When you think of the SOUTH and southern women, what is the first thing that comes to your mind? Horses, sweet tea, and hot temps? Born and raised in Oklahoma and recently moving to Arkansas, I have seen my fair share of horses, cowgirls & cowboys. I’ve drunk my share of sweet tea, and OH God is it ever hot and HUMID! Being plus size, the heat and humidity are about ten times worse! I’m not a hillbilly but I’m known to say “Y’all” in every conversation, and when Y’all come over, I’m going to ask if you’d like some sweet tea or “pop” to drink. What is this “soda” that Y’all speak of anyway? No, I don’t own horses. I’ve ridden one a couple of times when I was a child and not so plus-size. Have you seen a big girl trying to climb on a horse? I’ll spare you that image. The most I know about horses is “hold your horses” and I know that mean’s you need to stop rushing me and hold on a minute!
I will claim the status of a “southern woman” any day of the week, but I’m far from a Southern Belle. I don’t exactly live by the etiquette that was passed down from my grandparents and parents, as most Southern Belle’s are known to do. I don’t use my manners as often as I should, and I don’t have the slightest idea how to set a table with proper expectations. Who even came up with different forks, and spoons anyway? However, I do know the difference in a butter knife and a steak knife even if that’s not what I call them. I curse like a sailor, believe it’s completely okay to wear leggings for every occasion, throw my hair up in a ponytail and I don’t wear make-up every day.
Being the good ol’ southern mom that I am, I strive for my children to be the best little Southerners’ that they can possibly be. All five of them are decent- with manners. They say “Y’all”, “pop”, and love their sweet tea! I encourage my boys to grow into men that reflect the men that are helping guide them on their journeys. I encourage my girls to grow into sweet and perfect little southern belles. As most Southerners, I believe that Jesus is a staple in our family, and although we do not attend church every service, I encourage them to say their prayers before bed. That includes praying for their family, friends, and the world they live in. As much as I encourage them to stay in the South with mom when they are grown, all of them remind me that they will be heading to the West or East coast except for one, and that’s only because he’s going to sleep with us until he’s twenty-one! Possibly then, he will also be leaving the south. No matter where their journey takes them, one thing is for sure and that is once you have the south in you there is no taking it back! So if you happen to see some crazy adults running around California or New York saying “Y’all”, “pop”, “winder’”, and “worse”, rest assured they are probably MINE and that I did my best raise them into best southern ladies and gentlemen that I could.