Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Oh Momma...

Here, for your delectation, is my mother's #1 corker of the visit (and possibly one of her top corkers of all time):

Elizabeth (explaining why she is interested in writing a book about her great great grandfather, a white man who was chief of the Eastern Cherokee): "I'm not so interested in him as a 'Great Man.' I'm much more interested in his contradictions. For instance, he championed one minority - the Cherokee - while buying and selling another minority - blacks - like they were sacks of corn."

Elizabeth's mother: Looks at Elizabeth questioningly as if to say 'And your point is?'

Elizabeth: "I mean, I think it's fascinating that the Cherokee who were themselves oppressed, owned slaves!"

Elizabeth's mother (in a very genteel Southern accent): "Oh yes, they were much more sophisticated than all the other Indian tribes...."

14 comments:

jason said...

Maybe she's right....I'm part cherokee myself....and lord knows I'm sophistcated as heck.
lol

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

did she follow it with "bless their heart."........????

Sling said...

I'm one part Comanche(Parker,on my mother's side),And three parts German/Scotch/Irish..Our idea of sophistication,is to get hammered on brown liquor,and lose all our slaves in a poker game.
..Good times!

Willym said...

And the reply to that would be ..... dear lord I can't think of an appropriate reply. The woman is amazing!

Margaret Benbow said...

Great post! Indian tribes also enslaved other Indians whom they'd conquered. (I guess this proves they weren't racist!) Depressing but true that the reaction of some oppressed folks is to oppress others as quickly as possible.

Elizabeth said...

Jason - I just know you are! It's not everyone who has a "partner" named Raoul!

Granny - We do a lot of that in our family - taking swipes one minute and blessing each other's hearts the next. But she didn't here because she didn't even get that some people might not consider it a measure of "sophistication" to own slaves (bless her heart).

Sling - That brown liquor is universal! Only the details change. My grandmother called hers sherry and drank it from teacups ('cause it looked like tea, right?) all day long at home (bless her heart).

Willym - I spluttered for a minute then said "You think they were sophisticated because they owned slaves?"

She's 85 and grew up rich and privileged in the deep Jim-Crow South. Her reeducation is a long slow work in progress!

Margaret - Thanks! The Eastern Cherokee, my gr. gr. grandfather's tribe, even fought under him on in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy (or as I like to call it, The Wrong Side).

sageweb said...

hahah...how cute..Maybe you should write a book about her.

Miss Janey said...

Slave ownership. The very hallmark of sophistication!

a thousand shades of twilight said...

That's a classic! I think you may have the opening of your book about your great great grandfather right there!

laurent said...

Wow! this is too funny, like lines you hear at cocktail parties.

Doralong said...

I won't bother to say anything substantive, because you already know exactly what I'd say anyway...

Bless her heart.

L said...

i agree with thousand shades--you've figured out the prologue to your book.
Bravo.

shiralune said...

I have to laugh because this is so much like what we are going through these days with my mother, except that my mother, who is a lot older than yours, is also a lot farther gone. Not laughing "at" your mother or mine, just saying that all we can do is--at least when possible--savor the absurdity, in a tender way. As my mother's mind slips and slides, the odd mixtures of flashes of her former astuteness with pure untethered goofiness are ... well... mind-boggling!

Elizabeth said...

All - I actually wrote a reply to all your lovely comments, thought I posted it, and ... ooops! Not there. Well, trust me when I say it was the most brilliant, witty thing I've ever written.... (and I have some land in Florida to sell you).

Anyway, grrr... to computers, but thanks for the comments!