Village People, Iowa Style

Iowa is my home. It’s where I was born, raised, grew up and attended college. All four of those life instances took place in different parts of the state. I was born and raised in a small town (I refer to as home home) of 1,200 peeps, moving to the Des Moines area when I was in eighth grade (which is where I “grew up” so-to-speak) and became a Hawkeye when I attended the University of Iowa. Due to a downhearted event with the passing of a cousin, I needed to get home home (where I was born and raised) in the corner of Southwest Iowa with a few day’s notice earlier this month. Me trying to figure out how the fuck to get where I needed to go with 3,612 moving parts was like the worst algebra problem I ever faced.

Do I fly into Des Moines or Cedar Rapids? Who can pick me up on short notice? Should I try to borrow a car? What about getting back to the airport? Do I have to have the gold star on my license yet to fly? WHAT IS GOING ON?!

Performing this feat is like trying to get to Mars (where’s Jeff Bezos when I need him?) because once you land at one of the two major airports in Iowa (IF you can find a last minute flight there), you still have hours to go by car in order to wind up at your final destination. Thank fuck I have friends and family who put in time and effort acting as travel agents, angel investors (flying to Iowa isn’t cheap in the first place and one of the flights I saw to book cost $6,000 with a layover – my ticket was nowhere near that pricey) and Pussy Posse sitters to make this last second shit happen for me.

Once travel plans were set on a Friday for me to leave the following day, I acted as if I’d never flown anywhere before and found my leopard suitcase full of 2019’s St. Patty’s day shit.

After unloading it, I texted a family member, asking what she was wearing to the funeral service (as I was planning on a black dress). She responded….and I could only imagine one thing pictured below.

Now, I’m not the end all be all when it comes to the fashion police but there are a few things I loathe more than Crocs footwear (when not properly used for yard work or as non-slip work shoes) but jean capris rank right up there (she did not, in fact, wear jean capris to the funeral, FYI).

After throwing what black dress I thought might fit into a suitcase, I was ready to head to the airport where I realized I hadn’t checked in 24 hours prior to my flight and if you’ve ever flown Southwest, you know that’s a grave mistake. The seating starts at A-1 and ends at C-50 in order of boarding the flight.

Indeed I was the final person to board the full aircraft and I realized I forgot my hand sanitizer but that ended up being the least of my worries once I found the last open seat.

Arriving to Iowa without incident, I was greeted by Aunt Crispy and Uncle Toddy (the man who taught me to snort knox blocks up my nose as a kid) at the airport and escorted to their fab abode for a night’s stay.

Lipstick on my teeth is a sign that we’ve been in masks far too long and Iowa, ya girl noticed you need to do a better job in wearing them. I mean, especially since your Governor Covid Kim, isn’t helping protect you or your kids.

Adding further insult to my fashion sense, the fella picking me up from Uncle Toddy’s the following day arrived to escort me to Southwest Iowa in what he calls “time savers”. Naturally I voiced my concern at his footwear choice immediately but all was forgiven being that he adorned an Iowa Hawkeye hat even thought he attended the rival school.

Upon arrival at my stay in Lenox, I was shown to the guest quarters where the bed made me resemble André the Giant. I couldn’t decide if it was adorable or creepy as fuck but regardless of my feelings, I slept on a very accommodating air mattress that would allow for my short legs to stretch long.

Even with a comfy sleeping arrangements, I basically stared at the back of my eyelids all night, dreading the next day in that we were saying goodbye to my smiley cousin Linda.

While it was a hard, it was a beautiful day to celebrate Linda’s life. I was the youngest grandkid by far on this side of the family. Linda was ALWAYS so pretty and doing something cool that seemed so fabulous to me and I couldn’t wait to be like her (and her sister Dianne) one day.

Linda, Dianne and their groupie.

The “didn’t wear Jean Capris” and “Time Saver sandals with socks” folks ordered a gorgeous flower arrangement for the celebration service. This complicated as fuck bouquet was ordered from a town over, that didn’t deliver and proved to be a challenge in the day’s events because we (Jean Capris) worried about getting it to the final destination for no less than 12 hours in the three pieces it came in.

Thank fuck there’s no stoplight in this town because by going slightly under the 15 mph speed limit, the flowers, statue and candles in this arrangement made it in one piece. They knew better than to entrust me with anything that could be dropped – or – broken if I had a slip and fall (very common for me these days).

One of the best things about awful days like this are seeing the peeps and family you grew up alongside. The folks who shaped (and tolerated my ass) in the early years of life. We’re missing a few cousins for the now vs. then pic but they were there with us in spirit.

I couldn’t imagine what my closest cousin on this side was feeling, losing her older sister. But man, it felt good getting to hug on her and see that she has not aged one bit with the time that has passed.

I ran into a few teachers of my old teachers at the service and I could NOT bring myself to call them by their first names even though decades have passed and we’re friends on Facebook. Mrs. Shawler, Mr. Peterson, and Mr. Oliphant (who assisted me when I got hit in the face with a baseball bat in 7th grade and told my terrified ass I was going to need stitches), were all among the crowd paying respect.

It’s been at least a dozen years since Time Saver and Jean Capris had their photo nabbed with these three gorgeous gals. The most contemporary pic they have of me is my high school senior class photo and I’m not mad about it in the slightest because I pretty much peaked in high school.

As we gathered to celebrate Linda’s life, you couldn’t help but see the love she had for her family and especially, her kids.

I’m so very thankful and lucky to all of those who helped get me to my final destination in a day’s notice. Being home home meant the world in order to say goodbye to my cousin and hello again to family I hadn’t gotten to lay eyes on in real life for years. The trip was brief, sad and fulfilling in all of the ways.

As if we need this reminder in today’s world, say what you need to say, hug when you can hug and love the fuck out of people while they’re here.

Also, don’t wear socks with slip on sandals – no matter how much time it saves you.

Stay safe out there. Remember others as you go about your days. You never know whose life you could be saving by getting vaccinated and masking up.

Thanks for being a part of my village.

Love ya, mean it.

CBXB

BUY ME A DRINK

The Skeletons in My Closet

Growing up (and still today for yours truly), Halloween was the kick-off to a long-awaited holiday season.

I'll cut a bitch

Even at the tender age of three, I’d cut a bitch.

With an assist from my dad.

Letting Dad (you know, the guy who dresses up like Pam Anderson) do all of the carving work because even way back my nails were “jewels, not tools”.

In small Iowa town where I grew up, we had costume parties at school and church (when you used to be able to call it a Halloween party complete with witches and bats, instead of a bland Fall Festival with scarecrows and hay bales – why are there fun haters? Why?), parades to prance proudly down our eight block Main Street (where every single one of the 1,200 citizens seemed to show up) and so much trick-or-treating mania, I’d have to come home halfway through the evening just to dump my candy (hiding it all from my dad in the dryer or it’d be gone by morning) because my pumpkin got so overloaded, it was too heavy for me to carry.

hall

Forget my adorableness for one second – what about the clown behind #165?

ped

Spectator sport for the entire town.

In my younger years, I carried the burden of celebrating Halloween by myself and being a lone Cookie Monster got frustrating.

Ho Hum

One is the loneliest number.

Begging my parents to procreate, I was presented with my sister (you know, the one who called my dad a goddamn son of a bitch at the age of four) who was immediately awarded with side kickin’ it as my lifetime partner-in-crime (lucky her). If I was going to be dressing up (oftentimes making an ass out of myself in later years) she was going to be doing it too, by god (town parades included).

In the beginning of our twosome, we were all about cutesy costumes.

Sugar'n' Spice

The rock star and Raggedy Ann. A little sugar for my spice.

The ‘cute’ theme seemed to carry on in our early years.  Except for the tilt in our heads…and the fog in the background…and the overall sinisterness of this photo.

Creepy Hollow

Cute masked crusaders in Creepy Hollow.

As we grew older, I wanted a little edge (well as much edge as an elementary kid and toddler could muster) to our giddy ups. I let my young inner badass out, as my sister scared the pants off no one.

very busy

That’s right. I was hardcore even in elementary school.

We slid slightly into the ghoulish department as my sister joined me in grade school.

Scardey Crow

Scaredy crow and premature mini old man. Almost spine-chilling. Almost.

Then I graduated to truly frightening and fearful territory as I crept toward junior high.  Pebbles was not impressed.

Pebs

I’m also starting to wonder if there was any other color of hair paint than green, since that tends to be a trend here.

When we thought we were oh so grown up, our costumes reflected our mature attitudes.

Lady and the Tramp.

Lady and the Tramp. Or Princess and Sock Hop Girl…however you want to look at it.

We were reminded in following years just how far from adults we were…especially yours truly. A recycled mask and costume from a previous Halloween hid my “I’m way too old for this shit” attitude toward trick-or-treating when I was forced to go with my younger sister.

Barley a Boo

I can’t tell who’s more excited – the monster or the witch.

And being older we’re not so much cute, cuddly or even scary creatures…we’re just mostly cocktailed.

bl

The odd couple. Pocahontas and Kid Rock.

Now that we’re miles apart during the costuming time of year, it’s fun to look back at our sisterly ghosts of Halloween’s past. But what’s even more fun is seeing her twin goblins growing to love the holidays as much as she and I did as kids.

Scary season #1.

As

Permanent partners-in-crime.

Scary season #2.

I know, I know. The cutest fucking dog and cat you've ever seen.

I know, I know.
The cutest fucking cat and dog you’ve ever seen.

As we’re on the eve of Halloween, you should take a look at the old skeletons in your closet.

You aren’t a fraidy cat, are you?

CBXB

CBXB!