Other mamas might have pearls of wisdom, but Southern mamas have long, long strands of them.
If we had to keep paper copies of “things my mother taught me,” they would fill up the Smithsonian. Life lessons from Mama are innumerable. Most of her best advice, however, falls into a few distinct categories: (1) respect yourself; (2) honor your family; (3) treat others the way you would want to be treated; (4) go to church; and (5) put on some lipstick.
Southern girls look to their families to show them how they should behave and how they should be treated. And Mama empowers Sissy to school any would-be suitors as to what she will and will not tolerate. “My sister would give a boy one chance at dating her, and if he did anything rude—like showing up late—she’d put him in the road and never go out with him again,” remembers one Southern mama.
Modern Southern girls might be a little more forgiving . . . but then again, not if Mama has anything to do with it. We asked our Facebook Brain Trust what lessons Mama taught them about being a Southern woman. Here’s what they said—let us know if you agree:
“Ladies do not ride motorcycles.” [Cue teen eye roll.]
“Always wear nice underwear. You never know when you’ll be in an accident.”
"There’s never a good excuse for being unkind.”
"Put on some lipstick, honey—you look a little washed out."
“Pretty is as pretty does.”
“I’m a Southern man, but my open-minded, firebrand of a mother taught me ‘pretty is as pretty does.’”
“If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”
“You have to crawl before you can walk.”
“You can catch more flies with honey than vinegar.”
“Sit up straight and listen to the preacher.”
“ALWAYS cross your ankles when you sit, but never your knees.”
“Too much makeup is worse than no makeup at all.”
“No white shoes after Labor Day or before Easter.”
“NEVER go on a date with a guy who pulls into the driveway and honks the horn.”
“You will NOT call that boy you’re hoping to hear from.”
“A gentleman will always call you. If he isn’t interested enough to pursue you, he isn’t worth having.”
“That boy had best come in this house and greet your family like the gentleman he had better be. And he’d better not say anything stupid while he’s here.”
WATCH: The Story Behind Southern Momma
If she has to sit through one more Little League game in this heat, she just might die. Somebody get her something cold to drink. Where's Randy?