From the runway of the southern beauty pageant to the runway of a commercial airline—Rosemary travels the runways of her life in search of The Truth, her Truth. What she goes through to find it, well, trust me, you’ve never gone this far with a Southern Belle before.
In the process of unloading her own baggage, familiar pieces of all our lives emerge: families that influence us, roles that define us, prejudice that divides us, divorces that haunt us, and our authentic selves that save us! You’ll travel to places you recognize and others you really recognize but refuse to admit.
She approaches the struggles and triumphs of the Southern Belle with humor but makes a u-turn each time she remembers how unfunny it was to be one. Ultimately, ironically, her gradual healing takes place because she was one.
I never imagined God would show up in a place like this, and certainly not with the missing spine of my therapist! But there it was--an honest-to-God backbone on this follower of Freud. His once-yellow streak had miraculoulsly turned a macho shade of redneck red as he clenched his jaws, stepped up to the plate, and called a meeting with the administrator of this nuthouse and me. Your fixation with putting her in a seclusion room--now insane!" he said to the bewildered leader of my ward. "There's not a psychotic thought in her head. Now now. Not next week. Not ever! And you that!"& His face was on fire. "She should've turned around and walked out of here the day she arrived." He hesitated, I assumed, to search for words that would take it all back. Instead, he had worked out a killer ending. "Outpatient therapy is where she belonged--and frankly," he sighed, "that would've been just fine with me." This Yankee shrink had just done a near-perfect impersonation of a rifle-toting redneck protecting his chicken-eating mad dog from being locked up or blown out the back of a pick-up truck. In my attempt to help the man, I had taught him that expressing anger was a good thing, and he was sure giving it a trial run--as a southerner, for some unknown reason, but he was doing it, just the same. Obviously, I'd neglected to tell him to stay within his (Yankee) comfort zone. I'd also forgotten to teach him about humor. Why'd you do that?" I asked him, as I watched the administrator shuffle off like a sissy little girl. His jaw dropped. "Dammit," I threw up my hands. "You should've asked me first! ASKED YOU WHAT?" He was losing it. Well, maybe--just maybe--I wanted to be a lunatic!" I said, basking in the success of what I was pulling off. I stepped closer and raised my voice. "In this place, joining a group of nuts who don't know where the hell they are was beginning to sound pretty good to me! If he hadn't been concerned about what Freud would think, I'll swear, the man would've taken his own life right there on the spot.
Rosemary takes her years of on-the-runway training as a Southern Belle and beauty-pageant winner, combines them with eighteen years as a flight attendant; shares her years of psychiatric therapy; throws in a few of her newspaper columns; draws from her years in New York as a "minority" in Harlem and comedian on New York Comedy Club stages; and adds a bit of satire from her days as a political columnist for a New York newspaper – and voilà! – you’ve got the most entertaining presentation of a gut-wrenchingly honest and dysfunctional journey ever taken through the highs and lows of a southern life!
An in-demand humorist and speaker, Rosemary takes on topics meant to be not only funny but to encourage other women (and men!) to identify the roles they have been assigned, the diagnoses they have been given, and the oppression they experience--and to reject them all as they remake themselves on their own terms.
Finely a very honest self appraisal of the life of a seemingly multi talented woman who confronted all with great courage and ultimate success...