Like the rest of the planet—and possibly a few other celestial bodies yet to be discovered—we have been following the hotly contested race between Secretary Hillary Clinton and Mr. Donald Trump. We, the women of the South, will leave this one to play itself out, but it has inspired us to announce our candidate for 2020: Mama for President.
We heard we need to put together something called a “Super PAC.” But really, when you’ve organized as many weddings, bridal teas, sip-and-sees, cotillions, ladies’ lunches, church fellowships, and family reunions as we have, all we can say is, “Give us something hard to do.” We’ll just assign that little ole Super PAC to the Charleston Junior League. Those ladies put together the oldest Junior League cookbook in print—now that was difficult. As for this sweet little ole Super Pac? All we need are a few billionaires who’ll get behind Mama, correct? The Charleston sisters can do that over brunch. (P.S.: Just to clarify—we only need one Super Pac? If so, there’s no need to pull more than 4 or 5 of the girls off the Garden Tour.)
As we understand it, a presidential candidate needs a platform. We handed that off to the girls in Dallas, with input from New Orleans, Mobile, and Richmond. And all we can say is well done! Herewith, Mama’s platform:
- Everybody, do your job and play nice with the other children. (Special thanks to Chi Omega sorority for inspiring that one.)
- Don’t be tacky.
- Don’t be rude.
- Think of strangers on the street as your neighbors.
- A chicken in every pot—preferably served as a casserole with your name masking-taped to the bottom of the Pyrex dish.
- Be thankful.
- Be kind.
- Don’t wear velvet after Valentine’s Day or white shoes after Labor Day. (See more of Mama's fashion tips.)
- Bring beauty into the world—doesn’t matter if it’s color-coordinated table linens, Gorham silver, a bouquet from your garden, or an heirloom recipe—make others feel special by surrounding them with lovely things.
- Accept help if your needs aren’t being met—all of us have been on the giving and receiving side of the fence. That’s what makes us neighbors.
- Feed a stray animal and help it find a home. (See our favorite Southern dog names.)
- Respect your elders and the stories they have to share.
- Adore your children and the wonder they have to share.
- Cook and share great food.
- Never forget the sociological impact of cornbread.
- Don’t drink sweet tea without lemon.
- Set your everyday table with “the good dishes,” just because.
- Give up your lifelong struggle to like turnip greens, if it’s just not in you, and embrace the collard.
- Stop at a roadside fair and ride The Scrambler.
- Walk by the ocean; hike through the mountains; never cease to be in awe of both.
- Fry. Just . . . fry, every now and then. (See how to fry chicken.)
- Never apologize for your laryngitis after the Big Game.
- Accept any opportunity to ride in a parade.
- Watch a thunderstorm roll in.
- Watch a cotton field turn snowy white.
- Wave at Santa.
- Love your parents.
- Go, SEC! (Get our best tailgating recipes.)
- Listen to Elvis, Dolly, Willie, and Loretta.
- Sing out loud.