Tuesday, June 21, 2011


In case you didn't know, that is my name. My name is Nancy....Caroline Allen. I am a middle name-r, and I have been for most of my life, save one day...

Let's go back bit. All the way to back to: where my parents are from. My father grew up in the south, and my mother grew up in the mid-west (Oklahoma), but they met each other while working in Washington D.C. They fell in love, mostly to insure my existence, and got married. Then, they moved to Hickory North Carolina where my dad worked selling cars (I NEVER go to a car dealership without him), and my mom carried me around...in her belly. This is a brief version. I'm sure my mom did more. She's kind of cool like that. Anywho...

It was in Hickory, North Carolina on October 12 that I was born--in case you're wondering why I'm so pretty...it's because I was a C-section baby, and my head did not get smooshed. I'm not sure the process, but I know my parents had decided that I would be named Nancy Caroline after my mom's sister, Nancy Carol, who was named after their aunt: Nancy Elizabeth Irene Caroline (THIS was ALMOST my name). If I had been a boy, the name of this blog would be: George Thomas Loves You More. Seriously. GEORGE THOMAS. I digress. A birth certificate was signed, and I'm pretty sure my feet were rolled in ink and stamped on the fancy government document: NANCY CAROLINE ALLEN.

The morning after I was born, my mother was feeding me, and probably falling madly in love with me, when a nurse walked into the room and asked in a big ol' pretty southern accent, "How's Nancy?" (In the south, Nancy is pronounced as such: Nane-see, with a long "a." This is quite different from the mid-western pronunciation: Nan-see; thus, it startled my mother) For a moment, a very brief moment, my mother was taken aback by the nurse's butchering of a name she held so dear. Therefore, she was able to respond promptly, "Her name is Caroline." I suppose in the brief moment after the nurse butchered my name, my mother saw my entire life, but all she saw was children and adults alike saying, "Nane-see!" over and over again. It must have hurt terribly.

My father was not present at the time, and had to learn the news later, I'm sure after dreaming big dreams for me as Nancy.

And this is how I became Caroline. It's funny how much a name can affect a person. People often ask me if they can call me Nancy, which is absurd to me. Why? It's my name, but it's not my name. Insurance and payroll companies refuse to call me by any other name. Sometimes people call me Caroline Nancy, but that doesn't make any sense either. Nancy Caroline flows a lot better. Right?

So, yes, my name is Nancy, but you can call me Caroline.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Out and About in Dahlonega, Georgia

I feel like it's been quite a while since I reflected on the wonderful complements I often get paid when walking down the street or shopping for cds (a long time ago) or shopping for the newest version of Strunk and White. Maybe it's just been a while since I found these encounters entertaining. OR, it could be the fact that I live in a pretty calm place for..."compliments"...

Yesterday I set out on a trek from my house to The Holly Theater to sweet talk businesses into advertising for us and sweet talk the managing director to overlook my laziness. It's not uncommon that I wave to a lot of people on such walks, nor is it uncommon that I have conversations with people I don't even know; thus, when a large man in a striped polo shirt carrying an oversized Nascar photograph made eye contact as I was passing by the antique mall, I geared up for the usual "hi, how ya doin." Instead of "hello," however, the man's first words were, "WOW! NICE," in a voice that one can only learn after living in a frat house for a few years or gearing up for marathon tailgating in the fall.  Being me, I don't usually assume that people are referring to...me?...when they make comments like this...especially not passing by in front of the antique mall in Dahlonega. I turned and smiled, and he continued, "you live around here?" To which I responded with the truth, "yeah." He then used my tattoo as an excuse to get a little closer and ask his next question, "but yer not from here, right?" "No," I responded, "I'm from Memphis, Tennesse."

Then he launched into my FAVORITE pick-up strategy: "Well, what the hell'dyou move here for?" Right. 'Cause I'm an idiot. Because I'm slightly mentally handicapped. So I could meet a man like you. It's almost as complimentary as "I'm sorry," when I tell people I'm from Memphis. THANKS! Really. Not enough people have apologized to me for my coming from MY HOME. Oops! My panties just fell off. It's so hard being me, and no one quite understands. If only I could live in a place like you...a suburb (undoubtedly)...surrounded by strip malls, churches, and a false sense of security. Maybe I could get some sleep.

I digress. If you thought his strategy couldn't get any worse, you would be wrong. Remember, this guy likes Nascar (yeah, I'm just that judgmental). He then explained that he comes into town every now and then on business and dropped a delicious cherry on top of the whole encounter by asking, "you wanna go out sometime? I mean, it's just me in my hotel room."

Yep. He said that. He said that. He did. He actually said that. Don't believe me? He did. I'm not lying. That is what he said.

Gee. How does a girl reply to something like that? Let's brainstorm the possibilities:

-OH, HELL YES! I'm so bored! I can think of nothing better to do than hang out with you in your hotel room.

-*giggle* okay. What are you doing tonight? *wink*

-You think you can afford me?

-YOU DISGUST ME! *biff* *wham* *pow* IN YOUR FACE! (this is my favorite/preferred)

I'm sure there are plenty more, but I just calmly and politely responded with a simple no thank you, and I may have made a face that suggested disgust. I don't usually know when those faces happen, but I do know that I have a difficult time holding them back.

So there it is. My first indecent proposal in Dahlonega. It's almost hard to believe it took this long. But, then again, Dahlonega is a pretty mild, laid-back place to live. I know. I know. How lame is that? It totally sucks, and I appreciate your apologies.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Spray Sunblock

I recall a day back in 2003 when I was wearing a skirt and teaching a theatre class to a bunch of 13-14 year olds in Dallas, TX, and a girl, when called upon to answer a question, responded, "Ms. Allen...the sun is not evil." A few years later, I had upgraded from teaching to waiting tables at the illustrious Outback Steakhouse in Midtown Memphis. I was wearing some cute short shorts, and I had been layering fake tan on my legs. Despite this fact, one of my managers, upon being greeted before the shift, responded, "your legs are so white, they're practically transparent."

So, you know what, fine. Fine. I'm sorry, but someone told me that the sun not only causes aging, but it is also responsible for a great deal of cancer. And, if you must know, I had a killer tan last summer when I was farming...a killer farmer's tan. The clothed part of my body was still pretty white. 'Cause I'm white.

Thus, based upon my aforementioned attitude towards the sun, one can probably conclude that my trips to the beach involve a great deal of SPF. I'm pretty down with 50+. And now it comes in handy no rub sprays. The best part of all of this is that, instead of the awkward "I clearly couldn't reach this part of my back" sunblock white hand print, users get the "I had no idea the spray didn't get to this part of me" tan lines. Mine look like bruises. I have a nice sunburn bruise on the right side of my stomach and on my right shoulder. LOVE IT. This happened to me despite the fact that I reapplied the SPF 50 more than once during about a two hour stint on the beach in Savannah.

I don't care though. Srsly. I don't care. So there. I'ma be a patchwork of age. Maybe parts of me will be old and damaged from the evil sun, but I'll just turn your attention to the sexy, youthful, milky white skin on the other shoulder.