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A'way down south...

Greetings from Magnolia Hill, y'all!

That’s correct, friends. After 3 months of braving hipsters and a polar vortex, this Displaced Debutante is finally back in her natural habitat. I flew down a week ago to prepare for a concert gig with my mother at the beautiful Ford Center for the Performing Arts here in Oxford. Since being back, I have volunteered with my mother at the church cooking and serving the Wednesday night Lenten Soup and Salad dinner (I feel so sorry for the fools who gave up carbs for Lent… those cheddar and chive biscuits were damn good), I have been to both the Wal-Mart and the Kroger (we add “the” in front of all shopping establishments down here) and even driven up to Memphis to visit Costco and Sam’s Club with my mother (my mother is the Costco QUEEN). I have made a trip to Jackson to appear on The Paul Gallo Radio Show on SuperTalk MS as well as a trip to Tupelo to appear on the Tupelo News at Noon show, both with my mother (both to promote this weekend’s concert), and have consumed my weight in pimento cheese. Feels great to be home. Although I really gotta stop it with the pimento cheese… I’ve got gowns to get in this weekend.

Another interesting thing that’s been happening since my arrival here in Oxford is that I've been getting OkCupid messages from gents here in the Northeast Mississippi/Memphis area inquiring as to why I'm showing up in their matches if I'm from New York. I tell them the readers digest version of my complicated relationship with The South, and how despite my ties to NYC and LA, a big part of my heart will always consider Mississippi “home”, but they don’t buy it. It’s funny… no matter how long I’ve lived in New York everyone I meet always says, “but where you BELONG is at some garden party in Mississippi wearing a big hat and drinking a mint julep”, but everyone I meet down here identifies me as “that city girl”. Even when I was little, my school friends in LA always saw me as this little Southern Belle because I spent all my summers and holidays in The South, but to all the kids I met during those holidays or over those summers spent down by the creek, jumping hay bales, or riding four-wheelers down dirt roads I was always the LA girl who couldn’t quite keep up. I was a Displaced Debutante even at 9 years old.


Regardless, ever the opportunist, I have used some of the less promising correspondences as opportunities to shamelessly plug this concert coming up at The Ford Center on Saturday night. We’re hoping to sell out this 1,200 seat theater and we’re pretty close so a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do, right? But I have to be honest… there is one fella that I really hope does actually make the trip from Memphis down to see us. He’s just the tall, dark, and handsome southern gentleman of my dreams who wears Brooks Brothers, is in his last year of grad school, and according to his last message has plans to spend Easter with his family at an old family home in Tennessee, clad in seersucker eating casseroles and fried food. He’s even spent time in both LA and NYC so he actually understands both of my worlds. Our conversation alone made me wonder what the heck I’m doing with my life up in New York, but all I have to do is think of Eva Marie Saint and I remember.

The moral of this story is that everyone should come to "Sounds of Stage and Screen" starring Mary Donnelly Haskell & Friends at The Ford Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday night... If only to stay afterward and watch me awkwardly interact with men I met super briefly on the Internet… and hopefully not so awkwardly (though probably more awkwardly because who am I kidding?) with the man of my dreams.

… this can’t possibly end well.

With Grace and Good Humor,

My name is Mary Lane Haskell and my two "claims to fame" are that I have Dolly Parton's fax number and that Reese Witherspoon once liked a post on my Instagram.  I am an actor, a writer, and a profound Chipotle enthusiast making my way in Los Angeles while trying to stay true to my family's southern roots, all with grace and a touch a good humor.  I'm so glad you're here!


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