“Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use.” – Emily Post
As soon as Mother found out I was having a girl, she immediately bought what all southern baby girls wear; bows, smocked dresses, and monogrammed bibs. She told me to raise myself a little southern belle of my own. Mother was the epitome of a lady who personified the southern lifestyle.
Mother took pride in teaching me good manners. She was always prepared to serve cake, coffee, and a listening ear to anyone who stopped by. She believed all good homes should possess the Bible, Southern Living Magazines, Charleston prints, and etiquette reference books. She gave me my share of those as soon as I had my own apartment when Darian and I first married.
Mother believed little “Southern Belles” should be taught early. They wear smocked dresses and big bows, have tea parties, take etiquette classes, say ma’am and sir, and of course, have a southern drawl. Mother always felt like manners put people at ease. They were never meant to make anyone feel uncomfortable. In her eyes, it was a way of teaching us about how to be a servant.
I realize we live in a day and time much different from when my Mother grew up. Women play such a different role now. However, Mother still believed manners were the root of having a happy home, even in such a different era. I am certain I agree with her because our home was exactly that. It was happy. It was a respectful place where you were treated with good manners even when there were disagreements. Of course we fought. Of course we would get angry with each other. But I am so thankful my Mother handled it all with grace, dignity, and her one- of- a- kind southern charm.
And the southern gentleman who held us all together, my Daddy. . . . .
“A southern girl is a girl who knows full and well that she can open a door for herself but prefers for the gentleman to do it because it demonstrates a sense of respect. After all, every girl wants to be treated like a princess. We know how to make sweet tea and grits while telling you everything about any football team in the south. We pick our battles and fight with the heart of a pit bull while still maintaining grace and elegance. Our mystique is that of a soft-spoken, mild-mannered southern belle who could direct an army, loves her momma and will always be daddy’s little girl.” -author unknown