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Annie graduates

2002-08-11 06:33:51+00 by meuon 29 comments

Anabella Brown receives her BS degree in 3 years from MTSU.....and she's engaged also! (Annie is my step-daughter)

[ related topics: Photography Chattanooga ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-08-11 22:19:47+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yay Annie! I knew her when she was an easily embarrassed 13 year old with braces...

#Comment made: 2002-08-12 02:59:43+00 by: meuon [edit history]

And now.. like a true lady, she can fake being easily embarrassed (and probably other things as well).

#Comment made: 2002-08-12 04:11:26+00 by: topspin

Annie's degree: Bachelor of Science Degree in Family and Consumer Studies with an emphasis in Child Development and Family Studies and a minor in Art.

Um... that's a lot of BS. Next stop, she said, is grad school at MTSU while Jarred (also known as "That Lucky Bastard") finishes up his degree in Plant and Soil Science.

As we loaded Annie's graduation loot into her Explorer, I discreetly told him I'd kill him without a second thought if he hurt Annie. His answer: "You too?" made me grin.

#Comment made: 2002-08-12 19:53:47+00 by: Dan Lyke

Got an email from someone who asked "what's with the implied violence, is this a Southern thing?". I thought it was an interesting question. When Kiki and Scott got married last year, it was one of my reactions: hurt her and I'll make your life very unpleasant. I didn't actually voice it, I said "remember the purple feather" instead, but I think the subtext is one of "welcome to the family, but always remember that she was family first, and we love her more."

#Comment made: 2002-08-12 22:50:55+00 by: Diane Reese

Yes, this confused me also. Where does this come from? Do guys actually think of women as in need of Big Strong Guys to warn Other Interloper Guys about how well protected they are? Of course this might be Yet Another Indication that I just haven't hung out with "normal" guys all my life (and I haven't lived in the south), but I don't think I've ever come across this before. And if I realized some guy I knew was doing it "on my behalf", it would probably peeve me, since this implies some basic inequality, where I was in need of a protection net, even if I hadn't asked for it.

What am I missing? Do you guys also say to the new wives/girlfriends of your good male buddies, "Welcome to the family, but always remember that he was family first, and we love him more." ? I'm willing to bet the answer to that is no, so if so... what's this all about? Maybe we should move this to a separate thread: Annie's good work and fortune is a different, and quite happy, topic!

#Comment made: 2002-08-13 02:31:10+00 by: meuon [edit history]

It's a big brother/protector kind of thing. A role many women, especially in the south, seem to enjoy and use in the men in their life around them. It's a two way street, it boosts the guys ego as well. For some reason, (sharpening hatchet) I don't ever have to actually bring it up....But then, Annie learned to handle twits herself several redneck boyfriends ago...

#Comment made: 2002-08-13 02:44:53+00 by: topspin

Dan/Diane: I could see how this could be taken as the "big strong man" thing, but it's less about that and more about assuring Jarred that Annie has a strong, able support system should she need it. He's welcome to the same support, but to me he remains an outsider with a chance to earn my trust just as he has earned Annie's.

Yes, yes.... it's heavily wrapped in southern machismo, but the communication coming across to Jarred is: Annie's got lots of folks who love her, who'll stand behind her, and who're concerned about what goes on in her life.

Jarred's from the south. I don't think he noted the implied violence the same way y'all did. He took it for what it was..... this older guy (among others) letting him know that Annie's happiness matters to more folks than just him.

Hey Dan, is that "southern to california" translator ready for implementation?

#Comment made: 2002-08-13 03:38:03+00 by: Dan Lyke

Ya mean like:

"Boy, I'm gonna whup yer ass if'n ya hurt her"


"Dude, hurt the chick and it's gonna be gnarly for ya."


#Comment made: 2002-08-13 18:50:30+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

Do guys actually think of women as in need of Big Strong Guys to warn Other Interloper Guys about how well protected they are?

Unfortunately, yes, many [most?] still do. I don't think it's necessarily a Southern thing, although the interpretation topspin provided might be. I've heard, seen and received this type of thing several times - and I've lived in the Seattle area all my life. Personally, I've never heard of anybody interpreting it the way topspin indicated.

Do you guys also say to the new wives/girlfriends of your good male buddies,

I've never it said about (or to) a specific person but in my younger days I generally made it clear that three things could invoke deadly force from me: Hurting my spouse/partner, family or friends (in that order). Gender was never really part of the equation in my case.

what's this all about?

Silliness, IMO.

#Comment made: 2002-08-13 19:07:43+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

"Dude, hurt the chick and it's gonna be gnarly for ya."

Dan, my almost-13-year-old Californian son says to tell you that nobody talks that way anymore (in the Bay Area anyway). He says a more appropriate translation might be:

"Dude! Mess with her and it'll suck to be you."

#Comment made: 2002-08-13 20:44:01+00 by: Larry Burton [edit history]

I think I need to add a few things here.

There was no violence implied in Topspin's conversation with Jared ... it was explicit. The womenfolk down here do the implying of violence the menfolk state it outright.

No, men in the South don't normally explain to a future wife of a good buddy how violence will ensue if the good buddy is mistreated, that's the job of the womenfolk down here. I'm pretty sure that Annie was explained how she was not to mistreat Jared by a sister or aunt or the mother of Jared and the consequences that mistreatment would bring.

One thing I don't understand is that some of y'all make it sound like the implication of violence is a Bad Thing®.

#Comment made: 2002-08-13 23:49:24+00 by: topspin

Reading and reflecting on this thread I recalled an incident from my past with Annie.

When she was 16/17, she was co-enrolled in community college and high school. After a messy break-up with a boyfriend, she asked me to go with her to the community college a coupla times because she feared the guy (named Jeff, I think) was stalking her.

One night, as we came out, she froze and said, "There he is! What do we do now?" Her fear, at that point, was real. Her danger may or may not have been real, but I am thankful I was there and, of course, we safely got in my car and left with nothing more than glares exchanged.

Did she "need" me that night? I dunno. She wanted me there. Perhaps Annie doesn't need nor want my protection these days, but like any man.... once the "paternal" protection bit is flipped, it's hard to reverse.

#Comment made: 2002-08-14 00:38:07+00 by: Dan Lyke

I guess my fogey status is affirmed; I'm out of sync with the language trends. To me "sucks to be you" is so... I don't know, 1990 or so. At least I remember it as slightly before the Mountain Dew "been there. done that." ads.

On the male versus female question, I think I've got more female friends than male friends that seem to be as vulnerable. Or perhaps I say it in ways more appropriate to the person hearing the message, men are used to playing the alpha games with each other.

#Comment made: 2002-08-14 17:12:51+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

One thing I don't understand is that some of y'all make it sound like the implication of violence is a Bad Thing®.

[Please note the use of the generic "you" below.]

It's not so much the violence as that I'm a bit offended by the suggestion/suspicion that I would cause harm to this person that I love. If you're entertaining - even for a moment - the possibility, then I'm probably going to consider you an asshole and I'm likely to return the same level of respect that you seem to be according me - which is apparently slim-to-none.

That the family of my spouse/partner would make my life uncomfortable and likely painful is already expected and understood, IMO. To actually put voice to it though, I consider highly rude and greatly lacking in respect both for the in-law and the direct relation.

As for the women providing threats as well, I'll assume that's a Southern thing. I've certainly never heard of an instance of it.

#Comment made: 2002-08-14 17:15:30+00 by: Shawn

men are used to playing the alpha games with each other.

Some men. And some of us have always felt that such games are the height of stupidity.

#Comment made: 2002-08-14 18:22:48+00 by: Diane Reese

It's not so much the violence as that I'm a bit offended by the suggestion/suspicion that I would cause harm to this person that I love.

Shawn, very well put! And I, as a woman finding out that my intended/lover had been "warned"/"reminded" in that way by my relatives or close family friends, would be highly offended as well.

#Comment made: 2002-08-14 21:42:24+00 by: Larry Burton

It's not so much the violence as that I'm a bit offended by the suggestion/suspicion that I would cause harm to this person that I love.

If you were "courting" a woman that was close to me and you were not that familiar to me whether or not you were offended would not be my concern, the well being of the woman close to me would be my concern. If you were familiar to me then the warning would probably be left unsaid because it would be understood.

Take a look at the stats on spousal abuse in the South for a better understanding of why we do what we do down here. For whatever reason we are a much more violent society here in the South than can be found in other parts of our violent country. Under these conditions customs adapt.

#Comment made: 2002-08-15 13:17:50+00 by: ebradway

Larry: unfortunately, what I've seen more often than not is that in situations of spousal abuse, the woman needs to be smacked with a big reality stick even more so than the man. Generally, the man is acting out of misguided rage - anger that he was either never taught how to control, or, as likely, was shown by his father than beating the wife is a good way to release the anger. The real problem is the women who go back to these guys after they cool down:

He's really not all that bad. At least he comes straight home from work most nights and doesn't blow his paycheck gambling all the time

My ex-wife is a social working in a domestic violence shelter. She acts in community awareness plays and that's one of the lines from one of her characters.

#Comment made: 2002-08-15 21:59:15+00 by: Shawn

Larry; from my perspective, it's not just me who's being offended. I find it rude and offensive to the woman as well. I don't expect you (again, the generic "you") to trust me. I do expect you to trust your [female] relative.

And Eric makes an excellent point: Such machoisms only serve to cement/support the insecurities that cause many women to believe that they must have the protection of a man - causing them to stay in situations where they shouldn't.

#Comment made: 2002-08-15 22:05:25+00 by: Shawn

For the record, I love Jarred's response. Way to throw it back in the face!

(Do you really think we husbands don't feel exactly the same way? My father in-law was treading on dangerous ground for several weeks after a mean phone call that left my wife sobbing for hours.)

#Comment made: 2002-08-15 23:30:41+00 by: topspin

For the record, I loved Jarred's response too, as I said..... and yes, I'd love to have Jarred at my throat if he thought I might be a threat to Annie.

I'm amused (as I can tell Larry is) at the extrapolation of this discussion, actually. Lighten up, folks. It was a communication that Jarred and I understood and y'all didn't. So some folks don't appreciate the method, form, or style of my communication, I can live with that. If I'd seen the least bit of puzzlement on Jarred's face, I'd have clarified myself.

#Comment made: 2002-08-15 23:53:44+00 by: Diane Reese

Puzzlement doesn't really have anything to do with it; apparently you knew he'd know what you were saying. It's the assumptions behind the comments that are giving Shawn and me (and maybe eric as well?) concerns.

By the way, Larry, I investigated spousal abuse statistics last night. Unless you count first-place Nevada as part of the south, the first actual "southern" state on the list of spousal homicides (the list I could find most easily) is, um, Tennessee, and it's down there in 6th place. I guess that would explain the responses we're seeing coming from that general area, huh.

#Comment made: 2002-08-15 23:53:49+00 by: Diane Reese [edit history]

#Comment made: 2002-08-16 01:05:33+00 by: Dori

The concerns are what puzzle me--so far as I can tell from this discussion, I'm actually a southern male,

#Comment made: 2002-08-16 01:40:08+00 by: Larry Burton

Topspin, you know me a little too well. :-) Yeah, lighten up, folks. Not everyone down here hands out those warnings in earnest and not everyone down here gets a warning in earnest. A lot of our humor comes from playing on stereotypes of ourselves. (Topspin and I can call each other hillbillies but don't none of you'ns try it. Yeah, were both Chattanooga natives.)

Diane, I wish we were as far down as #6 in spousal abuse. Spousal homicides are the extreme form of spousal abuse but just beating on someone you're married to is the most common. I can't remember where I saw the statistics on this but I've seen them more than once and the south doesn't fair well at all under the general topic of spouse abuse. And the frustrating part about it is that what Eric described is so prevailant. I don't know if we are so protective of our "women folk" because we see them failing to protect themselves so often or if the fail to protect themselves so often because we are generally so protective of our "women folk".

#Comment made: 2002-08-16 02:44:47+00 by: meuon

Key point.. Topspin said it. It was a communication made by two men that understood that form of communication and the subject matter at hand. If Jarred was a different person, it would not have been said that way. Topspin is (almost) always appropriate to the situation and people.

#Comment made: 2002-08-17 15:44:28+00 by: Shawn [edit history]

made by two men that understood that form of communication

And I'm perfectly willing to accept that. Just presenting my view and opinion on the practice of that particular form. I'm not really as uptight about it as I might seem. More of an eye-rolling, head-shaking, sighing, saddened type thing.

Puzzlement is not exactly the response I was focused around - more like irritation, resentment, frustration, "screw you", etc.

#Comment made: 2002-08-19 04:40:38+00 by: VampKitte

Ok, all this talk about me, my life, and my fiance is a little weird. WE are very happy, in love and ready to start a life together. Im thankful for all your support and help through the years and would really like to catch up with some of you guys. I'm not the 13 year old wearing braces anymore. Im 21, legal!! and really grown up since most of you have seen me. Jarred is the best guy I have ever met and am really excited to have him in my life. I hope you guys get to meet him sometime soon and get to know him. He'll be around for a long time. I know it was a surprise to many of you about our engagment, but we weren't really broadcasting it to a lot of people for certain reasons known to us. I appreciate your best wishes. Email me sometime so we can catch up! VampKitte@att.net

#Comment made: 2002-08-19 07:36:48+00 by: topspin

Hi Annie! Hi Jarred, if you're reading too.

Sorry about the weirdness of this thread. I can hear you now: "Damn, am I gonna behave like that when I'm old?" Hopefully not. You're beautiful and... yeah... grown. <groan>

Congratulations, again. See y'all when you're in town.

(Sorry if any of this thread embarrassed you. I'd never want to do that.)