Home On Deranged

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Save The Drama For Yo Mama

Meredith montages through her Texas introductions, whiplashing from cows (they're just like furry, dumb people! Except they have four legs! And horns! And we eat them! They're nothing like people) to a street sign reading "Texas Ave." (named by a proud four-year-old, I guess, though the full name of the street would then be "Texas Pretty Mommy Uhhhhh Flowers Smell Nice Avenue," which didn't fit on the sign) to a city skyline (I spent a month in Houston once -- A MONTH -- and I think the only way they could manufacture an actual skyline among all that sprawl would be to pile all of the Applebee's one on top of another until they could be seen from a distance, so that skyline right there must belong to another city like South Texasville...or "SoTex"), and flat, rolling, constant, flatty flatness. But hale and hearty Meredith doesn't mind...especially because Texas is speeding past in a limo! "Today I'm an hour and a half outside Houston to see Matthew at his family farm," Meredith tells us with a barely suppressed look of thunderstruck horror as the subtitle welcomes us to the town of (speaking of named by a four-year-old) "Friendswood, Texas." Awwww, where everyone's your friend! Or, as is true of both participants of this date, made of wood.

A big red tractor sitting on the front lawn of a nearby house inspires a ringing verse of "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" to rise in my throat, but it is quickly stifled by the reality that such aberrant behavior would cause that tractor to spring automatically to life and drive me to Confession and then reform school until the lavish Broadway show tunes part of my personality was drilled right on out of me. And, also, because that's from Oklahoma! and no one, to my knowledge, has ever written a musical entitled Texas!. Once again, Meredith takes the opportunity to remind us, "I am a city girl, so I don't really know that much about farm life." Okay, seriously. Why milk the city angle when there's so much milking still left to do down on the farm? She's from Portland. Oregon. It's a lovely, lovely town, but she didn't exactly grow up in the urban jungle, running from street fights and drive-bys on her way to her job at The Department Of Urban Renewal in East L.A. Matthew, meanwhile, sits on his porch thinking about all the things that still need shucking when an SUV pulls up, and two big black dogs run to welcome Meredith as Matthew follows close behind. Matthew and Meredith hug in greeting as Meredith hands off a bouquet of flowers, because if that place needs more of anything, it's a shot of nature. Matthew kicks us to a confessional, telling us, "One of the things that I hope to see today is that Meredith is comfortable here," and Matthew hopes she can adapt to a place a little far afield from, his words now, "the business of life." Wow. Deep talk from the Deep South. "The business of life." Is that the sequel to "The Politics of Dancing"? And, if so, is this message understood?

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