Thursday, January 27, 2011

15 ways. Borrowed from Southern Living

I began blogging as a way to share with my geographically distant children some of the family stories from before their time, impart some smart things I learned since they left the nest,and mostly to keep the little gray cells alive.

Two of my earliest posts were dating tips for gentlemen and dating rules for gentlemen part 2 , Not surprisingly, since very few stopped in those days, my light remained under a basket. Didn't stop me though.

Once upon a time I came across this article in Southern Living magazine. It's a glimpse into the other camp, smart, funny and useful as well. Gentlemen, I should not have to tell you this, but consider this a Valentine primer. Time to step up your game.

15 Ways to Charm Her

Southern Living, July 2009

By Amy Bickers

“Want to impress a Southern girl? Just think “What would my grandfather have done?”

Number one: We still expect you to give up your seat for a lady. On a bus, at a bar, on a train. . . we don’t care where you are. Unless you are at a restaurant and the only lady in sight is the one taking your order, stand up. Now.

On a recent Friday night at a bustling restaurant bar, two friends and I waited for our table to be called. The barstools were occupied so we stood patiently, sipping wine and chatting about the workweek. When a couple nearby stood up, another woman – who had been there less time than we had – swooped in, reaching across us to put her purse on the stool. This isn’t the worst part. It’s what happened next: Her male companion then slid onto the other barstool.

Hang on while I do a geography check. Are we not in the South? If ladies are waiting for a seat and you have a Y chromosome, do you sit down? No, sir. No, you do not.

We know modern life is confusing. The roles of men and women have evolved over the years. As Pink once sang, “Shorty got a job, Shorty got a car, Shorty can pay her own rent.”

But come on, let’s keep some things old-school. My late grandfather- he of the East Texas upbringing, U.S. Navy captain status, and Cary Grant good looks – would never have allowed a woman to stand while he sat. And if you want a Southern woman to love you, neither will you. So, men, here’s a short list of things Southern girls still expect from you.

We still expect you to…

Stand up for a lady. Actually, this doesn't just involve chairs.

Know that the SEC has the best football TEAMS IN THE NATION. Big 12 fan? Hmm, perhaps you should keep walking.

Kill bugs. Delta Burke as Southern belle Suzanne Sugarbaker on Designing Women said, “. . .Ya know, when men use Women’s Liberation as an excuse not to kill bugs for you. Oh, I just hate that! I don’t care what anybody says, I think the man should have to kill the bug!”

Hold doors open. This goes for elevator doors too.

Fix things or build stuff. I once watched in awe as my stepfather built a front porch on the house he shares with my mother. He knew just what to do, cutting every notch, hammering every nail. The project was complete by sunset.

Wear boots occasionally. Not the fancy, l-paid-$l,000-for-these kind. We’re talking about slightly mud-crusted, I-could-have-just-come-in-from-the-field boots.

Take off your hat inside.

Grill stuff.

Call us. If you want to ask us out, don’t text and don’t e-mail. Pick up the phone and use your voice.

Stand when we come back to the dinner table. ”Just a little half-stand is enough to make me melt,” my friend Stephanie says.

Pull out chairs. Wait, that’s not all. Scoot them back in before we hit the floor.

Pay the tab on the first few dates. ”If you ask me out, you pay,” Stephanie says. “If I ask you out, you should still pay.” Listen, guys, it’s just simpler this way.

Don’t show up in a wrinkled, untucked shirt. Care about your appearance but not too much. Don’t smell better than we do. Don’t use mousse or gel. You shouldn’t look like you spend more time in front of the mirror than we do.

Never get in bar fights. Patrick Swayze might look cool in Road House, but in reality, bar fights are stupid and embarrassing. You don’t look tough. You look like an idiot.

Know how to mix our favorite cocktail JUST THE WAY WE LIKE IT. Fix your favorite too. Sit down on the porch (it’s okay if you didn’t build it), tell us how your day went, and we’ll tell you about ours.

We’ll leave the long list to the girl who falls in love with you.

Good Luck.


Karena said...

Toad you are a true gentleman.

That sounds like my list of wants in a partner since I have been a widow. I guess I am also a true lady at heart.

Art by Karena

James said...

A great list, should be given to the mother of every new born son.

house things said...

Fix things or build stuff. The importance cannot be underestimated.

Mom on the Run said...

Oh how I've tried....but instead they expend twice the energy arguing why they shouldn't have to do that and that any girl that expects it won't be around long. I hope it's just self centered youth, but living with "Mr. No Manners" all these years has made me realize some things don't improve with nagging. I'm hoping this "indoctrination week" (aka Hell week) will knock some sense in J3. My girls tell me that the fraternity boys they've met from Ole Miss have the best manners and dress better than anybody they've ever known, so I suppose there's hope. However, I will copy these and forward them to all THREE of my men.

JMW said...

Amen! And I'm a lucky lady in that my husband does all of these things, as will our son in the future. Another one to add: open the car door, too. :)

Toad said...

JMW that is dating rule number 6.

Anonymous said...

Once when a woman I was with had was holding a box I went to open a door for her and she said, 'I can do that!' She was my boss at the time so I don't know if she was letting me know she was always in charge - hands full or not. I ended up replacing her and would have been grateful to any woman who held a door for me if my hands were full.

Re man sitting at the bar stool. He may have had a physical problem. Shouldn't not making quick judgements also be part of a gentleman's code? Just saying.

Patsy said...

Where do southern girls go that they need to have rules about bar fights?

LPC said...

Oh and please make sure that if there is a garbage can anywhere around, the girl never has to touch it. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

For those of you reading my comment and are single, don't ever consider moving to California! The men are horrible and have been taught by unladylike women that their bad behavior is acceptable, so they do not change - there is no motivation for these men to change. I have plans to move someday, but they must wait since I'm the only child and my parents can't move at their age. For now, I don't even bother looking anymore.