Who knew they even had computers AND the Internet? They do…. and in abundance apparently. This week’s “…but Mrs Lincoln…” column hit Greater Pitt County like Hurricane Floyd on steroids. Has Sheetz really named a burrito in my honor?
Not since BobLee asked “Will Dean Smith Go To Heaven” have so many been so puzzled, pissed-off and pleased by one of our incredibly insightful columns….. So Blondie asked: “I can’t believe you’re aren’t rerunning PDEW.” So we will…….
It was very early in The New Millenium when this column first blazed across cyberspace like Haley’s Comet on a bottle rocket. It’s in both my published anthologies (that’s “books” for those of you in Sampson County). We’ve reposted this a few times over the past dozen years and always manage to delight and “really infuriate” more than a few. It ain’t exactly “PC”. So, we’ll do it again.
A recent note from a reader in LaGrange got me thinking about DownEast and a phenomenon long noted by aficionados of feminine pulchritude.
A geographic area whose primary purpose is as a hurricane buffer for the more civilized Piedmont area of North Carolina; DownEast has for generations birthed and nurtured some of the prettiest wimmen on God’s earth. ..We’re not talking pretty “girls”. ..Every place has pretty “girls”. We’re talking Women! ..PDEW = Pretty Down East Women… BobLee has some theories.
First define our area. I-95 is the Western boundary. It serves as a Great Asphalt Wall as well as a pipeline moving Yankees back/forth to Florida stopping only for pecan log rolls at one of several Stuckeys’.
Some may think the Atlantic Ocean is the Eastern boundary … not so. DownEast stops about 30 miles west of any brackish water. One then enters another region known simply as da beach … totally different set of demographics. The VA and SC borders further define DownEast at Checkpoint Emporia and Checkpoint Pedro (South of The Border).
DownEast is dozens of communities ranging from 5,000 to 50,000 with most in the under 30,000 category. Communities like Wilson, Rocky Mount, Goldsboro, Kinston, “Little Washington”, New Bern, Greenville, Clinton, Smithfield, Jacksonville, Farmville, Ayden, Warsaw, etc etc.
What are my qualifications for discussing this phenomenon? I grew up in the middle of it. Thru my subsequent travels I can make relevant comparisons to Peachtree Street in Atlanta … Market Center in Dallas … The Plaza in Kansas City … Riverwalk in San Antonio … The Commons In Boston. … Hellfire, I once dated a Kilgore Rangerette in Big D. I’ve served as a judge for a pro sports jiggle team competition. Curve for curve Down East North Carolina Women take a backseat to No One No Where.
We are talking relatively high maintenance elbow ornaments sharing the last names of prominent attorneys, physicians, land barons, and multi-unit car/tractor dealers. Owning (or inheriting) 200+ acres of prime bottom land helps. A true PDEW is home grown. In China they wrap girls’ feet to keep them dainty … DownEast they never let them beyond the Great Asphalt Wall of I-95. Young DE girls are told from birth horror stories of crime and traffic in Rawlee and beyond. There is no reason for a pretty DE girl to ever cross I-95 except, of course, for her debut at Rawlee’s Terpsichorean Ball. They blindfold’em for that and get’em back across the border ASAP befoe midnight.
There is a price that DownEast pays for their excess of very attractive women … they also have (uhh, how should we phrase it) not-so-pretty women. It’s an either/or. At some point in early adolescence a decision is made that certain young gals get all-u-can-eat passes for the Golden Corral Potato and Dessert Buffet. Others are assigned their own chaise lounges at the country club pool. As they reach 15, 16 the herd has been culled and branded -thoroughbreds or pulling a plow.
Not all PDEW are spousally attached to rich guys … go to either Rocky Mount or Tarboro for instance. Walk into any dentists’ office to ask directions to the nearest Bojangles. 4 out of 5 receptionists will be 25-35 y/o and swallow your chewing gum pretty. The other one will be scary … you’ll know when you go. One of the pretty receptionists is single but having an affair with the dentist who has a PDEW at home none the wiser, except she’s having her own affair with the asst golf pro at the club. Somehow it works out OK.
Go to any Member-Guest Weekend at a DownEast Country Club … any one. Count on 3 absolutes. (1) The band will be Embers Wannabes .. (2) They will play Proud Mary a minimum of eight times … (3) There will be AT LEAST 8 Michelle Pfeiffer, Morgan Fairchild look-alikes.
How do PDEW get that way? #1 is a lifetime of going to da beach almost every weekend … #2 is pouring salted peanuts in their Coca Colas … #3 is never finding out their value in the outside world.
If a PDEW gets to Rawlee or Greensboro much less Charlotte or Atlanta she learns she can get all kinds of flattering attention with little more than lip gloss and an ankle bracelet.
DownEast attorneys, physicians, land barons, etc do not like their PDEW to learn much about the outside world. Copies of Southern Living are screened to exclude references to faraway places… like Atlanta.
It’s genetic. If you see a PDEGirl (16-18) … count on a mid 40s PDEMom at home AND a still fine looking 65-70 PDEGrandma not far away too. They pass down the genes and the beauty secrets.
If you ever find yourself in the presence of three generations of DownEast-grown Steel Magnolias (plus a plate of deviled eggs) … pinch yourself cause you have “died and gone to Heaven”. Mohammed can have his 70 virgins. Give me a DownEast Steel Magnolia of any generation … Jimmy Capps’ Our Best To You on the AM radio … and a cucumber sandwich. That is Heaven to a male lucky enough to know what I’m talking about.
The worst mistake a PDEW can make is not using an industrial strength sunscreen. Da Beach is wonderful for keeping a healthy glow and showing off the hard bod but if the skin starts looking and feeling like saddle leather the PDEW better start looking for a divorce lawyer. Every 50 y/o PDEW knows there are two 25 y/o PDEW chomping at the bit to get her locker at da club.
Of course, any decent divorce lawyer knows that pay her club membership for life is standard text in the opening paragraph of any settlement. A PDEW without a local club membership is a desperate individual. Paunchy, bald and horny DownEast chiropractors cruise for this particular category of damsel in distress.
PDEW who find themselves in a 40+ mid-life mess (i.e. incompetent divorce lawyer) usually move to Rawlee and study for their real estate license. So long as a PDEW stays with SPF 30 and above and doesn’t supersize on Bojangles’ seasoned fries, she can be the Princess Di of Lenoir County or wherever. Of course, being a former Kilgore Rangerette isn’t a bad life either.