The Southern Lady: Grace, beauty, charm, impeccable manners, white pearls, whiter gloves, Lilly Pulitzer suits, sensible--yet expensive--high-heel shoes. I don't know about you, but all of those descriptors definitely pop into my mind when the words "Southern" and "Lady" are uttered together. When I close my eyes, I can almost see those legendary ladies gliding effortlessly along without doing anything so gauche as taking an actual footstep.
In spite of the aforementioned "wispy willow" image, Southern Ladies saw one civil war, two world wars and numerous "conflicts" through to their bitter ends. They toughed it out through the Great Depression with their heads held high. They endured countless scandals and world changes and they even survived the '80's--a decade of ridiculous shoulder pads and nightmarishly big hair--with their dignities intact (not all of us can say the same).
What does that mean, exactly? It means that every single well-bred Southern Lady is fully capable of going DEFCON 1 all over your ass if the necessity arises.
How does this happen? How is such a beautiful creature so very dangerous? Hmmm...Nature v. Nurture: A true conundrum.
On one hand, we Southern women are just so damned good at a tear that it almost has to be in our DNA. Of course, the polish and flare of a true five-star hissy fit--that we learn at Mama's knee.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, a Southern Lady will act with unimpeachable deportment when a potentially volatile situation presents itself. (The one percent margin of error is for particularly offensive situations where one's ACC team is insulted or when one's breeding is called into question.) I've had the privilege of watching true masters employ Jedi-like mind skills to diffuse situations, redirect the subject and--above all--get what they wanted.
All of that being said, when a Southern Lady has to resort to drastic measures, she is more than capable of raining hell down in a thick torrent. Allow me to share with you a couple of prime and very, very true examples (names are withheld to protect the guilty):
Southern Belle is a passenger in a vehicle being driven by her gentleman friend. Unfortunately, the mood inside the car is far from convivial. The gentleman friend is taking advantage of his captive audience by criticizing her about pretty much everything she'd done since she woke up that morning. After a few useless attempts to interject reason--or even a pause--into the situation, our dear Belle fully realizes the futility of the plate before her. Does she do something to shut him up or does she simply get out of the car? Both.
Our resourceful Belle reaches down and throws the car into park and--WOW--who knew a car could do that? After what's left of the car comes to a complete stop, Belle quietly and gracefully gets out of the car while simultaneously whipping out her cell phone to call for a less hot-tempered ride. Real bummer about that BMW, though...a classic case of when good cars happen to bad people.
Now, we all know the foreboding statement about a woman scorned. Believe me when I tell you that a Southern Lady scorned is an entirely different level of bad. Let's take a look at the case of another dear lady who quietly suffered her husband until she found out that said husband was catting around all over the damned place.
I don't know how to put this delicately, so you have to bear with me here, but this incident occurred waaay back in the day when men's...um...prophylactics were reusable. Our lady found her husband's birth control device, went out to the garden to cut a nice, hot habanero pepper and rubbed it all over the inside and outside of said device. It made for a hot time, but not in the way her husband and his paramour had hoped. (I would like to interject here and say that I really, really wanted to name one of my daughters after this admirable lady, but it very sadly didn't work out.)
So, boys and belles, I will leave you with those tender thoughts.
Belles: I can only hope that I provided you with inspiring information.
Gentlemen: Behave yourselves.