For those of you who have remarked that Paxton is such a pleasant place, and that the people all seem so NICE---there ARE warts, and there are prickles and stings, but we try hard to ignore them.
Miss Delois Walker was a Mrs. at one time in the past, but the Mister is no longer in the picture. I don’t know if they divorced, or if they had a fallin’ out, or even if he just got tired of her bossy ways and slunk off in the night/with another woman/had a nervous breakdown and got committed, or any of a dozen ways to leave your impossible-to-love lover. Her Mama said she cried and carried on for ever so long after he left, but only because of What People Would Think. And her Mama also said that Miss Dee-Lawis got up on a High Horse when she was still in a High Chair, and never did come down off of it, no matter how they tried to please her.
She doesn’t laugh or anything at your misfortune, so I don’t think she’s just mean, but she certainly states her opinion of whatever folks do or don’t. Miss Dee-lawis is not a happy woman. She not only is not happy, she just goes about it in a lot of unpleasant ways. She carries a cloud, she does, and mostly she IS one. And she’s a past master of using derogatory dismissals:
“Well, you kin jes git GLAD in the same step-ins you got MAD in!”
“Well, if you’re gonna be THAT way about it.”
“Well, IIII wouldn’t, but just do what you want to.” SNIFF
“It’s up to yew.” SNIFF
“You’re not wearin’ THAT, are you?”
“Who on God’s Earth cut-chur hair?”
“Well, jes’ BE that way, then.” SNIFF
She always wants to know where you’ve been, who you saw, what you bought, what you did there. And if any of the trip or evening or day’s jaunt included any of the high-falutin’ things she doesn’t cotton to, she has an exasperating habit that would irritate the robe off a saint.
She makes her mouth into a little tight round like a Cheerio, tilts her head a little bit toward one shoulder, shakes her head a little bit with her eyebrows up and eyes closed, and makes the most obnoxious little inhaling whistle. I just never saw the like---the moment she finds out you’ve enjoyed the Opera, or a dance recital, or bought a subscription to anything other than Woman’s Day or Redbook, she does that little head/eye/mouth-thing that must require a lot of co-ordination or practice, one.
I vote practice, because like Aint Ruby, who was JUBUS of things and folks, Miss Dee-Lawis is critical, but mainly of things she is not a part of---the Bailey girls’ debuts at the Jackson Cotillion, for example. That was Puttin on the Dawg, and givin’ it a hat, both. She said that those girls’ Mama had just got WAY above her raisin’ and just because she married money, she had no call to go flauntin’ her checkbook like that. The very idea.
She even put in to be the town correspondent for the
one time, since she knew so much about every little thing that happened around
the town. She was gently declined in
favor of Carlisle Emerson--- County Paper Carlisle having a
typewriter and a couple of years of college, and all. And besides, Carlisle
talked nice about people.
Miss Dee-Lawis will zero in on a wedding in which the flowers were ordered from OFF, or a party with a TENT, and that time the Covingtons and Heafners went in together and had that truck of seafood brought up from the coast from Gollott’s for their kids’ graduation party---oh, my. Why, that last one kept her in a ruckus for weeks.
And when she and Miss Mavis Meeker get together---the whole town glows from the burnin’ ears.