Friday, February 13, 2015

Bubba On Valentine's Day.

Traffic is a mess early in Valdosta today because everyone who has a partner has to do something special tomorrow and I would be one of those people. I thought by hitting town in the middle of the afternoon I could slip in and slip out without fighting everyone else on earth trying to do the same thing but everyone on earth was trying to do the same thing. And then there’s the two women in the parking lot of the wine store. Here it is, one of the busiest days of the year and they are parked side by side, chatting away, while the parking lot fills up around them and traffic on the street backs up. Share the love, Ladies, thanks.

But then there’s Bubba. This is the guy I get behind on the road that I took so that I would avoid some of the traffic and he’s Bubba. He’s got his white tee shirt and his ball cap, his truck has a bass decal and a bummer sticker that reads, “If I had known Obama was going to happen I would have picked my own damn cotton”  and there’s a very select few people on earth that thinks that’s truly gut wrenching hilarious. So Bubba is one of these people who sit and wait after the light has turned green. He’s also one of those people who smoke while driving and hangs the cigarette out of the window while he’s doing it. You’ll smoke but you won’t keep it to yourself? Bubba and his pal and looking for something, a store, a place to molest swine or commit incest, which might be one in the same with these two, and they’re pointing, Bubba is riding the brakes, they’re looking off at the side of the road and I make a right into the movie theater parking lot just as I see Bubba rear end the car ahead of him. You had to see that coming, Bubba, didn’t you? I try really really really hard not to feel smug about someone being in a car accident but I fail.

I cut through the parking lot to emerge at one of those chain drug stores. All cards are half off. But in reality, at this time of day, before the event tomorrow, they’re marked up twice what they should be.

The lights of an ambulance cut through traffic before I heard the siren and now I do feel bad about my feelings of karma upon the head of Bubba. What if he hurt someone? But then again, what if Bubba was hurt? It’s not uncommon, believe it or not, to see someone dressed just like Bubba at a very nice restaurant with some woman beside him, dressed nicely, hoping people understand.

Sometimes, men just do the best they can with what they know and the rest of it seems to get past them, like why women like for them to wear dark colored socks or leave their favorite hat in the truck rather than wear it into a place where most men are wearing ties. I knew a guy that ate catsup with everything no matter what sort of meat was served. He and his wife went to a truly nice place and when he asked for catsup they brought him a little silver cup with catsup in it. He wanted a bottle he could kind of splurt the stuff out of and of course, they had one. Truly, there are men like this and they vote.  But the bumper sticker aside, if you can, ( I can’t really) there just might be someone out there who cares very deeply for Bubba, who isn’t likely to become bacon one day.

Really good women care about questionable men the same way people who plant gardens pray for rain. They know it’s going to get better or not get better, but they hope it will, and face the idea that it might  not with a faith that borders on straight delusional home grown whiskey. But it’s their drink of choice and their choice, and I wonder if someone will sit a woman down who loves me and ask her if she has totally lost her mind for doing so. I admit it wouldn’t be totally out of the question for something like this to occur.

At least Bubba has some sort of cultural reference in this part of the world.

I don’t hunt or fish. When I pick up a wrench, somewhere out there, a mechanic dies. I can’t fix things around the house and I can’t stand direct sunlight for long periods of time. I don’t like people and generally speaking, I don’t do well around them at all. I hate beets and I despise religion. Honestly, sometimes I wonder why a woman would bother with me at all if I didn’t have great dogs.

Love is like that. It’s something that sees past white socks and catsup. It look past the fish stickers and the black velvet Elvis that some guy just couldn’t let go of once he got out of High School. Love sees things that only someone truly in love or truly insane would bother to look for at all. The idea that we celebrate this with the madness we do only once a year is a little disappointing. We ought to do this at least once a month or so. We should do it every full moon.

No matter what you have to say about Christmas and the commercialism that surrounds it, at least Valentine’s Day is for love. It’s the only thing worth risking everything for. It’s the only thing that if you make a fool of yourself over it’s a job well done. It’s the only thing that can make drinking seem like a really good idea when it’s gone wrong. It’s the only thing, really, the only thing at all, that makes life worth living.



  1. Why? It's obvious to me that a man with perspective, intelligence, wisdom, courage, humor, persistence, gratitude, integrity, kindness and mercy is more fully satisfying than any gun rack toting, wrench wielding, cigarette sucking, careless driver.

  2. You've got two stereotypes going there, the clueless Gorilla in bib overalls with a CAT/Bud/Deere hat, and the timid, long suffering, embarrassed wife, Midge. Both are used in real life so often, they can be used as a writers tool to circumvent a long character description.

    The danger being when you introduce a character in this manner, I'm likely going to add some traits I associate with the Bubba image, everyone will. Most of these traits won’t matter much, but some are bound to change the character.

    It sort of precludes the possibility of Bubba not clueless, but independent. A Kent State survivor? An angry Vietnam vet? After 13 years in a tie, mad as hell and not taking it anymore? And don’t sass midge, her real name is Parker, and Bonnie has a pistol in her bra.

    Stereotypes can paint you into a corner, where instead of following your yellow brick road, they’re smoking the scarecrow…

    …or not. ;o).