Blaming Mom and Dad for my…quirkiness…is way too easy. Psychiatrists could pull in the shingle and close up shop on most of their cases if they would just look at their patients and tell them the truth: your parents are weird, they raised you weird, now deal with it.

I’m the product of what happens when a Southern girl who did actually spend a couple of years on the cotton farm meets up with a man whose own parents originally hailed from not one, but two European countries before settling in a major city up north. I’ve got generations of Old Country chromosomes swimming around in my nuclei, paired up with chromosomes that came from ancestors who might have mated with their relatives from the backwoods.

That also means I have a dad who talks like Tony Soprano and a mom who talks like Miss Scarlet. That’s why no one takes me seriously in a fight, because I keep threatening to “cut yo’ f***ing ass,” but I just can’t be mean to someone without finishing with “bless your little heart, bye now!”

Then there’s the name. We’ll skip the junior high years when my classmates discovered that Lorca rhymes with orca, no, the abuse started long before that. It was back when my second grade nun needed her ruler to help me remember that the third letter of my name wasn’t a W. After all, every time I got in trouble, I heard, “Law-kuh! Getcha tail in heyah!”

The formative years were tough growing up in a mixed marriage (meaning one parent eats squirrel and the other does not). I can’t discuss my parents’ arguments over football and the Civil War, mostly because the judge ordered us not to talk about it. Most major holidays were ruined, usually by the fighting between my parents over the appearance of a leg of deer with the hoof still attached on the Southern grandmother’s table and a slab of pickled tripe on the Yankee grandmother’s table.

You would think this would make a lasting impression on me and I would choose my husband carefully based on our compatible upbringings, but no, I threw caution to the wind and married the cute boy. This time around, though, we’re careful about how we behave in front of the kids. They eat the deer hubby’s father hunted that morning while I read a book on the back porch, and the girls and I shoot the hand guns—held sideways, of course, cuz that’s how you demonstrate your bad-assedness before going for the kill shot—while he’s out of town. Hopefully, there will be peace in the family and no one will need therapy when she’s older.

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