Bless Your Hearts

I had to share what my dad sent to me in an e-mail.  I wish I could take credit for writing it!  To those of you born southerners, you’ll know exactly what all this means.

Only a Southerner knows exactly how long "directly" is, as in: "Going to town, be back directly."

Even Southern babies know that "Gimme some sugar" is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table.

All Southerners know exactly when "by and by" is.  They might not use the term, but
they know the concept well.

Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who’s got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad.  If the neighbor’s trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana puddin!

Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between "right near" and "a right far piece."  They also know that "just down the road" can be 1 mile or 20.Scarlett

Only a Southerner both knows and understands the difference between a redneck, a good ol’ boy, and po’ white trash.

No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

A Southerner knows that "fixin" can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.

Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines … and when we’re in line we talk to everybody!

Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they’re related, even if only by marriage.

In the South, “y’all” is singular….“all y’all” is plural.

Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.

Every Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.

When you hear someone say, "Well, I caught myself lookin’," you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!

And a true Southerner knows you don’t scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say "Bless her heart" and go your own way.

And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff … bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin’ to have classes on Southernness as a second language!

And for those who are not from the South but have lived here for a long time, all y’all need a sign to hang on y’all’s front porch that reads "I ain’t from the South, but I got here as fast as I could."


(Back to Shannon here)…Let me just add one more.  If you know who the woman in this picture above is; if you have read and watched her life story numerous times; if you can quote the "As God Is My Witness" speech with perfect voice inflection…then you, my friend, are a true Southerner. 

Posted in: Fun

39 thoughts on “Bless Your Hearts

  1. Michelle says:

    Oh but wait…
    It says, “Only a southerner would know…” I have to add OR “a blue-blooded Yank who married a Charmer from the South would know…”
    ~michelle–southern by default

  2. Jennifer says:

    As a woman born in GA, raised in AL and a citizen of GA for the last 12 years (except that brief stint when I moved way up north to VA) I am sayin’ AMEN, this hit the nail on the head dahlin’. The onlt thin it left out was that dinner is at Noon and Supper is at 6pm.

  3. Jennifer says:

    P.S. My crazy spelling in the last sentence resulted from typing too fast…not ignorance…just had to clarify since I had admitted I was raised in AL. 🙂

  4. Natalie Joy says:

    I was born north of the Mason-Dixon line and currently reside there, but my heart was born in the south!! I attended college in the “almost” south, Tulsa, OK. We traveled east and more south often and I love the way southerners talk. One minute in the south and my draawwwll comes out nice and slow and I love it. It takes me weeks to get ya’ll and all ya’ll out of my system. Tell your dad thanks for the great post.

  5. hogphan says:

    Not sure I know what “caught myself lookin” means either. Oh well, “I’ll think about that tomorrow!” 🙂 And if I don’t figure it out; Frankly, Shannon, I don’t give a ………!” 🙂

  6. Jan says:

    As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!
    I’ll think about that tomorrow!
    Oh child, bless your little heart, you caught our southernness perfectly. And yes, I do “catch myself lookin'”

  7. Susanne says:

    Ok, I knew what gimme some sugar really means and I also do not assume that cars with flashing turn signals are actually turning and having a Hungarian background I know all about hot fried chicken and cold potato salad. But I’m from the north so I guess this just makes me a displaced Hungarian livin’ and lovin’ in Canada making her Canadian with Southern wannna be genes floating around. 😀

  8. mimi2six says:

    How can one communicate to another person without using the word “y’all”??? I’d be lost!

  9. Jill says:

    Oh I LOVE being Southern!!! I’ve lived all over and have always been proud of my southern roots! And yes, I consider my part of TX the south and not the southwest. But I would admit, those from the deep south are MORE southern than we Texans!
    While living in CA, an old woman from Alabama came into my place of work. My coworkers couldn’t understand her and I had to interpret! I LOVED it!

  10. Kelli says:

    Officially, I’m a “come he-yah” not a “from he-yah” but someday, we’re coming home. Moving “just down the road a’piece”.

  11. peach says:

    Because of that lovely lady in the above photo — who was so much better in my 14-yr.old mind as I originally read the book, I decided then and there that I would someday leave the Yankee north and make my claim to the South as my new forever home.
    I have embraced it all and never looked back! Now, I’m fixin’ to head on down the road a piece myself. I’ll probably chat with someone in the grocery line while I’m out, which still just curdles my northern mother’s brain. She just can’t understand how I can make a new, life-long friend in the Piggly Wiggly : )

  12. voni says:

    he he! I don’t know what some of those phrases and words mean bless your heart. (did I use that phrase correctly?) Being a Midwestern girl and all. What is red eye gravy? Is it made with beans? I do know what grits are. I had them at a restaurant once. They were delicious!

  13. MomInTandyLand says:

    Much to my husband’s disappointment, I own the book AND the movie and watch/read each frequently. When we’re not watching something animated and/or Disney, that is… And I don’t know WHERE they get it from(HA), but my children have a definite Southern twang. The word “there” has two syllables.

  14. sherry says:

    I disagree with only one thing on your list. Maybe in the deep South, y’all is used to refer to a single person, but in West Texas where I grew up and In Houston where I live now, y’all means you all as in all of you, you plural. To talk to an individual, I say “you.” I always thought that authors who used y’all to refer to a single person when writing dialog were just mistaken and not really from the South. I guess maybe the joke’s on me.
    Oh, and I’ve been offered grits, but I’m too picky. I’m not fixin to eat any grits for breakfast, dinner or supper.

  15. Kathy of the HavinsNest says:

    Loved the list. Know the girl in the picture well and can quote more than just the one scene. Went to a bridal shower today for my oldest daughter and his aunt started to introduce me to his relatives – she didn’t have to though, since they are my relatives, too. The bride and groom are 4th cousins once removed and didn’t met until they were in their 20s.
    ham, fat back, bacon or hog jowl
    1/2 c. coffee
    Fry ham (or other meat) slowly, making sure drippings (grease) does not burn. Remove drippings while very hot. Pour in bowl, pour coffee in frying pan, rotate pan and very quickly pour into drippings.

  16. GranolaGirl says:

    My mom just sent this to me yesterday too! I was born and raised in the south. I was in cotillion, a debutante ball, sorority…. (but held strong as a granola girl through it all) and I LOVE me some sweet tea.

  17. Cheri says:

    Well, I’ve lived in Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. (and now almost 3 years in TX and TX is NOT the South) I thought I had the corner on ”Southern” and then I read ”well I caught myself a lookin”’ and I don’t reckon I’ve ever heard that 😉 What does that mean? Everything else I completely got 😀

  18. Leslie says:

    Love it!
    If you didn’t want grits, why did you order breakfast? LOL!
    I am teaching my kids Latin and when we conjugate, I catch myself saying:
    amo– I love
    amas– you love
    amat– he, she it loves
    amamus– we love
    amatis– y’all love oops I mean you (plural)
    amant– they love

  19. Everyday Mommy says:

    Yankee here, tried and true.
    I’m sure the answer you’re looking for is “Scarlett O’Hara” but, in truth, the woman in the photo is the incredible Vivian Leigh. She was British, not at all Southern, but won two Academy Awards for playing Southern women. One for Scarlett in “Gone With the Wind” and one for Blanche DuBois in “A Street Car Named Desire”. She was also married to Sir Laurence Olivier.
    Oops! Guess you can tell I’m an old movie buff.

  20. mopsy says:

    Fat back? Hog jowl? Red eye gravy? I hear they serve grits at Burger King in the south. My husband went to MS in March and still talks about the mysterious food.
    It’s like reading about some exotic foreign country.
    Do you ever say “fiddle-dee-dee!” Shannon?

  21. mom2fur says:

    Okay, I thought I posted this. I hope I’m not repeating myself, LOL! If that dear little old lady tried to do 30 MPH on the Long Island Expressway, that would be the end of her! But we do say “God Bless Her/Him” if we see one walking down the street. Anyone exercising when they are old deserves a blessing!
    Never had red-eye gravy but it sure looks good. Does it pick up the taste of the coffee, or is it more like the ham?
    And I, personally, am proud to be a Noo Yawker. More specifically…a Lawn Guylander.

  22. whimsy says:

    I’m never sure where I fit in the northern/southern thing. (I’m in the Missouri Ozarks) We don’t eat grits here. It’s fried taters & onions, and it’s not “yall” it’s “youns” I’m thinking we fall more to the redneck side of the scale 🙂 However, when we called to check job references on a potential employee, we were told he was a “good ole boy” and we hired him immediately 🙂
    How do you measure distance? In miles or time? It’s time here. As in 45 minutes instead of 35 miles.

  23. shawnda says:

    I LOVE that!!! I grew up in TX….moved to MN after college, and lived there a VERY HARD, SANCTIFYING 3 yrs! Then, by the Lord’s sweet grace, He led me and my new husband back to TX for a year….and now we are in NC. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the south! I never knew I loved the south UNTIL I lived in MN! And it was evident the first time I met my roommate that we were from TWO different worlds……and then the grocery store experience was……well, all together disappointing (I think it took me a few months not to leave the grocery store feeling like somebody just called me a bad name or something because NOBODY looks you in the eye….and if they talk to you, it’s probably not because they want to….so it’s probably not something that’s going to be uplifting!). Well, this wasn’t to bash the north : ) – just to say, I was born southern through and through, and LOVE the culture (most parts anyhow!) of the south! : )

  24. Sherri W says:

    Don’t forget about mint juleps!! Oh, and in reference to both the picture and the article, everyone knows that “Emmy Slatterly ain’t nuttin’ but po’ white trash”!!!!
    Y’all come back now. And yer mom-n-’em!!

  25. Amy says:

    Oh girl. That is just too funny. I’ve got to link this to mine! We’ve been in VA for most our lives and lived in MI for one year. You should’ve seen all the looks I got with “that southern stuff”. We are now back down the road in TN and love it!

  26. Kathleen Marie says:

    My Mama’s from the South and Daddy’s a Yankee and what I learned more than anything is “Man-nas.” As in, “You kids betta mine yo man-nas or I’ll tell yo Dad-dee when he gets home!” As my Daddy spent 20 years in the Air Force, “man-nas” were indeed enforced.
    Thanks for an adorable post!

  27. Lucy says:

    This was so funny! I’m born and bred Minnesota (we’re not THAT unfriendly, just Scandanavian), but my dad is from GA and I’ve spent a lot of time with Southerners. In fact, my best friend is in MS. And yes, I know who that lovely woman (who also seemed much cooler when I was a teenager) is and I use “ya’ll” (you want to sound out of place in MN, use “ya’ll”)and “bless her heart.” And I love black eyed peas and ham and gravy and lima beans. I must be a Southerner at heart!

  28. Jodi says:

    I am a Yankee, tried and true.. but I know just about every one of those statements! Gotta love my southern relatives!
    Gimme some sugar is one I hear all the time from my grandparents.

  29. Kassandra says:

    Bless Your Heart Shannon!!! I just love this post!!! I am a TRUE Southern Belle down here!!! So much so that my 5 yr old has been drinking Sweet Tea since she was a year old!
    Now you forgot a few…. In my family we eat Biscuits and Karo! mmmmm…mmmmm Good stuff! and one of my favs…”There was a mess of em!!”

  30. Shalee says:

    Although I grew up in the South, I nevah kehpt an accent worthay of miy upbreengin.
    Buht Ahy deed lahn thayut evreh brakfast should havah a beit of grease to make evreh thing taste sooo much bettah. And grits are wahn of God’s little secrets to be loved, especially with buttah and salt.
    An I often quote Miss Scarlett on many occassions. That girl had such spark and wit! My favorite lines? Aftah ahll… tomorrah is anothuh dayah, and Fiddle-dee-dee.

  31. Susan says:

    I was going to say that Vivien Leigh was British, but someone beat me to it.
    She was indeed Laurence Oliviers first wife.
    And Everyday Mommy I love old films too.

  32. Calla Lilly says:

    I never realized how much of a Southerner I had become! I would add that when someone says “bless his/her heart” it generally means that person did something stupid, etc. Now, if they say “bless YOUR heart” it generally means you did something nice.

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