they think the color is going to wash off into their precious pool.” “Norma’s kids are in the pool every other week and no lock…” “Let’s see how they feel when I put my unit on the market, I gotta get out of here.” Doreen’s mom, who has never even acknowledged a moment of inequality, was ready to take the management to task. When the man returned and discovered that his old key did work in the lock my children broke the ice that had frozen rock hard on Bobo’s shoulder with their pure joy at being let in the small pool enclosure. They charmed the man with their manners and pleasure, then they jumped in and swam the sun to bed.
Now, I am always quick to react to bigotry of any kind and assume that most negative responses are peppered with some sort of internal fear and ignorance. It’s been that way since I was pretty young but I found myself witnessing not a fight for justice, I firmly believe Doreen’s mom could give a rats ass about that fight, but rather a motherly instinct to protect what is hers. Her grandchildren.
As usual, this family vacation was filled with fun, adventure and happy children and plenty of Southern Hospitality.

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