Monday, January 11, 2010

Channeling Your Inner L.L.

A few months ago, Beth AKA Social Climbers asked some fellow bloggers when they realized they were of the WASP heritage and when the ultimate awareness of their preppiness surfaced.   Here is my epiphany.

Most of the people I grew up with were the same as me.  Therefore, I didn't have many different kinds of people to compare myself to.  Oh, I did go to a public high school.  However, I still tended to stay with the friends I had grown up with, gone to the same Episcopal church with, and spent the summers at Pawley's Island with.  (Excuse the poor grammar with all the prepositions at the end of clauses and sentences!  I am shivering at the sight!)

However, that was about to change the summer after graduation and before I packed my bags for Converse College (bastion of WASP and prep - as most girls schools were in the 80s).  My father was friends with one of the big-wigs at the South Carolina Tax Commission and had arranged a summer job for me.  That's fine, I thought.  I would be home with all my friends for one last summer - and I would have a few weeks off for time at our house at Pawley's and up in the mountains of N.C.  But my father had another idea.

That idea was that I was going to build character that summer.  What?!?!  I had plenty of character!  No, my father stressed, I was going to see how the other half worked:  I spent the summer of 1987 working in the mammoth file room, filing tax returns for the fine people of the state of South Carolina. 

And did I ever build character.  I won't go into all the backgrounds, style preferences in clothing and hairstyles, and propensity for gum-smacking I encountered.  And I definitely stuck out with my pearls and Laura Ashley dresses.  However, one event clearly sticks in my brain from that summer - the monumental event that opened my eyes that I was different:

I was filing tax returns in the rear of the building and came across a group of about 3-4 other employees.  They were obviously having a very heated discussion about something I had no idea.  Enter Bevy.
  • Bevy:  Hey y'all!  What's going on?
  • Group:  Just talking 'bout L.L.
  • Bevy:  L.L.???
  • Group:  Yeah, you know:  L.L. Cool J. 
  • Bevy (puzzled look on her face):  L.L. Cool J.?  The only L.L. I know is L.L. Bean!
  • Leader of Group:   What do he sing?
Obviously, character won that summer...

Point to ponder:  Do you think L.L. Cool J. wears L.L. Bean?


16 comments:

  1. I'm howling because when I replied to you on Twitter I hadn't read this!!! So, I am Preppy Ghetto Girl alas!!!

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  2. Cute post! For me, I guess the defining moment came when I chose to wear a non-uniform wool kilt on a Saturday and felt amazing only to find everyone else wearing something completely different. I still love kilts. Some things never go out of style.

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  3. that is too funny. i immediately thought you were going to talk about L.L. Bean when I read the title. haha!

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  4. That is hilarious!!! I do love both L.L.s!

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  5. you crack me up girl..."what do he sing?"

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  6. L. OH L. !! Love it!! Cracking up 'cuz I thought L.L. Bean, but guessed such off the wall stuff. Great post!

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  7. Bev, My father in law is better. The brain bleed stopped so they don't need to operate. They moved him back to our local hospital last night:)Seems like he will be fine. His memory is coming back too as the brain heals itself. Amazing! Thanks for your prayers!!

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  8. That is hilarious! Sounds like my summer job doing data entry at a lab tech company. My co-workers were not the L.L. Bean crowd, to say the least. It was quite the inspiration to work hard in college.

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  9. So funny!!! "What do he sing?" Reminds me of my years spent waitressing in college. You meet ALL KINDS of people (most of them recently released from prison I must add) in a restaurant kitchen! I too grew up very sheltered, never venturing far from my Episcopal private school,then attending a small private college, all the while being surrounded by people who were just like me. So when I began to work in the "real world" I was in for a rude awakening!

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  10. YOU CRACK ME UP!!!!! LL sooooo rocks LL.

    Hope you have a marvelous day...I will thanks to the giggles. Merci!

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  11. You make me LAUGH! That is so funny.
    Your experience sounds so familiar...I have all these stories stored up for you! Clearly I need to get writing!

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  12. That's so funny! I think I figured it out the summer of 1983 after I graduated from high school and prepared to head off to Columbia College. I worked in the hometown bank and one day as I was in the drive through a guy rode up on a bicycle and told me that he wanted to open a savings account for his new baby girl who had just been born that morning at the hometown hospital a mile or so down the street. When I asked what her name was, he looked startled and told me that he'd be right back. About an hour later he rode back up and told me her name. I can't remember what it was but it wasn't something that I'd ever heard of nor would I dare attempt to spell. When I asked him to spell it, he once again told me that he'd be right back. ANOTHER hour later, here he comes riding up with a piece of paper in his hand. Sure enough, we finally opened a savings account...$10 worth...for that baby girl.

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  13. I got a good chuckle from reading this story. I am searching for an "eye opening experience" of the file room type for my college son to participate in this summer. He's gotten a tad too comfy as of late!

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Thanks for your sweet comments... They make my day just that more Golden!