Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Smart Blondes

By Deana Nall
Baytown Sun

Published October 05, 2005

Finally, something intelligent came out of Paris Hilton’s mouth.

“I have seen the breakups between people who love each other and rush into getting married too quickly,” Hilton told the Associated Press last week. “I do not want to make that mistake.”

So she broke off her engagement. What? Call off a wedding? Because it may not be a good idea? I bet the jaws hitting the floor in Hollywood registered on the Richter scale. Good for you, Paris. I think more famous people should decide not to get married. You’re doing your part to give us blondes a good name.

Incidentally, I also said something intelligent recently. It was the Wednesday before Hurricane Rita was due to arrive. I said, “Honey, I think we should leave today instead of tomorrow.”

It was the best hunch I’ve ever had. We got to Waco in a completely reasonable amount of time with relatively happy children. I am truly sorry for those of you who didn’t. I’ve heard all the stories — stories I’m so thankful aren’t mine. From our experience with Rita (which, interestingly enough, is also my mother-in-law’s name), we have perfected the Nall Evacuation Plan:

1) Decide when we’re going to leave.

2) Leave 24 hours before that.

Oh, and here’s an important one:

3) Don’t head into the path of the storm.

We did consider going to my aunt’s house in my hometown of Beaumont so we could be closer to home. I decided my friend’s house in Waco would be a bit more kid-friendly. Turns out it would also be safely out of Rita’s way, which Beaumont was not.

Here’s the crucial final component of our evacuation plan:

4) In college, when you’re setting up your best friend on a date with a guy she just might marry, make sure he’s a pre-med major so that 14 years later, after you’ve evacuated to her house during the biggest honkin’ hurricane to threaten the area in decades and everyone in both families has contracted a hideous stomach virus, there will actually be a doctor living in the house to hand out drugs.

Yes, between the two families of four, all but our Jenna spent at least a night calling Ralph on the big white phone, or driving the porcelain bus, or riding the wild yak, or whichever is your euphemism of choice. The grown-ups seemed to have had it worse than the kids. I, for one, remember seeing dead relatives at one point. My grandmother, who died in 1996, said to tell everyone “hi.”

We all got better and came home (but not before stopping at my parents’ house and passing the virus on to them). To our relief, our house was still standing — although there was a tree on my daughter’s bedroom. We had been wanting to cut it down, anyway, and why pay for something that nature can do for free?

Of course, there’s that unsightly hole in the roof. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s not really that important. As I told our 6-year-old, what matters is that we’re all together and we’re safe.

I hope you found everything at your house to be pretty much like it was pre-Rita. And I hope it’s a long, long time before another hurricane comes our way.

Deana Nall’s column appears every Wednesday. Her email addres is


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