The following was originally posted on FB on September 15, 2014.
Sometimes people want to know how I turned out “like this”. That’s a long story, y’all! Thankfully, I’m in no rush here, I’m from Louisiana, and we know when to take our time. Here’s a fairy tale from when I was tiny:
When Mama and Daddy had a little bit of extra money, Daddy would “get cleaned up” and we would go to this seafood restaurant in Baton Rouge that he loved. I must have been about three or four years old when this happened: We were there, and a rich family, I mean RICH, was there, enjoying themselves a big seafood dinner. (I only understood these folks were rich later. I mean, we *all* like our fried shrimp in Louisiana, right?) They were so entranced with our family that they came over and started talking to us. I was sitting at the table *reading the menu out loud to Mama and Daddy* and talking about what I wanted. I had long black hair and looked like a china doll, I have been told. My mama, y’all will remember, was an exotic and beautiful Mexican woman, and my daddy was just as handsome as a movie star, in my mind, at least, in his 40s and all cleaned up. This gorgeous, though poor, couple had this exquisite bitty child reading out loud from the menu. The family made friends with us and kept in touch. They were well educated, well-to-do Catholics, and they sent me books and bought me pretty black patent leather shoes and when their daughter got married, they asked me to be her flower girl. So I walked down the aisle of a huge Catholic church in Baton Rouge, about six or seven years old, with black hair loose and wavy down past my bottom, and a beautiful dress they bought me. Mama and Daddy got dressed up so fancy like I had never seen them before, and we went to a party that filled my head with images of parties for the rest of my life. I DRANK CHAMPAGNE OUT OF A FLUTE, Y’ALL. Just a little sip for the flower girl, because *everyone* should have a toast to the bride and groom, cher. There are pictures. This really happened and I am not even making it up.