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Thursday, May 10, 2012

My Favorite Holiday I Never Knew Existed

It's that time of year again.  It always sneaks up on me. 

Once a year, South Carolina state offices close down to honor soldiers who wore grey uniforms and carried the stars and bars.

That's right: it is Confederate Memorial Day!

Note: County offices remain operational.

I usually celebrate by spending the day explaining to Yankees why the DMV is closed.

Me: "It's Confederate Memorial Day."
Yankee: "Yeah right."
Me: "No, it's a real holiday.  All state offices are closed."
The bemused look on the faces of the unsuspecting Yankees slowly fade away as they realize we're serious.  We don't joke about Confederate Memorial Day in these parts.


State offices give their databases a vacation too, and I can't do much real work without them. So I sort mail.  Which is ok, because when I cut them open the envelopes shred a little and it's almost like confetti.

Other fun activities include:
Listening to my coworkers try to explain why the DMV is closed.
Listening to The Civil War soundtrack while I sort mail.
Watching Matthew's face light up when I remind him over dinner that it is once again Confederate Memorial Day.

One of our first dates consisted of him driving me down to Columbia to see the Confederate flag in front of the capital building.  If I ever say that I didn't know what I was getting in to, I'm lying.

If you too want to celebrate Confederate Memorial Day, I suggest the following ten items:

1. White Lily self-rising flour.  Although, really, any self-rising flour will do.  Use it to make biscuits.

2. Duke's mayo.  I don't know why, but any Southerner worth his/her salt loves Duke's mayo.  My Wisconsin blood cries for Hellmans, but I resist on May 10.

3. Grits.  Obviously.

4. Red-eye gravy.  I was first introduced to this ominously named sauce when I went to Cracker Barrel with my friend Raven.  She almost passed out when I poured maple syrup on my grits.

5. Sweet tea.  When I'd go to visit Raven, her family didn't have coffee in the morning, so I'd have to satiate my caffeine cravings with iced tea.  It would have worked on pancakes too.

6. Macaroni and Cheese.  What can I say?  It's a vegetable here.

7. Gone with the Wind.  I read that when Vivien Leigh heard a band play Dixie at the premier of the movie, she said, "Why, it's that song from the movie!"  She probably didn't know about Confederate Memorial Day either.

8. Good china.  That's what we eat off here on a holiday.

9. A deep fryer.  For everything.  Period.

10. The recording of Sullivan Ballou's letter being read out loud with Ashokan farewell in the background.

11. Tissues.  This is a bonus: you'll need them if you listen to the Sullivan Ballou letter.

Throw in some tax-notice-envelope-confetti and you are good to go!

I hope you all have a very happy Confederate Memorial Day!

16 comments:

  1. Grits and Hog Jowls for dinner?

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    1. I've made shrimp and grits for dinner. That is probably as close as I'll get.

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  2. Love it! I almost miss the South. . .

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    1. The South misses you! Admit it - you miss the sweltering summers, the palmetto bugs and thick accents. You know you do. :)

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  3. I just learned about this holiday this year. I didn't believe it at first either. Too bad you didn't get the day off for it!

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    1. We get Good Friday instead, and I prefer it that way. How did you learn about Confederate Memorial Day?

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  4. Here's a good one. In Southaven, MS (borders on Memphis five miles south of Graceland) on Martin Luther King Day, national holiday, the city hall of Southaven posts a notice on the front door that they are closed in observance of "King/Lee Day". A line follows explaining that they are closed in honor of Martin Luther King AND Robert E. Lee. "by order of the governor of Mississippi." Save your Confederate money I guess.

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    1. That is fantastic! I told Matthew and now he wants to celebrate Lee Day. We actually have a picture of Robert E. Lee hanging in our house. Now I'm going to start looking to see if we also have Confederate money.

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  5. I love number 6. I have also been baffled that mac and cheese counts as a vegetable. :) But, I am at the same time... thankful.

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  6. I had never heard about this holiday until one year when I went to the DMV on that day and saw the sign posted on the door. :)

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    1. I heard that Georgia celebrates in April and features a festival at Stone Mountain. But as far as I can tell, SC only celebrates by closing the DMV. We really know how to party here!

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  7. I love it, Liz! I think you are "adjusting" very well. (Makes me really miss SC!)

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    1. Thank you, Cherie. You taught me the best way to make macaroni and cheese (and so many other things). :) I'm glad you'll be a little closer soon!

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  8. I haven't thought about that soundtrack in years. But yes, I think the chords in that song are designed to make one quite sentimental. About anything and everything. Miss you!

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    1. Do you still have your pictures of President Lincoln? I miss you too! I often think of you when eating Starbucks ice cream or listening to sentimental chords.

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