Being a gracious host is one of the hallmarks of a true Southern belle. It’s your first instinct to make people feel at home in your home. A pitcher of sweet tea is never far away when guests show up at your door. And when they leave, you’re waving from the porch.
So maybe you don’t talk all the stats or follow all the blogs, but you have big opinions about the coaching staff and who’s going to stand out on the field or court this season. You have plenty of blue in your closet, you have a favorite tailgating recipe and you know that the soft serve at Rupp is heavenly.
This one, simple phrase can have a hundred meanings. And you know how to use ‘em all. From “oh, that’s so awful!” to “wow, you’re an idiot,” you know it’s the graceful way to say your piece without full-on speaking your mind. Truly, an art form.
You would never lie about somebody. But you would tell the truth about them to a very close friend of yours who you think would possibly find that truth hilarious, scandalous, or newsworthy. And if someone brings gossip your way, you have the good grace to reserve judgment. For later. When you’re on the phone with your best friend.
Honey. Sugar. Darlin’. Sweetpea. Dumplin’. Punkin’. Sweetie. It’s a small way to make people feel welcome, loved and special... whether or not you actually remember their real name.
It doesn’t matter if it’s a funeral or a picnic, a tailgate or a party. You’ve got a casserole that can be ready in 40 minutes. (Which just so happens to be how long it takes to set your hair.) Whenever a friend or family member is sick, sad, or stressed, you are there with all their favorite comfort foods.
You also gladly take food when it’s offered to you, and you know the golden rule of receiving food from friends: you never return a dish empty.
You love ‘em, even if they’re a mess. Especially if they’re a mess. You try to uphold your family name and do your people proud. Lord help anybody who comes for you and yours.
And, of course, you have a select set of friends who may not share your blood, but you consider them kin all the same. You’re just as protective of them, if not moreso.
“How’s your mama doin’?” One question that means so much. You remember to ask those around you about their families and you check in whenever someone is in poor health. You’re not shy to let people know they’re in your thoughts and prayers. (Okay, and mayyyyybe in some of your gossip.)
You know exactly where your hemline and neckline should fall for every occasion and season. Your patterns, accessories, and colors might be bold, but you know exactly how much “extra” is just enough. You’ve never been overdressed or underdressed in your life, even if that means showing up just a few minutes past the hour. (After all, everyone knows Southern women are never late: everyone else is just early.)
You look sweet. But everyone who knows you is well aware that you pack a secret punch.
You’re fierce when it comes to family and friends. You don’t take anybody’s B.S. lying down. And sure, maybe you cuss a little bit. But you do it all with grace, wit, and tact. Just like your momma taught ya.