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Those Fabulous Southern Weddings ~ oh, my!
by Beth Boswell Jacks

I want Gayden Metcalfe and Charlotte Hays at my next pajama party. If those women talk like they write - which I'm guessing they do - their late night conversation would be more fun than a good romp on a tire swing.

Authors of "Being Dead Is No Excuse," Metcalfe and Hays have written another book that is as funny and fine as "Being Dead." The new one, titled "Somebody is going to die if Lilly Beth doesn't catch that bouquet," claims to be "the official Southern ladies' guide to hosting the perfect wedding."

Me? I'd have subtitled it this way: "The official Southern ladies' guide to laughing at ourselves as we're polishing Aunt Georgia's silver or licking the icing bowl." That's because there's oh so much more than advertised in this small volume of anecdotes, recipes and delightful Southern wisdom. As entertaining and merry as an old-fashioned tea dance, this book will do your hearts and silly centers a world of good.

Consider this short passage on dating boys from the former Greenville [Miss.] Air Base in the '50s:

"The best thing about dating a boy from the base, by the way, is that, if he was a pilot, he could buzz your house. This consisted in risking his life to fly low enough to shake everything in the house. We considered it the height of sophistication and wit. If a Delta girl's house shook like the Russians had just dropped a bomb (and in that era we worried that they might, the bridge across the Mississippi River being so important and all) it meant you had a date that night."

And then there's the gossip:

". . . Thank you notes require a certain amount of art. In small Southern towns, there are ladies whose claim to fame is that they write nice notes. It has been said that a note from a well-bred Southern girl, who has been taught to gush, gush, gush from day one, never has a fill-in-the-blank feel. That is why it was so shocking that one of the most august ladies in the Delta sent . . . fill-in-the-blank thank-you notes . . . She had fill-in-the-blank cards that duplicated her own handwriting. Nobody would ever have guessed that they were fill-in-the-blank cards if Aunt Amelia hadn't accidentally mailed them before the bride had . . . filled in the blanks."

If rollicking humor is not enough, there are also tasty recipes and menu hints. As long as the reader knows a leg of lamb from a cinnamon stick, all is well. Even I, an avowed non-cook, enjoyed reading the recipes and the stories behind them.

Bemoaning unity candles and blood red roses ("El Tacko roses"), Metcalfe and Hays give us DO and DON'T lists that are certain to evoke chuckles and groans. Do not have your soloist sing "Ebb Tide" or "When a Man Loves a Woman," they advise. And pretty please, they say, avoid Mississippi State's fight song, "Hail, Dear Ol' State"!

Better are ditties by Bach like "Sheep May Safely Graze," which, they add, even though it's not about cows, is perfect "for any agrarian society." Another good one is "Now Thank We All Our God." (The authors add that when this number is used at the end of the wedding, they're "tempted to call it 'Now Thank We All Our God - That It's All Over.'")

I was fortunate to get a pre-release copy of "Somebody is going to die if Lilly Beth doesn't catch that bouquet" so I could share the word with Snippets readers. You can get your copy after April 1, I understand, or you may pre-order. I recommend you do that. You don't want to miss the laughs and gossip and valuable wedding hints - all yours for $19.95 at your local bookseller.

While you're out, stop in at the print shop and order those fill-in-the-blank thank you notes, a handy gift for your favorite bride.

Just don't let Aunt Amelia get her hands on 'em.


Another Jacks book review! CLICK HERE to read about
FROM THE HEART: Seven Rules To Live By by Robin Roberts, author and TV anchor
Write USADS editor Beth Jacks for a free copy.

Editor of USADEEPSOUTH, Beth Boswell Jacks is the author of 3 books (Grit, Guts, and Baseball and Snippets I and II) and is also a weekly columnist for a number of Southern newspapers. Readers and editors may contact her at bethjacks@hotmail.com.
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