This is an entirely inappropriate blog post for someone who not only voted for Barack Obama, but also is thrilled to pieces at what she has seen from him in the days since his inauguration. But I can't help it. For as genuinely happy as I am to have a Democrat back in the White House, I am almost that happy to have temporary possession of a Confederate States of America cuckoo clock. Its tacky kitschy quality speaks to the tackiest part of my Southern soul.
Here's how we came to have it. Last week when my sister and I went to Huntsville, Ala., to surprise our mom for her birthday, we found a surprise ourselves. We walked into the living room, a room that has changed little since we grew up in it. A room that hosted my mother's liberal friends during all the dark years when they had to practically meet in secret due to the conservatism that permeates Huntsville. Despite its history, the room housed a CSA cuckoo clock, complete with Stonewall Jackson on a horse, Robert E. Lee featured front and center, and as we would soon learn, a cannon that pops out of the doors marked by the Confederate flag and fires three times on the hour.
After our parents got home, we learned where it had come from. One of my parents' friends received the clock as a gift back before Christmas. To this day, she doesn't know whether or not the giver was sincere in thinking the clock is a fabulous must have for every Southern home or whether he thought it was the funniest thing to come along since pink flamingos. Mom's friend knew what she thought. She also knew she had to keep the clock, because the giver would look for it when he next visited. Until then, she would share, because, really, no one needs a CSA cuckoo clock in their home forever.
So the clock was making the rounds of their friends, moving from person to person as birthdays came and went. We got lucky and happened to visit the day the clock was delivered from the previous, birthday recipient.
Well, I had to get on this merry-go-round, and Chris's birthday was the perfect excuse. He'd be thrilled to have possession of the clock for even a short time. I called Mom's friend and got us added to the rotation. While it was a sacrifice for Mom to give the clock up prematurely, I reminded her she'd get it back come July when Daddy has his birthday. She brightened considerably at the prospect, and is, I'm sure, at home now figuring what place of honor it can occupy.
Meanwhile, we have the clock sitting in our living room now, just inside the front door, until sometime in February, when it will pass to the next lucky birthday woman. I hear she's already found a nice spot in her garage for it. Some people just have no appreciation for the finer things in life!
Oh, it's cannon o'clock now. I believe a mint julep's in order!
While I'm fixing my drink, why don't you share something in the comments that you own and love that's embarrassing or politically incorrect?