Rumour Has It
I confess, I occasionally overindulge in a juicy helping of BlueBell gossip. I delight in an afternoon gab session with the gents at the Rammer Jammer over a glass of Chablis almost as much as I savor a good literary salon, or an evening at the ballet. Usually our town’s tattlings are about as benign as the spotting of a Mackey sister slipping Wade Kinsella her phone number not two weeks after breaking off her engagement to Kipton Crawford. This might be unsavory if nearly every girl in town didn’t do the same shortly after a big break-up.
But this week’s scandal — concerning our fine minister and his fair wife — ignited the town like a match to a firecracker. As author and Southern bon vivant Truman Capote once said: “There are certain shades of limelight that can wreck a girl’s complexion.” And certain acts of coquetry can wreck more than that. Talk of Reverend Mayfair’s philandering had the whole town looking quite haggard (even my custom skin care regimen was no match for it). Because while we were busy whispering and pointing fingers, we lost sight of what makes our little hamlet so special — our ability to support one another in the good times and the not-so-good.
By way of analogy, my dear readers, I love Judy Garland — j’adore the way she shone in “A Star is Born,” the way she twinkled across the dance floor with Fred Astaire in “Easter Parade,” and the pure electricity I feel every time I listen to her croon on “Judy at Carnegie Hall.” Do I know that, in her later years, she had a fondness for pills and liquor that could put any one of today’s fallen stars to shame? Of course. But I choose to focus on her fairer angles.Am I suggesting that BlueBell is full of hopheads and drunks?! Never! I’m simply saying that the next time you’re privy to a sordid, salacious tale about one of our fine BlueBellians, remember that you have a choice: you can binge on a tasty morsel of gossip — which is good for neither the pallor of the complexion nor the shape of the spirit — or you can choose to have a little faith. Because whether a tall tale turns out to be the gospel truth or a load of hooey, it has always been the BlueBell way to stand proud as a community, and focus on our own fairest qualities. (Of course, fair readers, I didn’t get my portly shape following my own advice all the time. We can’t all be as pure as Reverend Mayfair. But we can try!)