At an old book sale the other day I stumbled on to the funniest book, A Southern Belle Primer or Why Princess Margaret will never be a Kappa Kappa Gamma. I CAN NOT stop laughing. It is full of nutty truths about being raised in the South. I was born and raised in Mississippi but I have moved around a lot since college and it is abundantly clear that other places are not “aware” of our standards of conduct.
My favorite chapter of the book is… Fallen Belles (Well. Almost)…
Even belles from the loveliest of Southern families sometimes move away. They go to places like New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles and they get caught up in a world where ladies are called women and nobody wears pantyhose in the summer.
Before you now it, these belles start to like the idea of wash-and-wear hair and throwing away their eyeliner. They even open their own car doors and pretend that “red eye” refers to a late-night plane flight and not a gravy that goes with ham.
But there’s something about Southern upbringing that never completely goes away. Ten telltale signs always give away a belle who is trying to “pass.”
1. She calls the refrigerator the icebox
2. Even if she’s ninety, she calls her father “Daddy.”
3. She would rather walk down Fifth Avenue naked than wear white shoes before Easter or after Labor Day.
4. She refers to a handbag as a pocketbook.
5. She doesn’t have a couch, she has a sofa.
6. She drinks iced tea in the middle of a blizzard.
7. She will march for women’s rights for twenty miles but she would die rather than walk two feet with a lighted cigarette.
8. She dyes her shoes to match her cocktail dress.
9. Her parties all have themes.
10. She has a deviled egg plate.
I thought of a few more:
11. She calls the shopping cart a buggy.
12. She will make it very clear that a man needs her daddy’s permission before proposing.
13. She sits with her legs crossed at the ankles, not at the knee.
14. Would never take a bite of food until the hostess picks up her fork.
15. Knows the phrase “isn’t that nice” is not so nice…
16. When offered a beer she asks for a glass.
17. Says “yes ma’am” and “no sir” to elders.
18. Says “darn it” when she’s really, really mad.
19. She brings you a casserole if you’ve had a birth or a death in the family.
20. She starts baking a dessert as soon as she sees a new neighbor’s moving truck.