Onward March

What’s left to celebrate?  Mother Nature is giving it her best with snow and ice.  Grocery store shelves are bare as shoppers stock up on essentials–eggs, bread, milk.  And what’s up with buying snow shovels with each new storm?  Do people throw them away afterward?

In the Deep South mass hysteria prevails.  What if it snows here?  Were those snowflakes?  “Relax–those were only heavy raindrops.”

Holiday merchandise has been cleared away at retail outlets across the country.  Valentines Day is the next retailing opportunity.

In this part of the country, it’s not straight to Valentines Day.  Mardi Gras comes next.  Valentines Day plays second fiddle.  This is all we’ll hear about from now until Fat Tuesday.  Mardi Gras merchandise is displayed everywhere.  Let’s hear it for the magenta, green, and gold.

Of course to locals, New Orleans is the elephant in the room.  It takes credit for the celebration.  And, no doubt, their celebration is noisier and larger.  Mobile is where the Mardi Gras celebration started.  Mobile’s celebration prides itself on being family orientated.

Parades, parades, and more parades.  “Throw me some beads. Throw me some beads!”  Some use modified fishing nets to catch beads.  Adults that steal trinkets from children, in my opinion, are lowlifes.


Let the superlatives flow, as I relate, how I met my best friend, the love of my life, the person that always makes me smile, that later became my bride.

I was a late-bloomer, not a confirmed bachelor.  There was still a glimmer of hope.  My aspiration was to be seen as a loveable bumbler.  My wife told me that she thought I resembled Richard Dreyfuss–no implication of klutziness on his part.  I sported facial hair that was dark brown, and later, turned salt-and-pepper gray.

My first steady job was with a large corporation as a service representative.  As fate would have it, I would later work on a construction crew for the same corporation.  Our contract was in the same building where I’d previously worked.

Though this experience I further sharpened my shtick.  It helped that my fellow construction workers played along.  I played the “I thrive on rejection” self-deprecation angle to the hilt.  Here’s rejection depicted in a “Just for Men” commercial with Keith Hernandez and Clyde Duncan.  I took rejection a step further.  “Give it your best shot ladies, I can take it; I thrived on rejection.”

An offshoot corollary–I was “stuffy, repetitious, and boring.”  Anything, from my mouth, perceived negatively, merely upheld my aforementioned reputation.  “Ladies, you’ve been forewarned.” With these fortress-like defenses, how could a young man go wrong?

Then one fateful day I met her.  A slender, attractive woman doing data entry, that would later become my wife.  She looked past my craziness.  My defenses, meant to hide my social awkwardness, quickly crumbled.

That’s the “Cliff Notes” version of our courtship.  I wasn’t going to give away all our secrets.  It’s Valentine’s Day.  We were wed on April 11, 1981, and have been in love ever since.  The best way to describe our relationship, is to say–we complete each other.  I’m no longer rejected, and hope I’m not boring.