Wednesday, January 26, 2011

White Trash

Dropping off a bag of clothes at a Salvation Army, I noticed a pair of white, spikey heels, rather 50's styled...or maybe 80's...cute anyway, and size six. So I scooped them up and headed for the counter. While I was fishing out my $2.25, the lady behind the register said, very conversationally and nodding her head in a friendly way, "Yeah, the white trash look is really in right now." I wasn't sure if she was referring to my purchase, whatever I happened to be wearing that day, or just making a general observation. My intelligent reply was "Huh." I paid her and left, not knowing if I should have laughed, or given her the finger, not that I'm a giving-the-finger kind of girl. Normally I would come up with some sass-mouth comment, but I just couldn't figure out her angle. I still wonder what she meant.

Sometimes I think about what being White Trash is. It's obviously about being white, and for the most part, I am that. But the rest? Is it about being poor? Being stupid? Swearing a lot? Eating a bag of pork rinds for breakfast? What's the criteria? At my Gram's recently for a family dinner, she slapped a paper plate of rolls in my hand and told me to "Pop those in the Nuke Box for a coupler minutes" and I guess I never paid much attention to it before, but her microwave has got to be one of the first microwaves ever made, taking up four square feet of space and had a bag of Wonder Bread stuffed on top. I could curl up in that sucker. As I yanked it open by it's big ol' handle, I knew that there was a log of bologna, an actual LOG, and a big jar of mayo in the 'frige right next to me. The Wonder bread was in good company. I got a sneaky suspicion, then and there, that I truly was White Trash. So I guess it's different for everybody. For some people it's about your grandmother's kitchen and how she adds random r's to words and you understand perfectly what she means, for other's it's about how old you are when you have your first kid multiplied by how many wheels are under your house, and for some it's about playing pool in a bar with a Dale Earnhardt shrine in the corner. If you are going to label me just because I like to make out listening to Willie Nelson, I might as well throw in the towel and admit it. It seems White Trash is defined either by what you say, where you live, how you look, what you do for fun, or what you eat. I, myself, don't like pork rinds, but once in a great while, standing next to one hell of a giant-ass nuke box, get a craving for a bologna sandwich, with mayo, on Wonder bread, with one of those little, peel back, prepackaged, cheese slices, the kind my kids have never even seen before. If you know that about me, you know who I really am. And I'd be wearing those shoes when I ate it.

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