Thursday, September 2, 2010

Don't Mess with Grits

I just saw a small clip from the TV reality show "Real Housewives of New Jersey". In full disclosure, I have never seen an episode of the show. The clip I saw was enough for me. These women are out of control. Actually, they just don't know how to handle a situation with other women. Southern women have made it an art form, with a smile. Now, there is a similar show, "Real Housewives of Atlanta", but this does not represent true southern women. I watched an episode of that show and I'm not sure where those women came from. Worse yet, it is scary that the world would think that those "ladies" are representative of the fairer sex down here. But, I digress.

Back to New Jersey. These women, yell and scream and cuss. In one clip, a table was overturned in a fine restaurant to make a point. Then in a "reunion" show, the host could not even get three of the "housewives" to sit on the same sofa without civil war breaking out and the police being called with stun guns. Don't get me wrong, we know how to yell, scream, and cuss. And, can go toe to toe with the best of them. However, we chose not to do it in public, especially not on TV. No, we are more - well subversive.

First of all, no southern woman of good standing would ever consider being on a reality TV show. And, if we did, we would not last long, because we are just too nice. We would never be filmed screaming in the face of our "costars", turning over tables, or cussing out yard men. There would not be enough drama to be interesting.

In our world, when a southern woman is wronged, and it happens a lot, we take it with a smile. And, we remember. We are like elephants, we never forget. Especially, if you do something to hurt or offend one of our children. Oh, we will still smile and chat with you at bridge. You'll never know that there is a problem as we "enjoy" dinner with you and your husband at the home of mutual friends. I may even come to your house to ooh and aah over your new kitchen (even though I know you can't boil water.)

However, next year when your name comes up for membership in the Junior League, you best be assured that there is a reason that it only takes three anonymous "no" votes to keep one out. Our predecessors built in an "I'll get you back and you'll never know who did it." clause in most old clubs. And, when you are on my committee for the our Couple's Christmas Dance, I'm going to assign you to help check the coats or maybe clean-up (which has to be done immediately following the event just after the band leaves.) I just know you'll do a wonderful job.

If you really push me too far, I will find you alone in a hall and give a piece of my mind, using words you had no idea I knew how to use at a low, steady, firm tone of voice that will leave no doubt in your mind that you have crossed a line you never want to cross again. And, once we are back in public, I will act as if nothing has happened. But, you will get the point.

So next time you see a southern bell and think that she has charm, grace, and beauty but would never stand up for herself, think again. Southern women with grits takes on a whole new meaning. Don't mess with us.


Lynn said...

There was a reason the broadway show and film were entitled "'Steel' Magnolias".

Sam said...

"There would not be enough drama to be interesting."

I must disagree. There would be plenty of drama, after all, most of the great American literature is southern. It's just not obvious enough for reality TV.