I was reading an article called Southern Women and after I finished I told my husband that I loved what the author, Allison Glock, had to say. The problem, as I saw it, was that not all women in the south act this way anymore. Along with pointing out, among many other things, that we southern women always send handwritten thank you notes, the author also says:
To be born a Southern woman is to be made aware of your distinctiveness. And with it, the rules. The expectations. These vary some, but all follow the same basic template, which is, fundamentally, no matter what the circumstance, Southern women make the effort.
Oh, yeah. This may explain why everything I try to do is more time consuming than I want it to be. I just can’t do things half-way, it seems. And now I know why. I was born that way. Allison Glock also says:
Southern women are willing to give, be it time, hugs, or advice about that layabout down the road. Southern women listen and we talk and we laugh without apology. We are seldom shocked. Not really.
This is also true, and I am thankful for the friends I have who do all these things. And I can pick out a true southern woman just by sight and sound. I know the lady at the neighboring table at that restaurant last night could be my friend, just by overhearing what she had to say.
So when I complained to my husband that just being a woman in the south doesn’t guarantee all these attributes anymore, he pointed out two things. One, that not everyone that lives here was born and raised here, and two, my mother raised me to be this kind of lady.
And that is so very true. My mother was just this kind of southern woman – and she passed it on. And I believe my daughter has these becoming attributes as well. To say that I am thankful for this would be quite an understatement. All of these characteristics that are ingrained in me make me who I am, and push me to become who I want to be.
And so the author, a southern woman who has lived away from her homeland, is moving back to the south. As she says: Before I know it, my girls will be grown. And they will be Southern women too. And that, I believe, will have made all the difference.
Yes, it does make quite a difference. And yet it seems to be the road less traveled, too. Even in the south we need more mothers like mine, being signposts along the route to give directions towards “the better way.”
My mother passed away ten years ago today. I had to look it up to be sure of the date, because I remember her life and her influence so much more than her death. She was a true southern woman – enthusiastic, creative, fun-loving, and the best mother a girl could have. And because of the legacy she gave me, she lives on – she always will.