Can I make a statement? As a southern woman with 34 years experience married to a southern man, there is one thing I can attest to - a southern mother is the bane of a young southern wife's life. From the get go let me make it clear I adored my mother-in-law. I could never be as elegant, as thoughtful, as compassionate (or as tall) as she was. That said, like so many other southern women she ruined her son.
There are generations of southern "gentlemen" out there who were (and in some cases still are)
raised reared under the tender care and umbrage of their dear Mamas. These young men's clothes never hit the floor because Mama is there to pick them up. Beds are magically made every morning. Clothes are washed, pressed, folded, and put away in the drawers by little birds -similar to those in the Disney movies. His favorite foods are always prepared just as he likes them and on time. Every wish is her command.
In full disclosure, I am the mother of two girls and the grandmother of another little girl so I never succumbed to this need to totally care for the every whim and need of my child possessing a Y chromosome. I will say that my dear son-in-law cooks, cleans, and takes full responsibility for his share of the house and home. Unlike my DH, who when I was totally exhausted trying to work and keep a house, said he would take on the house cleaning responsibilities. He could help that much. I was both relieved and impressed. Well, that was until I came home from work the following week to find the cleaning service he had engaged leaving the house, saying they would be back next week. But, I digress.
These young southern gentlemen grow up, find a wonderful southern girl who reminds them of their mother. Love ensues, there is a large wedding (this is where the obnoxious southern mother of the daughter comes in - a whole' nuther story), and they live happily ever after.
Well that is until the new bride is amazed by his vast imagination that any article of clothing he drops never touches the floor. Cute little birds do not magically take his dirty clothes from the room and return them to his dresser fresh and ready to wear. Supper is not always his favorite food and sometimes it is late. Contrary to his subconsciousness, he did not marry his mother. Reality sets in.
This is the point where I reminded my DH that I was not his mother and, unfortunately, Clemmie, the family's long time house keeper did not come with him when we got married. This is also just one more proof in my theory, God is a man. And, in this case, Mary must have been southern.