I went to the mailbox today, finally getting up the chutzpah to make it to the mailbox in the drizzling, cold rain and wind. Ugh. Bills probably. And I was right, of course. Gas bill, electric bill, mortgage statement. Ahhh, here’s the Victoria’s Secret swimsuit catalog. That reminds me; I need to pick up some hemlock for tonight’s chicken casserole.

Why do I do this to myself? Every year, I order something from Victoria’s Secret. Granted, it may be a lipstick or a super-cinching miracle girdle, but I do it just the same. I think it keeps me in touch with my secret seductress. Last time I saw her was in my early 20s, but whatever. She’s still in here under this extra fat and attitude – somewhere. And every year I forget – they send me the luxury swimwear and swimsuit catalog.

Now I ask you – how many people do you know who look like these models? They are beautiful, stunning, mouth-wateringly gorgeous, and I’m a hetero woman! But please, tell me, how many women do you know who actually look like these chicks without airbrushing?  I’m pretty sure they are the best from their respective Model Services and Agencies. Even THEY don’t look this good without touch-ups!

I brought the mail in and put it all on the kitchen table. I sorted through it, and I left the VS catalog on the table, unopened. I have to be in the right frame of mind to open it. I have to be about 2 glasses into a good Chardonnay to look at it. The last one that came was the day after Halloween. Whose idea is it to send out a catalog for bulimic zippers the day after the nation’s biggest candyfest?

So I’m sitting here, sipping wine and flipping through the pages, looking at these gorgeous women wearing tie-dyed dental floss and acting as though they don’t have a care in the world. Here’s one wearing a black suit, slashed and revealing. She looks like Freddie Kruger got ahold of her after drinking a few Red Bulls. She looks drop-dead gorgeous. My mind wanders to how I might look in that same suit. Yikes. I’d have fat poking out every hole and slash – not pretty. I’d look like one of those speed strips they install in the road before you get to a stop sign. I look at these little suits with the “triangle” tops. Please. Tsunamis have been started with less pressure. I simply can’t wear these things, not without making headlines.

You know what though? I have given birth to two children and raised countless more, one way or the other. I have a kick-a** education. I maintain a beautiful home, keep my husband very happy and do what I love for a living. I have friends who would kill for me and for whom I would do the same. I care for my elderly father, travel when I can, laugh every chance I get and marvel at the strength of real women. I find beauty and ingenuity because I look for it. I spotlight it every chance I get.

There are some days when I’d trade every bit of that for a body that would look great in one of these Spandex bandaids, but then, I dig who I am. I dig my life. And yes, I even dig my curves and, I dunno, whatever you call all this extra. It’s like badges that the scouts earn. “This stretch mark is from my son. This bulge is from my daughter…” And so on, and on…

Man, wonder what the mailman will bring tomorrow.


First, I am a mom and a wife. I have two great children, two awesome stepdaughters, a remarkable husband and two goofy, adorable dogs.  All rolled together we make one big, messy family. It was a tough road getting here, but the blood, sweat and tears were worth it. We somehow all fit.

Having said all that, I am a writer. I love words. I love how they mean one thing to me and another to you. I love playing with them and, sometimes, aiming them at people and situations.  Why? No, not to be mean, but to highlight the humorous side of pretty much anything.  As long as you can laugh, you’re OK. When you lose that ability, life becomes something to be endured, not a joy to be devoured.  I have been a freelance writer/reporter for the Gwinnett Daily Post for over 7 years.

I love to look at everyday situations, things we all know and have experienced, and point out the humorous side. That’s what I do in my blog, and that’s what I do in my book – Southern Fried White Trash – which will be published this year by hook or by crook. A publisher based right here in the South is looking at it now, and I hope and pray  they dig the same humor that I do. If they don’t, that’s OK too, because writing is what I was born to do. This first book takes an irreverent look at how people come unglued and go absolutely crazy under stress, and by stress I mean weddings, funerals, family gatherings. Yeah, you know what I mean.

When you’re born in the South, you’re raised to expect certain things. You expect white shoes after the Kentucky Derby and before Labor Day, and that’s it. You expect “please” and “thank you” and “ma’am” and “sir.” You expect civility, dignity and propriety. What you get, on the other hand, is reality. Southern Fried White Trash takes a brutally honest look at real life vs. Southern expectations. If you live here, you’re gonna laugh. If you don’t you’ll probably still laugh, though you won’t always know why.

I was raised right here in Georgia, then went to David Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tennessee. After graduating from there, I wandered into the Vanderbilt elite before taking my sheepskin out into the world to conquer it with my wise-a** attitude and Southern spin on things. I  enjoyed a successful career as a marketer for many years, and when I hit 40, I decided to throw all my energy into writing. At the pleasantly ripe age of 50, who I am now is the result.

I hope you enjoy a good laugh or even a pleasant chuckle. If you do, we’ll be great friends. Stay tuned on the progress of the book’s publication! I love your input, comments and observations. They make me better at what I do.

Carole Townsend
Souther Fried White Trash


Carole Townsend (4 Posts)