Joy’s Rant List Volume 12: Journey to the Center of the Earth (Texas)

Okay, this is kind of a “pseudo-rant”.  It will be a little stroll through the mind of Joy – as a GRIT (Girl Raised In Texas).  All through college, my friends who were not from Texas thought I was wild and crazy and had strange ways of doing things.  Now, some of my friends were able to observe other Texans, and maybe see how I got to be the way that I am.  I am going to describe what happened over my weekend in Texas to you, and maybe you will understand me a little better.  You really should visit Houston – it’s awesome.  But no, fellow Houstonians, I am still not moving back.

Joy Observation # 1: Fashion and Style – I used to wear red lipstick in college.  Still do, sometimes.  Most people thought that it was a bold thing to do.  I just thought that everyone wore red lipstick.  Why wouldn’t they? Red is a great color.  And I had at least 3 pairs of boots.  That’s what you wore from November to March: boots.  Cowboy boots, if you were fly.  Gold-tipped cowboy boots if you were fly AND paid.

My friends’ Observation – We went to this club called Grooves on Friday night.  It was your usual club: girls overdressed, guys underdressed, decent music, lots of posturing and bravado.  And then there was Uncle Remus.  Uncle Remus was maybe 40 – 60 years old, hard to tell.  And he was a hardcore Texan.  Meaning he wore cowboy boots to the club.  Not only that – he had a cowboy boot around his neck on a chain.  Wait – let me expound on that.  He had a NEON GLOWING cowboy boot on a chain.  And the chain glowed neon too.  And it changed colors.  And the colors that it switched to were NOT the same colors as the boot.  And the boot was not a medallion.  It looked like maybe a toddler’s boot – size four.  And whatever made it glow was inside it.  It was a magic boot!  LMAO!

Now, in light of what passes for a necklace (cuz remember, everything’s bigger in Texas), that red lipstick makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?  Side note:  I still love boots.

Joy Observation #2 Food Standards  – I am convinced that nobody on the planet does BBQ like my daddy.  Growing up, I thought that BBQ sauce was for bread.  Or for other people’s chicken.  But ribs? Aw hell naw!  You don’t mess up the flavor of good BBQ ribs with some ol’ stupid sauce!!!  Blasphemy!  I had some ribs in Memphis once that were award-winning…. HOT GARBAGE.  You have not had good ribs until you eat at Chez Stephens.  This is another reason that I don’t eat at soul food joints, and I usually eat seafood at restaurants.

My friends’ Observation – So on Saturday, we went to my house for lunch after our spa massage (and I can’t believe I spent $75 to get beat with a sock full of hot rocks…).  Dad had barbecued the weekend prior and frozen all the meat to save for us.  On the way there, one of my friends says that she just hopes that she can finally find a place with good BBQ sauce.  I tell her, as gently as I can, that she will not get that at my house.  We don’t use sauce.  There may be some in the house somewhere, but don’t count on it.  I got the “whatever” face from her…. 

We get home, and Dad forgot to take the food out of the freezer, so I am defrosting chicken and ribs in the microwave – and since it’s in there, I might as well heat it up too.  This same friend said that she doesn’t eat food out of the microwave.  Uh huh.  Okay.  Don’t eat it then.  I take a FORK and tear the chicken into parts.  I PULL THE BONES out of the ribs and cut the meat with a regular steak knife.  My sister had made potato salad and “killer beans”.  The beans are my mother’s recipe, and are so named because people have fought and died over them before (legend has it).  Again – these may look like BBQ baked beans on the surface, but they are SO much better, and again – no BBQ sauce.  That is for punks!  So here are some things that happened that afternoon:

1)  Dara tells us that she doesn’t eat chicken – she is a vegetarian that only eats fish at the most.  But Dara ate about ½ a chicken.

2)  Valencia doesn’t eat potato salad – her mother has been trying to get her to eat it since she was little and she has resisted for 30+ years.  But she went back for seconds on the potato salad.  And she fought with Anitra over the chicken leg that got snatched while the food was in the kitchen.

3)  Moni (the one who doesn’t eat food out the microwave) ate ½ a chicken as well, and got permission from my dad to come back whenever she wants more, since she lives in Houston. 

4)  We won’t even discuss the colossal shrimp that I fried up (big as your thumb, from tip to WRIST).  My sister didn’t even get any shrimp.  Apparently, the mixture of BBQ chicken and fried shrimp was intoxicating to my friends.

5)  Anitra risked a cardiac infarction to eat “just one more bite”.  We are glad she made it through…

6)  The next day I flew home, taking 4 slabs of ribs with me.  The security guard at the checkpoint stopped the conveyor belt and asked: “Is someone bringing RIBS back?!?”  I held up my hand “That would be me!!”  By Sunday night, I was already back in Orlando, ribs in hand.  Valencia and the rest of them were still in Houston… These chicks CALLED ME and ASKED ME to call MY DADDY and see if they could roll back through – WITHOUT ME!!!  Unfortunately, he had packed the remaining food in my duffle bag.  They were heartbroken.  And they decided then and there that we needed to come back to Houston for a longer trip – catered by Daddy, of course.

Now if my daddy’s BBQ can turn a vegetarian around, it’s understandable that my standards on BBQ are high, right?  Suck on THAT, Memphis!!!  LOL!!

Joy Observation #4: Dancing Machine!!  – I used to dance really hard in college – it was almost a competition.  Okay it REALLY was a competition on the dance floor.  Jeans, sneakers and a baseball cap – the party outfit.  I liked to act silly and dance until I sweated my hair out. I never noticed that the other Spelman girls were not doing this….

My Friends’ Observation – every girl in the place that was on the dance floor was KILLING it.  Sun dress, high heels, fly haircut – whatever!  They played “Bounce for the Juvenile” and this girl was doing the P-pop in a pair of spike-heeled sandals! I had to give her some dap for that!  And we were all doing moves from old videos (they played Whodini’s One Love!)  And there was a contingent of girls who were just chilling and dancing off in the corner – we were in that camp.  Dressed up enough to be cute, but comfortable enough to dance as much as we wanted to.  And some guys were dancing, but those that weren’t were at least doing the lyrics and nodding their heads…. But then…..  Sigh…

There ARE some rules as to how hard you can dance in the club. Even I know this.  Sometimes you can dance TOO hard.  It’s like, if you are in a cute outfit, you can do it for a little while and make a statement and quit.  If you are dressed down, in capris or jeans or something, then you can go all night.  But if you are in a cute outfit, you should NOT dance all night. Why? Because most cute outfits are made of synthetic materials that don’t breathe.  And so you are going to sweat a LOT.  This one girl – in a rayon dress – was dancing like a washed up stripper.  She just kept strutting up and down the dance floor with her shoes in her hand, dropping it like it was hot (and it was… a Hot Ass Mess!!!) And she stank, y’all. She stank for real.  And when she flopped down on the couch (she was pretty big) – a puff of funk just came up out of her.  If I had to guess, I’d say she wore that dress before and didn’t wash it between wearings.  That’s what it smelled like.  Valencia would have been sick, but she didn’t want to lose that good chicken that she had eaten.  But in summary, take a bath.  Every day.

So, at any rate, now you understand why I like to dance hard, only eat my dad’s food, and wear loud colors and sexy lipstick.  That’s how we roll in the great state of Texas!!!! 

“The stars at night…are big and bright, CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! CLAP! Deep in the hearrrt, of TEXAS!!!”

Rant Volume 12 done, and I’m out.  … And no, you can’t have any of my ribs!!!

PS – Be on the lookout for my 3-or-4 part series of rants on men, women, sex and relationships.  Coming soon!!!

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