Two weeks ago, something big happened. Something major. Life-changing.

For those of you who follow me on Twitter, you may be thinking, “Yeah, yeah, Elizabeth, we know. You found the laminating machine at work and someone showed you where the good snacks were hidden. Big deal.”

And while that is true, and those were VERY BIG DEAL THINGS, this thing is bigger. Better. More spectacular than even the laminating machine.

*collective gasp (because how could anything top a laminating machine?).

It was just an ordinary Monday. I had gone to work as usual, unaware of the life-changing event that was happening just outside my apartment door.

I wonder if the mailman knew. I wonder if he could feel the heaviness as he placed the glossy pages inside the tiny tin can that is also referred to as my mailbox. Judging by the way it had been neatly nestled into the small compartment, I bet he did.

At six o’clock, I pulled into my complex, wrestled my stuff out of the car, and stopped casually by the mailbox on my way to the apartment. I stuffed the key in the lock, turned, pulled, and there it was.

For the first time in my life, this showed up addressed specifically to me.


My mother ordered the subscription for me a month ago, and now that it’s here, I have carted it delicately all over the apartment, careful not to bend even a single page.

If I weren’t so dead-set on keeping it intact, I would tear off the cover and laminate it.

For as long as I can remember, there have been stacks of Southern Living magazines on coffee and bedside tables, stuffed on shelves, and piled in baskets next to couches and chairs. Nearly an entire shelf of my mother’s cookbook collection is dedicated to Southern Living’s annual hardback compilations of their best recipes. The rest of the space on that shelf is inhabited by the mother of all binders, stuffed with torn pages and cut-out recipes that were disconnected from their original binding, gently pushed behind page protectors and inserted into a system only Charman Brock can understand.

And when the controversial new binding was instituted several years ago, our house was not left untouched. There were rants and threats of letters to the new editor who had the audacity to change the binding and add a series of fashion articles to the publication. How dare he! This was a home and cooking magazine, not an issue of Vogue, for crying out loud.

But still, the subscription continued to show up. In the mailboxes of both of my grandmothers. In my mother’s. Now, in mine.

And I have to tell you, I am SO EXCITED.

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My mother’s reaction to this glorious occasion. Notice the emojis.

I am an official Southern lady.

(It really should come with a card and a certificate of authenticity.)

Admittedly, I have a long way to go. I know this because the first dish I saw that looked both delicious and achievable turned out to be an ad for dog food. Great looking dog food, but dog food nonetheless.

Even so, I believe that this may be the turning point for me. Despite my string of terrible cooking experiences, the ghosts of soupy pies, hopelessly misread cookie recipes, and the vivid memory of a toaster on fire, I am feeling boldly optimistic.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to make a grocery list. I may not know exactly what “spatchcock chicken” is, but I’m ready to find out.

To be continued…