Life Face First: Negotiating One Calamity at a Time- Abstinence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder



“Pray for me,” my text message to by fest friend Lexie started. “I’m in a small town in Mississippi where they’ve never heard of yoga, brunch or saki.”

I’m not usually snotty about small southern towns. Quite the opposite. I grew up in the south and love small town charm. But as you’ll soon see, I had reasons, life threatening reasons.

“WHAT?” she replied. “Sounds like a horror movie. What are you doing there?”

“Funeral,” I replied. Not my own, but it felt imminent.

I explained that we were in the town where my husband Brian’s grandfather had lived for many years. We were here to lay him to rest in the place he called home.

“It’s worse than a horror movie,” I went on. “How am I going to drink a mimosa for brunch tomorrow?” (Tomorrow being Sunday.) I was being overly dramatic to emphasis my point. I’ve survived most Sundays of my life without mimosas.

“With your pinky up! How else would you drink a mimosa?” she retorted. She’s known me for a long time. She requires no explanation for my sense of humor, not even when she encounters it in a text message.

“I’m in a ‘four star’ restaurant where the walls are cinder block, the ceiling is wood paneling, and the vegetables are French fries and hush puppies,” I told her.

I don’t even like vegetables, but I developed the somewhat passable discipline of eating greens a few years ago. While I don’t enjoy most veggies, I do miss the way I feel when I don’t eat them. The green onions in the hush puppies weren’t cutting it.

Getting old isn’t as much fun as I thought it would be when I was a kid.

Her responding text read, “BAHAHAHAHA!” I was glad one of us was enjoying this. “Then your mimosa should be exchanged for moonshine made by an old man named Junior.”

“That would actually make things better. This restaurant is dry. Luckily, my hotel room is not.”

Brian and I once made the mistake of traveling a long way only to spend a night in a dry county. We didn’t realize that was still a thing. Now, we travel prepared.

“Dry of liquor = dry of personality. That’s why Junior is a millionaire.” I didn’t know this Junior she kept on about, but I was beginning to think I should meet him. A millionaire who can brew his own stash? I have a few single friends who’d like to know a guy like that.

Sadly, the “dinner” rendered me incapable of enjoying adult libations. It’s a good thing I kept the lid firmly on the bottle. I woke the next morning sweating grease.

I roused Brian out of bed and insisted we drive thirty miles away for breakfast. I wanted to be in a town that had heard of vegetables other than potatoes.

My heart health needed spinach and I was relieved when we found a small restaurant that served breakfast omelets complete with vegetables.

Sadly, there were no mimosas.

Nora Blithe

Nora Blithe is the author of the syndicated humor column “Life Face First.” Read her blog online at or contact her at