AUNT SISTER

I’ll wager a sawbuck that even the best Alabama trend spotters missed the direct link between a

recent uptick in athletic cup sales and the strange warm weather front that followed a few days later.

The hot air gust, void of its usual humidity during Official Tornado Season, was actually the 98.6-degree collective sigh of relief from all my male friends who happened to read my Facebook “All-Clear-on-the-Eastern-Front” notice.

Julia Harwell Segars

Julia Harwell Segars

These same men were the purchasers of the aforementioned protective wear earlier in the week, a

primal response after I sucked up all the humidity in the atmosphere for this steaming online rant:

“Ok. I’m definitely in a (blankety-blank) mood. Crews installing fiber in our neighborhood cut our gas line and apparently our old cable line Friday. Had to get gas co. to come when we got home Sat night and been without home phone or internet since then. Guy was supposed to come at 12 today.

Got here at 3. Still working. Fred in B’ham all day, so I’m stuck. Also had a broken toilet that was leaking water onto the hardwoods in the powder bath. Fred had to get that handled this morning.

Oh, and the dishwasher has been out since last week. But we do have some plumbing that’s working overtime: Lexi (our dog) has been peeing on everything, including our bed, because we were gone last weekend ... So, while I’m on a roll, do y’all have anybody you need me to fire, castrate, euthanize or just chew out in general?”

My being a grammar Nazi and all, I guess my public display of poor punctuation and accompanying sentence fragmentation was a sure sign I’d nose-dived into the deep end.

Curiously, my murder offer elicited no palpable fear from the men, except a noticeable concern for Fred’s well-being. But dropping the C word sent them running to invest in steel-enforced fig leaves.

Honestly, all that wincing over a couple of parts:

“I’m just whistling past the graveyard,” one high-school buddy wrote. “Don’t mind me.”

“Let’s just forget I exist until things go better for you,” added a neighbor.

“Ouch. Selfishly, I’m glad this all happened after your visit with us,” a Birmingham friend said. “I like my stuff and my life.”

Notice the priority on that last one.

A former co-worker picked up on the firing threat. “I’m glad I’m retired,” he said.

My Yankee-wanna-be cousin from Virginia was more worried about my myopic viewpoint. “First world problems,” was his curt little answer. Go hug a tree, cuz.

Then there was the opportunist. “I’m staying away … But if you need an electrician, let me know.

AFTER the castrations, that is …”

But the Sisterhood of the Unraveling Rants commisserated on my sorry domestic juju and expressed some concern for the wellbeing of the puppy. Mostly, they offered up personal hit lists in need of some scratch offs.

“This too shall pass. It might pass like a kidney stone, but it will pass.”

“Dang, girlfriend!”

“I feel your pain, Aunt Sister.”

“I have a list. Where to begin?”

“Now that you mention it …”

“Actually, I do have a list! It seems your plate is a bit full, though. Bless your heart.”

A kind-hearted do-it-yourselfer offered help without an invoice. “I just gave my sister’s dishwasher an overhaul, as I had to take mine apart several years ago,” she wrote. “You can do anything by watching YouTube. PM (private message) if you need help.” She blew an emoji kiss.

Sisterhood rocks. But my favorite DYI advice came from a Gadsden man: “Walk out on your front porch, in your robe and slippers, crack open a beer, put a cigarette in your mouth and yell, “row (blankety-blank) tyde!!!” It’ll make you feel better.”

I gotta confess, it did. That, and getting my Netflix back.

I sent the “All Clear” message on Friday. Below it I posted a photo of the cabinet area underneath my master bathroom sink, which on Wednesday had come loose from its adhesive bond with the countertop. Fred had propped it up with a stack of books until help could arrive.

“But Fate has a way of keeping the hand,” I said of the sunken sink. I punctuated that with three

laughing emojis as further reassurance that I was over my mad.

Then I took a little walk through the mass male exhale blowing eastward and telepathed a private

message to Fate: “I’m just whistling past the graveyard. Don’t mind me,” and sent him an emoji kiss.

Aunt Sister is a Southern Lady who was raised right but overcame it, bless her heart. Aunt Sister the book is available at auntsister.com. On FB and Twitter: @auntsistersays

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