There are times in our lives when we wanted so badly to say something to someone and didn’t. Something stopped us. Fear of rejection, fear of repercussions, or simply the fact that we weren’t raised in a barn. Whatever it was, we relive those moments in our minds and tell ourselves what we should have said then. In our minds, we tell off the jerky boss or the prima donna in the next office. We tell someone we have a crush on how we really feel or we deliver a perfectly timed insult to the witch with the backhanded compliments. We tell our mother in law where she can stick those apron strings she keeps dragging our man around with.
Whatever it is, it goes unsaid but to ourselves. Until we start writing. Then, those words and others come flooding out of the mouths of our characters who have no consequences other than those we design for them. Through them and the situations we create, we can live out those moments of unsaid rebukes to our heart’s content.
At the moment, I have a few of those characters going on and I am completely in love with them. While I am not always in total control of my mouth or my manners, I usually handle a situation with Southern dignity and grace with a smile sweeter than my tea while my mind is busy chewing out the person in front of me. My characters have mastered the art of wit and cutting remarks with an air of politeness that can quell even the prickliest shrew. Something I haven’t been able to do in real life as my mouth inevitably outruns my brain.
Given time and enough taps of the backspace key, even the politest of the Southern Belles can be a perfect bitch, bless her heart.
Photo: Franklin, TN KC Hopkins