Completely understanding the part of the country in which I was born and raised, I am nevertheless still amazed at the oftentimes antiquated manners and etiquette expected of a Southern woman. The juxtaposition of Southern womanhood is confounding. We can cut you like a knife with our genteel, passive aggressive responses to inquiries and subsequently make you feel like the King of the World with our honeyed voices and sincere compliments on your bow ties and natty vests.
A Southern woman can ring a chicken’s neck, pluck it, cook it and serve it, all without breaking a sweat or mussing her hair. She can scrub the toilet ring, wash the flea ridden dog, polish the silver and iron the clothes, again all without the least bit of fuss. And with none the wiser of course as the house fairies take care of all of that, didn’t you know that?
However, you ask that same Southern woman to go buy her own lottery ticket and heavens above you WANT PEOPLE TO SEE that?! What are you thinking? Now I love my Mam Maw (for those not-versed in my family dynamic she’s not granny, but that seemed the more familiar term) and the woman would do anything for me and for her family, however, ask her to go buy her own lotto ticket and it’s like you asked her to show her panties to the Pope (which my 9 year old would tell you is alliteration as we’re studying that in 4th grade right now lol).
Now could she send her 35 year old granddaughter into the store after the same lotto tickets, why yes sir she could, because that isn’t her reputation, she can wait in the car where no one can see her.
What WOULD the other little church ladies think if they saw HER buying the tickets? It’s been interesting to watch the evolution of Southern womanhood as I’ve gotten older. I think when we’re little we’re definitely held to a high standard of propriety and decorum in the teen years and even early 20’s, I guess because we reflect on the older generation? For some reason by 30ish all that melts away. But when the Mam Maws of the world get closer to 70-80ish their need for their personal decorum re-blossoms, and your need for the same falls by the wayside because the matrons definitely rule.
I think it’s because they spend so much time with other little old ladies, all talking about each other and their little old lady stuff and us. “Did you see that handbag Jan, my word I think that musta cost her entire Social Security check!” Seriously. Or, “I ate that cake she made but you know I think she used margarine, it just tasted funny, or else bless her heart she just never learned to bake properly.” (These are completely fictitious examples btw).
Now did I buy her lotto tickets, damn straight, that woman can be mean! And do I hope her newfound love of her iPad and Facebook does not lead her to this blog where she is liable to come after me for telling her secrets? Again damn Skippy! So if I embark on an extended vacation sometime soon it’s probably because Mam Maw has figured out how to click on the blog link on Facebook, and she’s read this and she’s hunting me in her Naturalizers while carrying her Etienne Agner handbag.
-Leah Poole, CEO of the Liberty County Chamber & CVB
The Right Blend Blog is written by three different authors employed by the Liberty County Chamber/CVB. As we are able, we rotate weeks and each write about our individual experiences, opinions and let our writing reflect our personalities and creativity. All content provided on The Right Blend blog is for informational purposes only. The owner of this blog makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this site or found by following any link on this site.