I do not think that there can ever be enough books about anything and I say that knowing that some of them are going to be about Pilates.The more knowledge the better seems like a solid rule of thumb, even though I have watched enough science fiction films to accept that humanity’s unchecked pursuit of learning will end with robots taking over the world.-Sarah Vowell

Friday, July 22, 2016

We're Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle by Celia Rivenbark


Once again, Rivenbark delivers her brand of Southern wit to the everyday life of a wife and mother, living in Wilmington, North Carolina.  In this book she examines the Southern Family, Kids,  and Couples Therapy, Southern Style, the Southern Woman, and Gravy on Grits.

In her look at the Southern Family she talks about how white trash is now "in".  How do you be white trash?  Watch a lot of bad TV, like infomercials, get a mullet, talk about "your baby's daddy" (even if you're married to him), don't file a tax account (but if you do go, go to a storefront one), dress your young'uns in NASCAR T-shirts (but NOT Jeff Gordon), buy money orders, and take up smoking.  She also looks at "how the Sopranos could never survive down south", the Southern Wedding, a reason for getting a divorce being your husband dressing your daughter in pajama tops and Tweety Bird swim socks (again), and Southerners preoccupation with death.

In kids, she tells of her experience at Chuckie Cheese, the drama of feeding something your kids not healthy for breakfast when you have no time to do so and hope the teacher and the other "pre-school Nazis" doesn't ask, getting people to come to your kid's ballet recital, and how you should keep your kid at home from school when they're sick so they don't infect the entire school.

In the Southern Woman, she talks about dieting through visualization, the "fat virus" and how we should hold telethons for it, and that she's going to sneeze on all of her skinny girlfriends, manicure and other beauty addictions, and the wisdom of menopause.  Gravy on Grits is a scattering of various topics such as the "evils" of gossip, the good trashy TV to watch, and silly lawsuits.

In Southern Style, the reason given for why the Soprano's cannot "make it" in the South is because you can't shoot up a bunch of people after having a wonderful dinner of chicken and pan pie, okra, tomatoes, and spoon bread.  

This book is side-splitting hilarious, just as her others have been.  She has her hand on the pulse of the Southerner and their take on many topics ranging from what it means to be Southern to kids (and the many things we endure for them and because of them) and what is now "en vogue".  She has several more for me to read and I can't wait.

Quotes:
 

Is it a small wonder that hurricane season and wedding season are one and the same?  As a former bridal-page editor, I can honestly say that I’ve seen some category 5 wedding disasters.
---Celia Rivenbark (We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle p 32) 


The amicable divorce is an urban legend.  You believe there’s such a thing?  Then you also believe that some loser really did find an entire fried chicken head in his KFC snack pak.
------Celia Rivenbark (We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle p 35)

Another study, this one by Working Mother magazine, reported that women discuss an average of forty topics when they get together for a typical night out, while men discuss only four…Men have the whole conversation thing condensed to the final four: beer, sports, women, and work.
-----Celia Rivenbark (We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle p 121-2)


Women have long realized that the mere mention of their “females” can get them out of just about anything, the notable exception being a very insensitive North Carolina highway patrolman who once refused to believe I was speeding because “my uterus told me to”.
-----Celia Rivenbark (We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle p 126)


…that which does not kill us merely maims us.
-----Celia Rivenbark (We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle p 141).


Martha [Stewart] is the Antichrist of Simple.  Or maybe she’s just the Antichrist, period.  I finally let my subscription lapse after she made me feel irrationally guilty for not sewing my own shower curtain.
-----Celia Rivenbark (We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle p 181)


And my favorite, which wins points for creativity of expression, comes from the manual for my kid’s bike helmet: “Helmets can’t prevent damage from shaking, just as an egg can be completely scrambled inside its shell just by shaking it.”
-----Celia Rivenbark (We’re Just Like You, Only Prettier: Confessions of a Tarnished Southern Belle p 260)
 
Link to Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Were-Just-Like-Only-Prettier/dp/031231244X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1469190753&sr=1-1&keywords=we%27re+just+like+you+only+prettier

 



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