Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I Want To Be A Proper Southern Belle! Honestly, I do!

I want to be a proper Southern Belle, honestly I do! Ok, so I just lied to you, I really don't. You would think that after 39 years in the south, minus that one year where I moved back North after a divorce, that some of it would have rubbed off on me. I just don't seem to have it in me. Sure, I have picked up that southern drawl that my family up north feels the need to comment on every time I go back to visit but that is as far as it goes. I have decided that "being southern" is genetic and a transplant from the north is never going to be able to fully submit to it. Throw in an English background and it's a recipe for disaster. I can't look at stupid and say "Bless your heart!", I have to say "Your just being stupid!", it's as if somehow if I don't say it out loud then it isn't being properly recognized. I go through the motions, I put a sweet smile on my face, cock my head to the side, raise my voice a couple of octaves and still out comes "Your just being stupid!" It doesn't have the same effect. I just can't commit to that final step.

I try to see the importance of putting small children in full adult make up, sexy clothes and teaching them horrendous "routines" for beauty pageants. I want to justify spending thousands of dollars on pageant fees and dresses like my neighbor does. I want her ability to look someone in the face and say "We eat macaroni and cheese every day for month so we can afford pageants, but we don't mind, it's for her future." and truly, truly believe like she does that putting her child in a beauty pageant at the age of 4 is going to assure her a lifetime of fame, fortune and adoring fans. I just can't go there in my head. Maybe it's because I like to eat a variety of food and that clouds my thinking. Maybe it's because a repeat of my But She's Pretty Child mooning the audience like she did in the church play one year was almost a guarantee. Whatever my reasons were, one thing was clear, putting 4 yr old's in slut training just never seemed like a good idea.

I want to understand the rabid football fans. I want to blindly believe that a high school career in football or cheerleading is the most important thing in the world for any teenage boy or girl. I want to commiserate with my friend who is breaking down in a torrent of tears over the fact that her freshman son sprained his knee and now his entire life is ruined because he can't play in the next two games and some football scout is going to miss seeing him. I want to understand that look of horror that passes over her face when I mutter "Well, he can still have a career in medicine or law." I think my grandfather summed it up best, he use to say  "Football is the damdest game, one guy runs up and smells the other ones ass and then a fight breaks out."

I want to NEVER walk out of my house without a properly put together, color co-ordinate outfit, full make up and my hair perfectly styled. But if I just remember to put on shoes instead of my ever present house slippers and my Pee Wee Herman sleep pants have no holes or stains then I think I am good to go. It isn't a major concern if the T-shirt doesn't exactly match. I could be the poster child for People of Walmart. Besides, no one else wears a bra to Walmart either.

I want to understand men who hunt and fish as more than just a hobby. In the south it is a lifestyle. No self respecting southern man would think of not having a fully decked out wardrobe of camouflage and a pick up truck. ATV's and tree stands are a must. You must be as proficient in hunting with a bow and arrow as your are with a gun. Catfish Noodling is something that is beyond my scope of imagination so I am not even qualified to comment about it. The women are just as bad, I don't even have words to describe the pink camo effect and having to get your nails done before the big hunt.

I want to know just what people are going to do with bread and milk in a snow storm that consists of 1 inch of snow, I so want to understand that. Can you make a sandwich out of bread and milk? Do you dip the bread in the milk and then eat it? Why do schools and businesses close down completely at the mere mention of "a 10% chance of 1 inch of snow" in the forecast? In the north if you don't wake up to at least 12 inches of snow with 1 inch of ice underneath that is already on the ground then you know your butt is going to school or work. I understand the "we don't have the equipment to deal with it" thinking but really, just what do you have to do to deal with 1 inch of soft snow?

I want to understand NASCAR race fans. They frighten me. There is something not right about people willing to camp out for three days in blistering heat and tornado warnings who will defend to the death their favorite driver. The first thought in a tornado isn't "get to safety", it's "I have to stay and hold my spot or someone else will get it". Do they really think that holding on to those tent poles in 75mph winds is going to save them? I question the sanity of anyone who can sit and stare at a single object going around in circles for 6 hours straight. They can't all be autistic, there has to be another explanation.  Like I said, they frighten me.

I love southern cooking, my body will attest to that. The south wins hands down over the north in the cooking department. However, I don't understand grits and okra. One is like eating sand and the other is like eating snot. I challenge anyone to make me understand how you can eat a muscadine when they smell like dirty feet. Actually I just want to know what a damn muscadine is!

Now if you will excuse me I think I will go sit on the veranda in my sleep pants, Mint Julep in hand and just pray these people don't cause me to have a hissy fit which would surely bring on the vapors.


  1. Frankly my dear it sounds like you don't give a damn.

    There is a kind of North/South divide in the UK too, of course it's a much smaller country so it's not quite as bad, but there are certain Northern accents that sound they are talking a different language to me.

    And some of them have some strange ways too, and food that I never want to try.

  2. I live in fear of walking through my living room some day, looking at the curtains and thinking "that would make a really nice dress".

  3. I live in the South, but I'm not a Southern woman by any means. My mother, on the other hand, is. She scares the hell out of me.

    I'll join you on the porch, but only if you have sweet tea. That is the one Southern thing that I embrace with all my heart.

    I thoroughly enjoyed your posts on your children. You have the knack of writing about them in a way that I can see them quite clearly.

    1. Jo, I don't even know how to make sweet tea! I only drink hot tea. Would you settle for Milo's Sweet Tea in a jug?