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Idgie's Place: Southern Women
by Idgie Threadgoode

I was sittin' here staring at the computer, deep thoughts rolling thru my brain, when I starting thinking that a lot of folks are not from the South and might not know a real Southern woman if they ran into one. Not that they're hard to mistake, but ya never know.

So I've decided today is "lesson day" here at Idgie's Place.

The first type of Southern woman is the one depicted most in the movies. These women truly exist. As a matter of fact, I went to school with several of them and they astounded me with the determination to put forth a proper front at all times. These women always have the "done" hair, the perfect make-up, the clothes just so. No one, since these women were 5 and started in pageants, has ever seen them without their make-up. Not even their mamas. They can wear heels, big poofy hair and real lipstick (not gloss) in 110 degree heat. They ALWAYS have shoes on. They actually say things like "I swan," "Well, I neveh," and the such.

But beneath their glossed over exterior and their simpering, eyelash blinking ways, they are pure steel. They will smack you down in a heartbeat if you peeve them off in any way. Be it verbally to your face, or something let loose through the halls of the local church, you will be dragged down and stomped before you can say "boo." If that doesn't work, well, all I can say is watch out for snakes inexplicably using your car for a nap.

The Special Forces of the government should all recruit these girls.

The second group of Southern women are the Redneck Women. You know just by looking at them that if you tick 'em off you're pert much doomed. If you live through the first phase of retaliation, you'll never show your face at the Piggly Wiggly again.

These woman look "country," but they are very comfortable, and, yes, proud of their look and their heritage. There is no shame in being a redneck. I want to say that now. One, because I truly believe that and admire them for their stand, but two, I also don't want my butt kicked to Tupelo.

Redneck women are most comfortable in tank tops and tight jeans -- and they look good in 'em! They also tend to have full make-up on at all times.

Truly, I will admit that this is my one strong failing as a Southern woman -- far too many people see me without make-up. Redneck women often do not have shoes on, but if they do, they tend to be wearing boots. Boots and tank tops look really cool to me.

And redneck women LOVE trucks. (I am about 75% redneck, if not more!) Who needs a wussy SUV when you can throw all the kids into the back of a truck. They love to duck the branches on the way to the store -- it's a fun game.

Finally, there is the in-between Southern Woman. These are the women who watch a lot of TV and see how the rest of the world lives. They decide to give it a try. They try Yuppie or Grunch or Sophisticated Bitch. Just by looking at them you can't tell they're Southern. But then they open their mouths and just can't pull it off. (These are the ones, be it for a short or long period of time, who try to hide their Southern-ness. I might point out that a majority of them come back home before too long. I know; I did.)

But it's not the accent, the words. These women still call people Honey and Sugar -- even if they say these words with venom in their voices. (Some gal called me Sugar the other day and, my stars, if that one word had poison in it, I'd be dead.)

These women may be snotty and short tempered, but they'll still remember to ask after your mama. They all know how to make a funeral casserole. They too usually have full make-up on. Shoes are optional on this bunch.

There y'all go, a lesson on Southern women. I hope I've given you some educational information today.


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