36. Manners AKA Acting Like You’ve Got Some Raisin’

6 Apr

For Southern children, one of the most often heard phrases after “Don’t feed THAT to the dog!” is, of course, “Mind your manners.”

My apologies in advance to Yankee-type folks who might take offense, but Southern people are, in general, far more genteel than y’all. We can’t help it. It’s how we’re raised.

We don’t rant and rave when things don’t go our way. We figure out how to get what we want…subversively.

For example: Say a non-Southern child is denied a cookie. He/she might start hollering and carrying on (although non-Southerners probably wouldn’t call it “hollering” or “carrying on”) saying, “I WANT a COOKIE! I want a cookie NOW!! If you don’t give me a cookie NOW, you will RUE the day, BITCH!”

Ok, now say a Southern child is denied a cookie. He/she might make a pouty face and say, “Oooooooookaaaaaaaay…” Then immediately run to Dad who is distracted by college football and say, “Can I have a cookie? Thanks!” And then sneak back into the kitchen and take a handful.

Naturally, this carries over into adulthood. For Southern women, in particular, not being “nice” ranks among the seven deadly sins right below wearing something tacky.

Don’t misunderstand me, though. Southern women are just as catty (if not more so) as their Northern sisters. They just don’t let anybody know it.

The basic rule is you can say whatever godawful thing you like about somebody as long as you end on a high note.

A Southern conversation might go something like this:

Dixie Girl 1: “Have you seen Wanda lately? She’s growing an extra ass.”

Dixie Girl 2: “What? To keep her three chins company?”

Dixie Girl 3: “And that dress she wore on Sunday? Did she make it out of couch cushions?”

Dixie Girl 1: “Nope. Not enough material.”

All three: “Bwaaaaah Haaaaaah Haaaaah Haaaaaaah!!”

Dixie Girl 2: “She does make really good chicken and dumplings though.”

Dixie Girl 1: “I KNOW! Aren’t they the best?”

Etc.

Hypocritical? Perhaps. Sneaky? Probably.

But, hey, at least we’re polite.

Do you remember to act like you’ve got some raisin’? Why or why not?

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9 Responses to “36. Manners AKA Acting Like You’ve Got Some Raisin’”

  1. Daniel June 6, 2010 at 2:49 am #

    You can’t forget two of the most important southern phrases of all times. Usually used by older southern women, the following phrases are used to politely describe others when you want to call them the less than polite version of “mentally challenged”.

    We all know the word, but you won’t catch a proper southern woman saying it… instead they’ll look at you say “Oh.. Bless your little heart” or the infamous “Oh… aren’t you precious.” To an outsider, these may look like gentle words of praise, but believe me when I tell you…. it’s not.

    • girloutofdixie June 10, 2010 at 8:58 pm #

      you are so right! in fact, in the south, any sentence beginning with “oh” does not end well.

      like “oh…we just ran out of chicken and dumplings” or “oh…isn’t your hat…interesting…”

  2. Daniel June 11, 2010 at 1:37 am #

    Very True! Very True!

  3. sarah smith June 15, 2010 at 2:13 am #

    As a North Carolinian, living abroad for a while now, I constantly find myself saying ” Awww, bless your heart!” and thanking everyone for the least little thing….I don’t think people over here in Eastern Europe are really used to that! It’s true though…if good manners are bred into you from the time you can talk, they become as natural as breathing!

    • girloutofdixie June 16, 2010 at 3:47 pm #

      yes, i once witnessed a friend who minded his manners so well that he apologized to a filing cabinet after bumping into it.

  4. Jenna June 26, 2010 at 4:17 pm #

    You also forgot the other thing that you can say to fogive talking about about anyone in the South “God love her” as in, “God love her, she doesn’t have the sense that God gave a Bessie Bug.” What a “Bessie Bug” is I don’t know, you will have to ask our friend Sandy about that one as she is the one that we got it from…

  5. Anonymous January 27, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    What about, “Bless her heart.” All of my Northern friends laugh at me because they say I can justify any rude comment if I follow it with those three words.

    • girloutofdixie January 31, 2011 at 3:03 pm #

      As long as her heart is blessed, it’s all good.

  6. reneedavies January 28, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    Oh my goodness, I see a lot of these Southern inclinations where I work. I laughed reading this, ’cause it’s everything I’ve noticed but can’t get away with saying as a Northern girl.

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