southern women

If You’re Pleased Then I’m Pleased

“If you’re pleased, then I’m pleased,” sounds like a warm, fuzzy response doesn’t it? But hold on, southern women have the ability to elevate passive/aggressive to an art form.

Don’t be fooled. This innocent sounding phrase ranks right up there with “Bless your heart.” A “Wow” or “Okay” response marks its user as a rank amateur in southern speak.

As a sixth generation Texan I can claim to be somewhat of an expert in deciphering southern speak, but it took me a while to get there.

As a teen, in the land before time,  no one who considered herself cool would be caught dead without at least three crinoline petticoats swishing under a poodle skirt.

When I asked my mother if she agreed an extra crinoline added the tour de force to my ensemble, she responded:”If you’re pleased, then I’m pleased.” She picked her battles and chose to ignore my struggle to keep my balance while supporting four crinolines. She refrained from asking my plan for survival should I become airborne.

My next foray into the fashion scene was an attempt to copy the Audrey Hepburn pixie haircut. An article in one of the magazines said she cut her hair herself with manicure scissors. It was beautiful.

Mine, not so much. I looked like a reject from a head lice cure. My hope of receiving a modicum of support, faded, as the response was, “If you’re pleased, then I’m pleased.”

I was a late bloomer. I didn’t figure out the passive/aggressive non-answer until the peroxide-gone-bad streak down the center of my hair.

This tidbit of knowledge re-emerged in the workplace. Co-workers and managers hear what they want to hear. Besides, one appears to be a diplomatic team player when refraining from what you really want to say.

The beauty of this comment is one could assume they are receiving support or a compliment, especially if a smile accompanies the delivery.

There is a caveat here. If there is a slight nod of the head you may assume, you’ve been snookered by southern speak.


The Latest Trend For Southern Women In Winter

I’ve seen more ugly the past four days than I would have believed is possible; most of it from my own reflection. I try to avoid mirrors as much as possible, but when winter weather strikes I cover them until spring.

This winter I was prepared.

No longer would I look like a salvation army reject as I put on my knee length white cable knit sweater, fleece lined leggings and knock off Uggs. Confident in my selection I prepared to leave the house until my spouse commented the garb made me look heavy.

I’m not skinny so no surprise there. After a quick look in the mirror, I was horrified. I looked like an overdressed fire-plug that had vomited fleece. It was awful and I hadn’t even put on my knit cap. On the best day I ever had, I am not hat/cap worthy. Frozen ears be damned.

It requires a special confidence to carry off bulky cable knit sweaters, leggings, and Sherpa-lined boots.  I am panache challenged. After all that effort, I decided to move forward. With sunglasses and a big scarf, I would be invisible under all that fleece.

A trip to the mall, confirmed others share this affliction; southern women turn tacky when the temperature hits below 30 degrees.  Most of us do not have freezing weather staples as part of our wardrobe, so we improvise.

The Devil does wear Prada in Dallas but not at the stores I frequent. (I did spot one fashionista wearing ankle-length mink.)

Originality was the order of the day. One creative woman wore combat boots with red Christmas elf socks peeking over the top. Her brown coat struck just below her knees revealing green sweatpants. A blue scarf rounded her neck up to her nostrils. The piece de resistance was a gold turban held in place by pink earmuffs.

She wielded her shopping cart through the supermarket with a take no prisoners attitude.

I hope I won’t have to wear my emergency winter garb again anytime soon, but if I do, I will be sure to add a big dose of attitude.

It makes all the difference if you resemble a fireplug.

A Southern Woman’s Twenty-Four Essential Rules

As a lifelong southern woman, I’ve discovered these adages truthful more often than not.

They will not have profound repercussions on a universal basis.

*Mistaking a southern accent for ignorance is dangerous for your checkbook and health.

*Kettle cooked potato chips are the ultimate snack.

*Tabasco sauce improves the taste of everything.

*People who refuse to eat grits are not to be trusted under any circumstances.

*Everyone likes bacon.

*Hairstyles that look good on Helen Mirren, only look good on Helen Mirren.

*The day after you have the carpet cleaned, the cat will barf a hairball.

*Only books on the Dollar Store bookshelves should be those written by Sarah Palin.

*All automobile models look the same.

*Cotton tee shirts have less thread count each year, yet the price increases.

*The shoe I cannot live without is certain to be wildly expensive.

*Kevin Spacey and James Spader never appears in dull movies.

*My hair always looks great the day I have an appointment for a haircut.

*Most women who wear low-rise jeans should not.

*My body part that has been aching for three months nonstop will be pain-free the day of my doctor’s appointment.

*Your kids do not have a clue as to what really makes you tick.

*The cheap plants I buy thrive; expensive ones do not.

*Blue eyeshadow is tacky.

*Carbohydrates should be classified as a controlled substance.

*Let your freak flag fly.

*You don’t have to kick over the traces to create change; more often than not, a small nudge is sufficient.

*Being mean is a waste of time.

*The word “cute” applies only to puppies or kittens.

*Receiving an unsolicited wave from a stranger’s baby is the ultimate character endorsement.

Two items for consideration to be included in the list

The woman in the lingerie department at Macy’s is forbidden to retire until I decide to stop wearing underwear.

People who use a bazillion coupons will no longer be allowed to shop at my supermarket until after 9 pm.

Note: First posted November 5 2013
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