by Jacqueline Patterson @JacPatterson
Have you always wanted to be a Southern Belle, but were raised in the foreign field beyond the Mason-Dixon line? Follow these fail-proof tips and you’ll soon convince anyone you were raised on Tara.
1. Use “y’all” like salt; sprinkle a little bit everywhere. We’ll be testing you according to your ability to use common Southern speech. Bless your heart.
2. Learn how to make good biscuit. Note that I DID NOT SAY BISCUITS. Biscuits –plural— are the nasty glob you find in cans at Wal-Mart. Biscuit —singular— are handmade goodness so delicious they’ll make you slap your mama. Apologies, Mama. The biscuit made me do it.
3. If the tea isn’t sweet, don’t drink it. Being offered unsweetened tea is an insult, because any true Southerner knows tea is just liquid sugar. Your best option is to be off like a herd of turtles.
4. If the occasion calls for an insult, sugar it down. Add a little “Bless your heart, Hun”, or an affectionate “deah” and grin like a mule eating briars. After all, Southern ladies hide their animosity beneath a thick layer of syrup.
5. The Gone with the Wind gown may not be necessary, but are you really going shopping in jeans and a T-shirt? Not unless you want them to think you’re not a lady, honey. You’ve got to shine. Break out the heels and the jewelry. Also, a true Southern lady knows to choose a handbag so big it makes her hips look small.
6. Citronella is your perfume of choice during the summer (and every other season down South). Also, this is the way to catch a good man. He’ll latch onto you once he realizes you’re a mosquito-free zone.
7. When you need to really impress, break out your mounted deer heads. A true Southern lady provides food for her household, you know. How else are we supposed to know you’re a decent human being and a good shot?
8. The bigger the hair, the better. And on Easter morning? Fluff it out like an 80’s glamor shot, hun. Otherwise everyone in church will look at you like you’re the three-legged dog in a horse race.
9. A true Southern lady is proud of her social skills. The best of us can carry on a conversation with a live possum and come away smiling. Of course, it helps if the possum is smiling too.
10. And, as always, remember to just be yourself. Only, of course, sweetened up with a little accent and a smile so big it’ll make the sun blush.
How do you stay Southern? Leave a comment.
And Frankly, My Dear . . . That’s all she wrote!
Dragon Tamer. Ancient Rome fanatic. Writer living on the edge of fictional worlds. J. A. Patterson attempted to teach herself to write at the age of four, wrote her first book (featuring eerily violent chickens) at age five, and has been immersed in books ever since. Sometimes literally. When she isn’t writing, you can find her studying music, reading, and searching for portals to new fantasy worlds. Talk to Jacqueline about books, and she will be your friend forever. You can connect with her through her website and blog J.A.Patterson, on Twitter and Instagram.