One of my favorite publications is Garden & Gun magazine. It is not about guns or gardens. What it is about is living and enjoying the “Southern way of life”. Of course this Southern Girl appreciates that in a big and serious way.
The latest edition has a fantastic article entitled “Southern Women – A New Generation of Women Who are Redefining the Southern Belle“. Two of my favorite passages are as follows . . .
“When you are born into a history as loaded as the South’s, when you carry in your bones the incontrovertible knowledge of man’s violence and limitations, daring to stay sweet is about the most radical thing you can do.”
So, yes, the Southern ladies can be sugary – why do you think we call each other “honey”? And we are regularly accused of being insincerely sweet. Maybe we are sometimes, but is it really necessary to be nasty to no avail or when it is not necessary? Isn’t it better to just be sweet? Also, we are sweet because we were raised to be sweet. Southern ladies take a great sense of pride in their personal communications, appearance, and family and community traditions because those things are important to us (and our mothers) even when times are bad. We were almost all taught the you-catch-more-flies-with-sugar-than-with-vinegar rule (I always wondered why in the world we would want to catch flies?) because you are more likely to get your way, it is the kind thing to do, and it is what the Bible says. Who needs more reasons to be sweet?
“There are other defining attributes, some more quantifiable than others. Southern women know how to bake a funeral casserole and why you should. Southern women know how to make other women feel pretty. Southern women like men and allow them to stay men. Southern women are not afraid to dance. Southern women know you can’t outrun your past, that manners count, and that your mother deserves a phone call every Sunday. Southern women can say more with a cut of their eyes than a whole debate club’s worth of speeches. Southern women know the value of a stiff drink, among other things.”