9.22.2007

MISS MANNERS....

Proper Southern Manners

Make no mistake about it, manners matter in Dixie! Good manners make life more pleasant for everyone. Good manners are what make Southerners different from those who aren't from here. You cannot take good manners too seriously in the South.

The Fundamentals of Good Manners

These five fundamentals should set you in good stead. Good manners are extended to everybody, regardless of whether you know them, on which side of town they live, or whether they tithe.

Be Humble: Others first, yourself last. Self-denial and deference to others ("After you") are the cornerstone of good manners, acting selfish or uppity is not. This commandment is indisputably rooted in the Bible Belt theology ("the first shall be last, and the last shall be first").
Be Courteous: Remember the Golden Rule. Go out of your way to be helpful and kind to everyone you encounter.
Behave Yourself: Don't be uncouth, rude, brash, loud, coarse, or cause a commotion in public. Only trashy types do such things.....and obviously this is because they weren't raised to know better.
Be Friendly: Put your friendliest foot forward, whether you've been properly introduced or don't know the person from a hole in the ground. Be sociable and neighborly, just like you learned in Sunday School ("Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself").
Be Modest: Never be high-falutin'. Practice modesty in all situations. "Why, shucks, I guess I was in the right place at the right time" would work just fine upon learning that you had won the Pulitzer Prize. "Of course I won it, I deserve to" would absolutely categorize you as too big for your britches.

Common Courtesies in Dixie

Say "please" without fail. Please, always say "please" when you make a requet, no matter how trivial or important.

Always ask, never tell. The only way to make a request is to ask for it, directives are much too surly. "Would you please carry me up the road a piece?" is correct. "Give me a ride to the market" is most assuredly not.

Say "Thank you" without fail. Upon being granted your request--be it a personal favor or impersonal transaction--always look the other party in the eye, give them a pleasing smile, and cheerily say, "Thank you". To show them you're really grateful, dress it up with "Thank you kindly," "Thanks a whole lot," "Preciate it". If your request is denied, say "Well, thank you anyway." Using your best turn-the-other-cheek manner.

Say "ma'am" and "sir" without fail. If any adult your senior addresses you (or vice versa), automatically attach the appropriate title to your response ("Yes ma'am, "I reckon so, Sir", "Pardon me ma'am"). Neglecting this rule is apt to be interpreted as arrogance or insolence or just plain bad upbringing.

Always refer to those of the female gender as Ladies. The descriptive woman is usually reserved in Dixie for females of questionable respect. If you are a gentleman, then treat all ladies with courtness, deference, and respect you'd accord members of the royal family since, in the South, ladies occupy such status.
This is an immutable rule of order in Dixie, no matter what may be happening elsewhere on this planet.

Chivalry may not be well appreciated outside the South today, but you can be sure that around home territory a true gentleman will so honor a lady:

Hold the door open for all members of the fairer sex, regardless of their social station.

Stand when a lady enters or leaves a room.

Walk on the streetside of a side-walk, when accompanying a lady.

Order for both of you when at a restaurant (excluding business meals).

Always call his mother "Mamma" or "mutha" or "Mrs. -------"-never by her first name, no matter what his age.

My Daddy Said

As my daddy told me many years ago, "Good manners do not cost you anything to exercise, but the lack of them may cost you dearly further down the road".
My daddy also told my brother, Greg, "Treat all ladies as ladies, no matter what you have heard and continue to do so until she proves to you that she is not a lady".
He also said " A man's word is his bond and that you come into this world with only your name and will leave this world the same and how you are remembered is how you kept the honor of your name".

The last quote that I will make of my daddy's is...
"The manners that your children exhibit to you and the public are a direct reflection of you".

8 comments:

Hale McKay said...

I enjoyed reading your posts and looking at the photos on your sites. I like your mixes of humor and fact.

I see that our styles and selections of material can be very similar.

I will be back.

Hale McKay said...

Oh - here by way of Top Cat's site.

Bella said...

You said it so well...

(I need to pass that along to a few southerners I know. No wait, those would be REDNECKS! There IS a differencce, you know!).

Liquid said...

Hale McKay:
Thank you for visiting my blogs and I hope to see more of you!

Bella:
Thank you kindly dear for your prompt comment. :) And yup, rednecks are those (bless thier hearts) who have not had good up bringing! lol

Sandy Carlson said...

Great post. Good manners give you the freedom to walk in any room and choose any seat--not necessarily the one with the back to the wall. I think it's not a leap to saythat good manners are a key to a peaceful mind.

Liquid said...

Yeah Sandy.......
To say the very least you know you've given each encounter your best shot! (Well, not literally.....bang!) lol

Amias said...

This was a refreshing post. I really enjoyed this, and yes, I think all of us southern are taught these manners, but many of us don't follow them. Thanks for the reminder.

Liquid said...

I need to read this post daily. :)