Belle Speak

My friends tell me I’m as southern as sweet tea, but I don’t see it. My opinion is women are pretty much the same on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Line. The only thing that separates us is language. They talk funny up north. Down here we have what we call Belle Speak. Loosely translated it means what my mama tried to tell me and what I tried to tell my daughter. Here are some examples:

There is strength in a circle of women that is unbeatable. One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to be a good friend. One of the worst things you can do to yourself is to be an enemy.

It doesn’t matter what silver pattern you choose, your mother-in-law is not going to like it. So, lie. Tell her it was your great-grandmother’s favorite and it was always your job to help polish it. Tell her one of your fondest memories is standing on a stool and listening to stories about her childhood in Alabama, Mississippi or Louisiana. Wherever, just as long as it’s south of the Mason Dixon Line. No southern lady worth her grits is going to have the nerve to criticize a daughter-in-law who reveres family.

If you think your husband is interested in another woman, he probably is at least thinking about it. One remedy is to buy a dozen roses at the supermarket. Pay cash–you don’t want this on your credit card. Put them on the dining room table. When he comes home, thank him profusely. If he admits he didn’t send them, look startled. Stare into space. Act vague and hum while you fix dinner. If he doesn’t admit he didn’t send them, you’ll probably catch him staring at you with a puzzled expression then a renewed interest. Next thing you know, he’ll be bringing home the roses.

Sh-h-h, don’t let on, but men are the weaker sex. This could be because they always have to be right; so they live in constant stress. Don’t be afraid to admit it when you’re wrong or you don’t know something. Look at how it has crippled men and held them back. I know men who haven’t grown an emotional inch since puberty because they were afraid to listen to a woman.

Take care of yourself. It takes approximately ten minutes for a gynecologist to do an internal exam. Surely you have ten minutes to spare. If you don’t something is seriously wrong with your life.

Always have at least one dog. Two is better. They’ll tell you you’re wonderful, forgive you anything, and do anything for you. Cats are okay. I like them, but they’ll never fix you a drink when you need one.