So You Want to Be a Southern Lady

May 09, 2024 at 01:44 pm by RMGadmin

So You Want to Be a Southern Lady: 

The Rules & Protocols

BY LaQuita Scaife

The term “lady” has many meanings all over the world, but mostly refers to a girl or woman. The term began as early as the 1500’s from Ole English. “Our Lady” can refer to anyone from the Virgin Mary to Lady Diana Spencer, a formal title given to her when her father inherited his Earldom. Then there’s a “Lady of the Night,” referring to women involved in illicit activities, and there are many more. But for now, let’s focus on what it means to be a Southern Lady. Trust me, being a Southern Lady goes far beyond hooped skirts and parasols.
If you were lucky enough to be born in the south, many traits and traditions just naturally came to you, passed down from generations concerning habits, traits and manners. Winston Churchill once said, “The most beautiful voice in the world is that of an educated Southern woman.” And yet, do not be deceived, because as Allison Glock said, “Southern women can say more with a cut of their eyes than a whole debate club’s worth of speeches.”

What are some of the rules and protocols ever-present in a southern lady?

  • You never leave your house without lipstick and clean “fixed” hair.
  • Unless you are invited, via text, email or formal invitation, you just don’t go to an event without an invitation.
  • Hats are always optional, but its purpose is much more than trying to keep the sun out of your eyes. They are a southern fashion statement, and the bigger the brim the better.
  • She is always true to herself and can be known to make up her own rules. Totally acceptable.
  • She always has a cake or pie on the counter in a domed cake plate for company that may stop by, and don’t forget the sweet tea. A good host always makes company feel right at home.
  • We say Yes Sir and Yes Ma’am to our elders, showing respect and honoring them.
  • Southern women will always compare every man they date or marry to their Daddy, and take it from me, no one will ever treat them like their Daddy did.
  • Thank you notes are a must. Monogrammed with your initials are the best, as we are big on putting our initials on everything. It is just plain rude not to write a personal note and send them within twenty-four hours after a dinner you attended, to someone who gave you a gift or someone that did a kind gesture just for you.
  • There is always an emergency casserole in the freezer, one never knows who will pass on at church or the neighborhood, or is just divorced.
  • Every respectable southern lady has a strand of pearls to pass down to daughters and granddaughters or nieces. Which reminds me, in the south, family is everything! You love them, respect them, and fight for them and most of all pray for them. They come before anyone or anything.
  • Weekends in the fall are for football. Enough said.
  • If you ever want to look like a camel in public, church, wedding or a funeral, just chew gum. If you are worried about your breath, carry small mints.
  • It is always acceptable to call someone Honey, Sweetie, Darlin’, Sugar or even Sweetheart, even when they are not kin to you.
So, slow down your speech, put some flowers on your table from the yard, or try your hand at making strawberry preserves, and you too can be a true Southern Lady!