In Utah, where I grew up, if someone showed their ass, it literally meant they were showing their ass – or as we called it, “mooning.” Even in my ultra-conservative, small, predominately Mormon hometown, mooning was not foreign. As teenagers, we would “cruise Main” in our cars on Friday and Saturday nights – whooping at our friends, flirting with boys in cool cars, and occasionally someone would drop their drawers and press their lily-white ass against the car window (or if they were feeling particularly brave, out the car window). I’m not sure why we would show our ass – it certainly was not done as a “fuck you” to anyone. In fact, the perpetrators usually hitched their britches up again amid gales of laughter – delightfully shocked at their own brazenness. I imagine mooning was a rite of passage to prove that we had a rebellious, wild streak despite our strict religious upbringing.
When I married Doc and we would visit his family in northern Florida, I kept hearing people talking about other people showing their ass. Initially I thought there was a lot of mooning going on, which confused me, for although there were a lot of “good ole boys” in the area (and I could totally picture them with their hairy asses hanging out of their truck windows), most people were either devout Baptist or Episcopalian. Plus, the subject of the conversation – the ass show-er, if you will – were always grown adults – sometimes even elderly adults!
What the hell kind of place was this that good, God-fearing old folks would go around dropping trou and waving their blindingly white, jiggly asses at others in the community?
One day, my father-in-law and Doc’s aunt had a particularly heated argument. I come from a family where the adults that hardly ever had arguments, let alone raised their voices – so I was sitting on the couch trying to make myself as invisible as possible, but my shocked eyes were wide as saucers as I took in the show. There was yelling, outraged responses, a bit of crying, and finally some door slamming as Aunt Louise stormed out of the house. My father-in-law shook his head and said disgustedly, “Louise always has to show her ass every time she comes here!”
After that, there was some general conversation about all of the other times Louise had shown her ass at family functions and it dawned on me that “showing your ass” had an entirely different connotation in the south. It meant someone who upset the social norm by behaving badly – usually in public.
I’ve been going through a rough patch the last couple of weeks – my emotions have decided to show their ass. I’ve had anxiety attacks, crying jags, and not very well suppressed hostility on more than one occasion. I’m not sure why and it’s been exhausting trying to ponder and analyze it. So, I’m just going to let my emotions keep showing their ass until they get it out of my system. Don’t be alarmed – I’m sure I’ll be back to myself before long. In the meantime, here’s a Throwback Thursday picture of me showing my ass back in the day. I hadn’t started cruising Main yet, so it’s not as risky as one might hope – but I certainly made up for it by showing my ass in the southern sense more often than not. Let’s just say I was never an easy child.