Well, since I'm not sharing my news (you have to wait until Thursday to see if we even have news), I thought I would do a little list on how we grow into a southern belle in my family. Let's see if you agree.....
1. We say please, thank you, yes sir and all the other manners we were taught in Kindergarten. And we use them with kids, elders, friends....Manners have no age limit. Truth be told, my mama wouldn't acknowledge us unless we said please and no thank you. Down right ignore us until our manners were in order. Unless you are told differently, you are to always refer to anyone older as sir or ma'am. Manners and respect were not optional in my home growing up.
2. You know how to put on a spread. FOR ANY occasion...and even a mini-spread daily. This means pulling out the china instead of the paper plates for hamburgers, and of course you use crystal and the monogrammed silverware for special occasions. We all have a ridiculous amount of serving pieces. Pewter, crystal, linens, decorations... you name it. You never know when you will get to play hostess, and you must be prepared. My Granny was the most wonderful hostess ever. Even for a regular weekly dinner we used cloth napkins. When is the last time you used cloth napkins for pot roast on Tuesday night?
3. You appreciate the value of an acre of land. And trees. Lots of trees. (I'm thinking a repeat of the scene from Tara with Scarlett in Gone With the Wind. You get the idea.)
4. Family and Church are irreplaceable. Top on the priority list. We value religion, and respect what others believe in...as long as it's God of course. With family, we know most of the family tree on all sides. Heck, we were probably named after some family member. (That could be an entire point in itself - how we southerners love family names and double names. It goes back to how we value family.)
5. Tradition. This should probably be in the number one spot. You have designated spots what pew you sit on at church, we sit at the table for dinner and say the blessing, stockings go in a certain order on the mantle at Christmas, certain people eat first at family meals, you sit in the same spots you always have on couches or at the table at your parent's home, holiday gatherings are absolutely mandatory... Need I go on?
6. You always have a gallon of tea in your refrigerator, or icebox as some of us say. If company is coming, you wouldn't be caught without lemons. (That is all my granny. She always had lemonade, tea, lemons and coke. ALWAYS. Not to mention the homemade pickles, spiced apple rings and homemade pimento and cheese. Ooo...and cornbread. ALWAYS had cornbread.)
7. You know how to whip up most anything without using a recipe. Not so handy around the kitchen? Well, you should at least know how to make peach cobbler with no recipe. (It's absolutely mandatory to have the ingredients on hand at all time. You never know when you may need to whip it up. It's also traditional southern to always have some sort of knick-knack or snack on hand you can stir up. Heaven forbid an unexpected guest in a southern home go hungry. It's just not allowed.)
8. You never show up to a hospital or party empty handed. Whether you bring magazines or food - it doesn't matter. Same goes for visiting someone sick or someone who's had a loss. (This goes back to why you should ALWAYS have peach cobbler ingredients on hand.) You should also expect a thank you note.
9. Etiquette is most important in public. Southern ladies would never be caught in public or with elders cussing, smoking, drinking. Just out of respect.
10. (My Favorite.) Monograms are essential to any southern home. We monogram everything. I'm not really sure why, but I know I am very guilty of slapping a name, letter, or monogram on everything I own - from linens to dishes. Even the dog has a monogrammed collar.
I probably should have added something on our addictions to SEC football and pink and green. Maybe next time. :-)
I'm sure I have a few more I'm forgetting. Any you would add to the list?