Pretty is as pretty does

In the south, we place a premium on “being sweet.” And it can be a real struggle as I’ve written about before. So since we all aren’t born angelic like Gone With the Wind’s über-virtuous Melanie Wilkes, here are a few idioms about the art of being sweet, or not. Pretty is as pretty does….

And we say Ma’am…

“Yes, Ma’am!” I say it to this day as thoughtlessly as I breathe. As a child, whether I was speaking to my grandmothers, to my teachers, or to the housekeeper, I dared not leave the “ma’am” off the end of a “yes,” “no,” or “thank you.” As an adult, I still say it. It’s just…

Daddy’s Little Girl

I am Daddy’s little girl. The first-born. The only daughter. While everyone says I look like Mama, I am infinitely more like Daddy in temperament and personality. Daddy and I are people people. We like to talk to strangers. We like to joke. We have both been known to dance spontaneously if the right song…

Hometraining has nothing to do with puppies

“A car is useless in New York, essential everywhere else. The same with good manners.” Mignon McLaughlin Down here, we call it “hometraining.” You know – manners, comportment, etiquette, social graces. I know you all are saying, “Manners schmanners. I can remember which fork to use, please and thank you, ma’am and sir, and all…

Walking the social tightrope

I remember Granny Mac coming home from Eastern Star and saying, “I saw that Minne Lee, and she didn’t say hello, kiss my foot, ‘ner nuthin’!” Snubbed she was, snubbed! The social protocol had not been followed. She had not been acknowledged. It was easy then to identify when one had been given the brush-off….