I would like to point out that my rather newsy post below, only two lines of which actually drew any attention at all, has devolved into a discussion about the proper way to eat grits. I, being from Missouri, was under the impression that it is right and good to put sugar on grits. I would add that I learned this from my southern mom, though I can't honestly say that she is a grits purist herself. It's entirely possible that she learned this from my step-dad, a Missourian to the core, who corrupted her with his conviction that no cornbread is worth eating unless it has sugar in it. Blech!
The comments below are not dispassionate on the subject and that raises an interesting point for me. I've reached the conclusion that, in addition to religion and politics, grits should probably be added to the list of things never to be brought up in polite conversation. I have been accused of heresy for eating my grits with sugar. You know what they do to heretics. They stone them, burn them at the stake, banish them to dungeons of torture. People need to be warned.
I'm a little nervous now. I'll be spending a few days on vacation with JM who is rather sure of herself about the proper way to eat grits. I unwittingly stumbled into this new awareness that I was not properly raised. Wow! Grits, not safe! Who knew? I'm now wondering what other shortcomings I have that have yet to be revealed, which I will clumsily introduce in the course of conversation while we're driving to and from Yosemite. Politics will probably be a safe subject. I don't get the impression that JM is into religion that much, but anyone as steeped in Emerson and Thoreau and Muir as she is really very likely a Unitarian Universalist at heart, so we're probably okay there too.
So I need a little help knowing safe topics of conversation for that long car ride. I do need this help, because she thinks it will be fun to quiz me on all these dating scenarios that leave me baffled. This is vacation. I don't need to be a nervous wreck on vacation! Or, maybe you all can give me some ideas of things I can quiz her on. Yeah. That's a good idea....