Southern Hospitality

imageA few weeks before Kathleen’s baby was due in June, 1947, Bill made arrangements for his friend Lon’s wife Sally to take her for her doctor’s visit.  He dropped her off not long after six in the morning, picked Lon up, leaving Kathleen to spend the day with Sandy, Lon’s wife.  The couples had socialized a few times; Lon and Bill had been friends for years, but Kathleen and Sandy weren’t well acquainted.  Sandy let Kathleen in and went straight back to bed, clearly a late sleeper, while Kathleen sat quietly, not wanting to disturb her.

Kathleen had had breakfast before six.  By ten-thirty she was ravenous, but hadn’t thought to bring a snack, thinking Sandy might be insulted.  She never gone to spend the day anywhere and not been offered lunch.  Her appointment was at one.  If Sandy was going to fix lunch and get her there, surely she’d be getting up soon.  Finally, about eleven-thirty, Sandy dragged herself out of bed, telling her she was going to get a bath to get ready to go to town.

Starving, as only a pregnant woman can be, Kathleen realized there would be no lunch that day.  She excused herself, saying she thought she’d take a little walk while Sandy got dressed.  Counting her change, she found seventeen cents in her change purse.  Ravenous as she looked over everything in the store, she bought the biggest thing she could find for her money, a head of cabbage.  Feeling like a fool, she sought out a private corner where she sat on a curb tear it apart and eat it, a chunk at a time.  Embarrassed to take it back to Sandy’s she discarded what she couldn’t eat, though she regretted the waste.

Sandy was ready when she got back from her little feast.  As she dropped her off at the Doctor’s Office Sandy said, “I’ll be back to get you about three.  I’ve got things to do and Lon doesn’t let me keep the car much.”  At four o’clock she picked Kathleen up where she’d waiting more than an hour in the blazing Louisiana sun.  They squeaked in the drive just ahead of the men.

“Hey, did you pretty things have a good day?”  asked the garrulous Lon.

“”Oh my yes,” said Kathleen.  “Couldn’t say when I’ve felt more at home!”


7 thoughts on “Southern Hospitality

  1. Southern hospitality indeed, not much has changed today! Even on my maiden visit to that country and area, I could tell I was heading to the deep south by the te I reached Durham in NC – fortunately I didn’t get to Charleston!

    Liked by 1 person

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