Thank Goodness We Don’t Have to Do That Anymore: Southern Belles

I have this great book that someone gave me when I moved from California to go to college in the South called The Southern Belle Primer or Why Princess Margaret Will Never Be a Kappa Kappa Gamma by Maryln Schwartz. I think its supposed to be satirical to some extent, but all the reviews of it online suggest that the majority of it is true facts. It was published in the early ‘90s, so I don’t know if it still holds true. I didn’t meet any Southerners like this when I was in school, but I would love love LOVE to hear if any of this is still going on. Some highlights pertaining to etiquette (you will have to acquire the book to find out about the Silver Pattern Zodiac):

  • Walking around with a lighted cigarette is a no-no.

  • Pink lemonade has Communist undertones. (WHAT???)

  • Bridesmaids’ shoes should match the punch. (If someone can invent gold or silver punch, this could totally work!)

  • Never chew gum in public and never smoke on the street.

  • Never wear an ankle bracelet.

  • Ribbons are taken from the presents at a bridal shower and made into a fake bouquet for the substitute bride to carry at the rehearsal. It’s bad luck for the real bride to participate in the rehearsal.

  • Appropriate shower presents: appliances. Appropriate wedding presents: silver, china, crystal, etc.

  • Wedding gifts are displayed in the bride’s home.

  • You can’t put deviled eggs on a regular plate- they need a deviled egg plate. (My mom has a deviled egg plate and it is AWESOME, so.)

  • “You can always tell just how fancy a tea is by how tiny the food is that is served, Anything that’s big enough to fill you up is just tacky.”

  • No lady wears jewelry before 4 in the afternoon.

  • Beer should never be drunk out of the bottle, always from a glass.

  • Southerners always pass on, they never die.

Please join us TONIGHT at Otto’s Shrunken Head in the East Village (Facebook event page here) for tiki drinks and etiquette talk!

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4 thoughts on “Thank Goodness We Don’t Have to Do That Anymore: Southern Belles

  1. I’ve lived in Savannah GA for 7 years and literally never heard any of these. Once, a black lady in her twenties telling her middle-aged mother that an ankle bracelet worn over panty-hose was “country” but that’s as close as I get to any of these.

  2. Pingback: Thank Goodness We Don’t Have to Do that Anymore: Display Wedding Gifts | Uncommon Courtesy

  3. My grandmother owned this book, and I read it in the early ’90s when I was a young teenager and she was still alive. She grew up on the Kansas/Oklahoma border, maybe a little too far west for traditional “Southern” culture, but she was as proper a lady as you could want to know (while still having a sharp sense of humor) called her couch a “divan” and kept it covered 364 days per year, corrected my grammar and my manners, and collected antique tea cups, finger-bowls, and hat-pin holders. When I borrowed the book, my mother said my grandmother was a real southern belle, and my grandmother denied it, but in a way that made it sound like she was just being modest. I think she aspired to belle-hood.

    My grandmother died in 1995, and I haven’t read or thought about this book sense, but this post brought back a lot of memories, and I think I might buy a copy…

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