Southern Women 101………

by Edie Wadsworth on December 12, 2008

Things you should know about southern women:

1. We love all things ‘hair’—’fixin’ our hair, dyin’ our hair, teasin’ our hair—-you get my drift.
2. We have two commandments: ~ thou shalt not go out in public without lip gloss and mascara ~ thou shalt surely have cute hair. Don’t mess with Texas. Or Tennessee.
3. We take pride in our warmth and friendliness-–translated, we frequently invade your personal space. We’re huggers, kissers, touchers of all kinds.
4. We make strong eye contact and teach our children to ‘look in their eyes’ and say yes ma’am. Our children will probably be eating iced sugar cookies when they say yes ma’am. But they’ll say it. Amen.
5. We have been accused at times of being superficial…..call it what you like, but despite the fact that I’m reading “The Imitation of Christ” by Thomas a Kempis, my daughter (Caiti) and I will certainly do hitchkicks and spirit hands (we were both cheerleaders) when MAC comes out with a new lip gloss. Y’all think I’m kiddin’ but I just pulled my psoas muscle tryin’ to see if I could still do a hitchkick.
6. We love makeup and all things girly. We love bows and glitter and ribbon and animal print and cookies with icing on top. I have yet to meet a woman, from say, Connecticut, who would dare add trans-fat and high-fructose-corn-syrup infested butter cream icing on to an already suspect chocolate chip cookie. Our motto, “what’s better than a cookie? a cookie with icing on top”.
7. Our official anthem is ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ and watch out if this starts playing while we’re chatting with you at a Christmas party about the current economic crisis…..or the latest new shade of lip gloss. We scan the room for any sign of a girl who looks like she has cheerleader in her past and head on to the dance floor as we sing, “singin’ songs about the southland…..I miss Alabamy once again and I think it’s a sin”
Economics can wait. And you can borrow the new lip gloss while I dance….’cause I’ve already got the new color.
8. Our daughters are the ones with the ribbons in their hair……from birth. It’s just part of our morning routine. Did you have some breakfast? Brush your teeth? Put your ribbon in? We buy ribbon by the spool not the yard. In all manner of colors and patterns.
9. We monogram everything. We’re like sorority sisters who never got over themselves. Only sweeter. We suck you in to our various and sundry habits too. Move here from New York and soon you’ll be monogramming, eating iced sugar cookies, and teasin’ your hair. And droppin’ the ‘g’ from the endin’ of every word. And sayin’ y’all. And gettin’ your nails done.

10. We are almost always smiling. Because our mothers and Phyllis Diller told us that ‘ a smile sets everything straight’ . Which is why we’re all now considering Botox. That could be the one downside I see of being southern. All those facial lines from all those years of smiles and laughter. Mark Twain even said “Wrinkles merely indicate where the smiles have been”. Yeah, sadly we see that now. Thanks mom.
11. We love to have people in our home.  We pay serious attention to how are homes ‘look’ from the outside…..is their plenty of lighting?  Does it beg me to ‘stop by’?  That southern hospitality thing is serious business around here. There’ll be place cards and token gifts and flowers and candles and lots of homeade desserts. Our guest rooms will have the latest issues of Southern Living and Cottage Living and we’ll go the extra mile to make sure you’re comfy. Granted, we’ll talk your head off and make you watch football and Steel Magnolias and probably invite you along to attend someone’s funeral with us…..but the experience will be memorable. And in case we forget to warn you, the casket will be open and various relatives will comment on how ‘Hank never looked better’. I never even realized this wasn’t standard practice until last year. I had already picked out my outfit and requested a hairstyle for my ‘departing day’.
12. We all have dogs.  We keep our dogs inside.  The image of Paula Deen cooking with the dog shedding his hair under her feet comes to mind.  We love our dogs.  And name them things like Sceeter and Scooter.  Hypothetically, of course.
Speaking of cooking, we love bacon fat….and every southern women I have ever met has a jar of bacon fat somewhere in her cupboards.  Be careful when you pull out a cup to get some coffee.
13. We overutilize the words honey, darlin’, sugar, sweetie pie..….and that’s when we’re talking to the UPS man. We like our tea sweet and our cookies iced. We like our nails pretty and our jeans comfortably tight. We wear boots in the winter and flip flops in the summer and have very large purses which contain more makeup than the average female from Wisconsin has in her possession altogether. We realize that some of these qualities are short comings and make all manner of resolutions to learn and do better.

Y’all have any questions? ‘Cause there’s a lot of myths going around about Southerners and I could set the record straight.

* A brief update- due to the enormous amount of will power it takes to ‘do’ school near Christmas time, I promised my girls a series of hitchkicks if they finished their math quickly. They came through…….and I did not disappoint.*

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The Peterson family December 12, 2008 at 12:16 pm

edie this is hilarious!!!! it is very true, true to the bone too. i was laughing so hard because i was JUST trying to show Grace a hitchkick too. gotta teach them young!!!

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2 Sandy Toes December 12, 2008 at 12:59 pm

You are just great! I laughed out loud about the “ribbon” in their hair…so true!!!! What a great post..you should publish this!!!!!!!!
-sandy toes

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3 Sandy Toes December 12, 2008 at 1:12 pm

I updated my post today and wrote a little blurb about your post…I just loved it!!!

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4 Ashley Griffin December 12, 2008 at 1:27 pm

came over from shell in my pocket and i have to say… i think you are my new bff. i laughed so hard i actually snorted! thats a southern thing too ya know!

from one southern gal to another this was gooood girl! and sooo true!

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5 Jessica December 12, 2008 at 1:27 pm

My old college roommate was from Tennessee and it’s all true, especially the personal space and eye contact part. Gotta love you ‘over the top’ southern women!!
Oh yeah, I once hired a girl from Texas for an office job…I’ve NEVER seen such big hair and makeup not to mention the colorful pumps, so. dang. funny.

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6 Cary December 12, 2008 at 2:23 pm

Well said! I think you covered everything!

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7 Keli December 12, 2008 at 2:31 pm

I absolutely love this post! You had me laughing out loud! I so want to be Southern now! I love girly things too..lip gloss and nails are my thing! I’m with Sandy, you need to submit this to Southern Living magazine!!! Seriously, cracking me up!! xo Keli

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8 Jen December 12, 2008 at 2:46 pm

I love this post. I am not from the south never been to the south but, I beleive every word to be true.

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9 Michelle December 12, 2008 at 3:10 pm

You are too funny!!! I’m from Kentucky and everything you said is so true, especially the part about the funeral and icing on our cookies!! Have a great weekend.

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10 Dana D December 12, 2008 at 3:56 pm

Amen sister! I seem to resemble those remarks, minus the dog!

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11 Meme December 12, 2008 at 4:52 pm

I am sooo hoping that this southern style rubs off on my daughter. I am from Idaho, land of potatoes. There is nothing girly about Idaho, it is all about outdoors and guns and leather for skin due to the dry climate. Even our cheerleaders are packing heat as they hitchkick (whatever that is). I have tried to think of one girly thing….nope, nothin’. But can I please adopt your southern ways, for my daughter’s sake?

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12 AndreaW123 December 12, 2008 at 4:56 pm

I am still smillin’…..Those are just a few of the reasons why we, Northen girls, love you southern girls……we wouldn’t have you any other way.
Andrea @ Big Creek Cottage

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13 Carrie December 12, 2008 at 5:57 pm

Girl you had me and my daughter rolling the funeral thing, the ribbons, loved it! I love being a southern woman ♥

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14 gina December 12, 2008 at 6:36 pm

ROTFLMAO- although just for the record I love Sweet Home Alabama- although Sweet Caroline trumps it ;) – I subscribe to Cottage Living and although I’ve never tried it, choc. chip cookies with icing sounds GREAT! Could be the cheerleader in me- NHS #1!!

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15 Michele December 12, 2008 at 6:58 pm

What a great post! I will give you a huge “AMEN” on all of it. Don’t you just love being a Southern girl? I know I do. Thanks for making me smile and being proud to be a Southern chick!

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16 leigh ann December 12, 2008 at 7:03 pm

I know we just talked about this, but I had to add one thing. Doesn’t every real southerner take pictures at the funeral with the deceased? I tried to explain this to Tony when we were at my grandfather’s funeral…he couldn’t believe it. Oh, and in the middle of the funeral my then 8yr old niece wonders aloud “Why does Pappaw (not Grandpa ladies) have his glasses on? What’s he gonna see?” to which every female in the church cried hysterically, while my sister and I tried not to giggle (’cause we are bad about laughing during very serious or emotional times). You are right on with your analysis though!!

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17 Hi! I'm Kirsten... December 12, 2008 at 7:20 pm

I must be a Southerner at heart, despite being born in Vermont; as more than 1/2 of these things applied to me as well. Particularly buying ribbon by the spool, loving makeup and hair, in addition to having a soft spot for “Sweet Home Alabama”.

Or maybe it was going to college in Arkansas that rubbed off on me. My favorite southern thing though? SWEET TEA!!!!!!!

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18 Roberta December 12, 2008 at 7:31 pm

I LOVE this blog! Being a southern gal myself, I can attest that it is all true!

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19 April December 12, 2008 at 8:58 pm

I’m a southern gal, originally from Arkansas, now living in GA. This post was wonderful! I really enjoyed it…thanks to Sandy Toes for bringing it to my attention!

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20 Tricia Anne December 12, 2008 at 9:12 pm

Being raised in the North and on the west coast for that matter, moving to the south has shown me so many of what you have listed. I love it! The south has a charm that can not be imitated, unless of course you are from the south! What a delight!
I love your mantel!!! It is my favorite!!! I can’t remember if I told you that or not…sorry…senior moment here. :o)
Sincerely ~ Tricia Anne

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21 Kelly December 13, 2008 at 12:59 am

Are you picking on us Connecticut natives?

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22 seriouswhimsey December 13, 2008 at 1:47 am

This northerner is an eye witness. We lived in the deep south for 6 1/2 years and I can attest to everything you wrote. And I absolutely loved it! I can’t thank y’all Southern ladies enough for teaching me how to cook vegetables!

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23 Meaghan December 13, 2008 at 2:54 am

i’m a texas transplant, and soooo true! we’re moving to colorado though! what am i gonna do?! xoxo

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24 Barnes Yard December 13, 2008 at 3:44 am

Love your blog! I’m so glad I stumbled upon it!

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25 Alex and Jill December 13, 2008 at 3:58 am

This is hysterical and so true!! LOL

Proud to be a Southern Belle!! :)

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26 Musings of a Homeschooling Mom December 13, 2008 at 4:16 am

This post cracked me up!!! I’m from Louisiana and all of it was right on! I sure wish you’d videoed those hitchkicks!

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27 pink green & southern December 13, 2008 at 1:46 pm

This is great! I just moved from TN to CT and laughed out loud at what you said about women in CT–it is SOOOOO true! Also, my daughter’s hairbows and monograms really throw them for a loop. Someone actually asked me if even her underwear is monogrammed! Like, duh, of course, I said, haven’t you ever heard of fancy pants?!

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28 Amber December 14, 2008 at 1:18 am

So, so true! I have a new friend from Massachusetts who just moved to AL–she’s already monogramming stuff!! hahaha!

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29 Smelling Coffee December 15, 2008 at 5:36 am

Hi~ I came across your blog from Shell in Your Pocket – and this is the funniest and truest post on Southern women around! I can’t believe how very true it is – down to the lipgloss, and the big purses full of make up and the teased hair and the bows… I started training our daughter in bow-wearing in the hospital! Great job – Isn’t it grand to be
Southern, sugah???

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30 Melissa Lester December 15, 2008 at 3:06 pm

I found your blog through Sandy Toes and loved this post! I got so many chuckles, as I relate to so many of your comments. I lived for two years in Morristown, Tenn., so know the East Tennessee area well. Now I live in Alabama and love being a southern girl!

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31 Mandi December 16, 2008 at 3:06 am

Where do you come up with this stuff? You are such a hoot! I must say, as a born and bred Southern gal you are dead on about everything in this post. I have laughed to the point of tears. Nothing like a little truth serum!

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32 Carrie December 16, 2008 at 7:10 pm

amen dahlin! lol, great stuff!!!

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33 Trina December 22, 2008 at 2:56 pm

I’m from Alabama and I love this list! :)

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34 Susie Q February 10, 2009 at 8:56 pm

With all credit to you, I want to put this on my facebook page…and I think I need to print it for the office. Maybe then they might understand. I was in 4 HS, so no cheerleader here.

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35 snoodlings.com April 29, 2009 at 1:26 pm

I’m a fairly new subscriber (I first visited during Lent) and haven’t read a lot of your older posts. I just thought I liked you before. Now I know for sure. We live in the northeast right now and I’m thinking about making copies of this to pass out to all my non-Southern friends here to serve as an explanation of my behavior. Well, except for all the kicking. I was Student Council, not cheerleading. I hope we can still be friends.

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36 Heather May 18, 2009 at 1:40 am

I love this list! You have perfectly described my husband’s family. I try to fit in, but with a daddy from Brooklyn and a mama from Cincinnati, it ain’t easy. :)

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37 Sarah June 8, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Though I am, sadly, not a southerner by birth nor move (born and raised in California and Alaska and just moved to the Midwest) I think I must be a southerner at heart. I relate to at least 95% of these! From hospitality to monograms, lip gloss and yes, I too was a cheerleader, a sorority girl, and an Economics minor . . . though I have two little boys you can bet your big purse that my girls will be wearing ribbons (and I wear scarves quite frequently. The grown up version of a pretty ribbon, in my opinion! :)

Thank you for a lovely, funny post!

Best,
Sarah

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38 Sarah June 8, 2009 at 10:55 pm

PS – Oh, and I so just fried up my onions tonight in bacon grease. Not ashamed. Not ashamed at all.

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39 Darla July 4, 2009 at 5:21 pm

don't mess with Texas or Tennessee! i love it!

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40 CourtneyKatz December 12, 2009 at 5:31 am

Could this be more true?! I just love your humor and posts! I'm a native Texan and I totally get that whole "people might think we're superficial thing." I was so hurt when someone said that to me. They just don't get it and have obviously had a very depraved life – j/k!!!! =)

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41 Christoph May 19, 2010 at 12:28 am

I am from Germany, my wife is from North Carolina. This post would have been helpful when we first met – by now it is just stating the obvious. Everything you say is true, except that her dog is named Winnie and not Sceeter or Scooter. And it explains why I am so madly in love with her.

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42 Mitzi June 8, 2010 at 5:27 pm

HI!! I’m a new reader…just happened upon your site thanks to The Pleated Poppy via Meg at Whatever! I am loving everything I’m seeing so far and this list, this is perfect icing on my sugar cookie! And I have to admit, as I read this, my deep souther accent was the voice reading this in my head! LOL! I love everything about this! I could add so many things and the list could just go on and on, but the one that I have to add is that when we wear our flip flops, or cute sandals, in the summer we WILL have our toes looking cute! You do not go out with naked toes! :)

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43 Emily November 12, 2010 at 5:42 pm

I LOVE this post! I am from Boston, born and raised, but a friend of mine from Lafayette, LA used to say that I was a Southern girl at heart. I fit about 1/2 of the criteria. I monogram everything, EVERYTHING. I have stencils for glitter, paint and colored pencils and embossers for my stationery. My dog is my life and his fur only adds protein to food – it’s a non-issue in my house. People used to say “you’re always smiling” when I was a girl – and I still am. It’s just my nature… here come the smile lines – dang! My love of makeup has grown over the years. My mom thinks wearing tinted moisturizer is uncomfortable so I’ve had to overcome a lifetime of anti-makeup rhetoric. Let’s just say my Ulta card has earned some major points over the past year and I never leave the house without liner and mascara. My purse is full of lip gloss but really no other makeup – like I said, I’m on my way! Oh, and I’m a Republican – that was really all I had to say, right??? (Yes, that’s right, a member of the GOP from Boston… maybe I really am a Southern girl at heart!) Can’t wait to follow your crafty blog!

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44 Sarah K January 11, 2011 at 8:41 pm

Oh, if there ever was a region I could be, you make me want to be a southern girl!

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45 Brooke Menoni January 31, 2011 at 4:58 am

I just stumbled upon your blog and LOVE, LOVE! I do; however, have a problem with #6 as I am a Connecticut girl. I eat banana walnut french toast for dinner, have never met a frosted cookie I didn’t like, never let my infant daughter leave the house without a 4″ inch bow on her head or dress, have a son named Hunter, can bake a mean red velvet cake, and have a sign hanging right by my front door that says, “Keep Calm and Eat a Piece of Bacon.” Isn’t there another Yankee state you can pick on? (ok, ok. I was born in Georgia but have lived in NYC/CT for almost 15 years. You can take the girl out of the south….)

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46 edie wadsworth January 31, 2011 at 10:53 am

so funny brooke, made me laugh out loud this morning :)
thanks for reading.
much love,
edie

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47 Mandy October 18, 2011 at 8:09 pm

In LOVE  with this post!  All SO true!!!!!!!  I love being a southern girl :-)

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