G. R. I. T. S.

G. R. I. T. S. = Girls Raised in the South

Arranged by Spessard Stone, Courtesy of Sarah Boldt via Internet

And to think, I almost got caught smuggling GRITS into Pennsylvania. Why? Those poor Yankees, bless their hearts, wouldn't appreciate GRITS anyway!!!

This is for Southern Belles, Ladies who should have been Southern Belles, and those who would be Southern Belles if they knew the rules.

Someone once noted that a Southerner can get away with the most awful kind of insult just as long as it's prefaced with the words, "Bless her heart" or "Bless his heart." As in, "Bless his heart, if they put his brain on the head of a pin, it'd roll around like a BB on a six lane highway." Or, "Bless her heart, she's so buck- toothed, she could eat an apple through a picket fence." There are also the sneakier ones: "You know, it's amazing that even though she had that baby 7 months after they were married, bless her heart, it weighed 10 pounds." As long as the heart is sufficiently blessed, the insult can't be all that bad.

I was thinking about this the other day when a friend was telling about her new transplanted Northern friend who was upset because her toddler is just beginning to talk and he has a Southern accent. My friend, who is very kind and, bless her heart, cannot do a thing about those thighs of hers, was justifiably miffed about this. After all, this woman had CHOSEN to move to the South a couple of years ago. "Can you believe it?" said her friend. "A child of mine is going to be "taaaallllkkin liiiike thiiiissss.."

Now, don't get me wrong. Some of my dearest friends are from the north, bless their hearts. I welcome their perspective, their friendships and their recipes for authentic Northern Italian food. I've even gotten past their endless complaints that you can't find good bread down here. And the heathens, bless their hearts, don't like cornbread! The ones that really gore my ox are the native Southerners who have begun to act almost embarrassed about their speech. We've already lost too much. I was raised to say "swanee," not swear, but you hardly ever hear anyone say that anymore, I swanee you don't.

And I've caught myself thinking twice before saying something is "right much," "right close," or "right good" because non-natives think this is right funny indeed. I have a friend from Bawston who thinks it's hilarious when I say I've got to "carry" my daughter to the doctor or "cut off" the light. She also gets a giggle every time I am "fixin'" to do something. And, bless their hearts, they don't even know where "over yonder" is or what "I reckon" means! My personal favorite was my aunt saying, "Bless her heart, she can't help being ugly, but she could've stayed home."

To those of you who're still a little embarrassed by your Southerness: take a dose of sausage gravy 'n' grits and call me in the morning, bless your heart! And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff, bless your hearts, I hear they're fixin' to have classes on Southernese as a second language!

Southern girls know bad manners when they see them:
Drinking straight out of a can.
Not sending thank you notes.
Velvet after February.
White shoes before Easter or after Labor Day.

Southern girls appreciate their natural assets:
Dewy skin.
A winning smile.
That unforgettable, Southern drawl.

Southern girls know their manners:
"Yes, ma'am."
"Yes, sir."

Southern girls have a distinct way with fond expressions:
"Y'all come back!"
"Well, bless your heart."
"Drop by when you can."
"How's your mother?"
"Love your hair."
"Well, shut my mouth."

Southern girls don't sweat...they glisten.

Southern girls know their summer weather report:

Southern girls know their three R's!:

Southern girls know their vacation spots:
The Beach.
The Beach.
The Beach.

Southern girls know the joys of June, July, and August:
Summer tans.
Wide brimmed hats.
Mint juleps.

Southern girls know everybody's first name:

Southern girls know the movies that speak to their hearts:
"Gone With the Wind."

"Fried Green Tomatoes."
"Driving Miss Daisy."
"Steel Magnolias."
Southern girls know their country breakfasts:
Red-eye gravy (or thick white gravy, or chocolate gravy for the die-hards).
Mouth-watering homemade biscuits.

Southern girls know their cities dripping with Southern charm:
Adlanna (Atlanta as outsiders say, lol).

OH! That city in Alabama? It's pronounced Muntgumry!

Southern girls know their elegant gentlemen:
Men in uniform.
Men in tuxedos.
Rhett Butler, of course.

Y'all know Southern girls are quick on the drawl.

Southern girls know their prime real estate:
The Mall.
The Beauty Salon.
The Ranch with the longest stretch of river bottom.

Southern girls know the three deadly sins:
Bad hair.
Bad manners.
Bad blind dates.

Southern girls know men may come and go, but friends are fo'evah!

See also True Southerners

December 1, 2002