My mother-in-law is the ultimate southern woman. Never mind that she lives on the eastern shore in a house that fronts the Chesapeake Bay, was raised in Maryland and went to school in Delaware – she is the ultimate southern woman.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not an insult. This is perhaps the greatest compliment that I could give a person. You see, I am from the south (although those rednecks in Mississippi thought otherwise) so therefore I am qualified to make this decision. I must also stress that I love my mother-in-law, Mommy Sue. She, after all, provided me with a fully trained southern wife, ready to go with me to the New River Valley in Southwestern Virginia, which, despite some confusion by Yankees, is not the same as West Virginia, but I digress. Her mother is also a perfect southern woman, with the ability to talk with her hands while holding her martini without spilling one, single, drop.
Why is she the ultimate southern woman? She never leaves the house with wet hair. As the matter of fact, I have only seen her with wet hair once. At our house here in the NRV. Just before bed. She never leaves home without makeup perfectly applied. When I say perfectly, that means you really can’t tell she is wearing any, she just looks a little more, well, perfect. Her clothes compliment the event, situation or occasion. She remembers to wear or display things I’ve given her, no matter how small, when I visit.
There are always leftovers in the fridge, ready to be eaten. There is always a cheese plate when you arrive to visit. Her hair is perfect. She wears big floppy hats and big sunglasses outside, yet sports beautifully tanned legs. She has a Scottish Terrier named Mattie. Her husband is happily obedient. She could carry on a conversation with a tree, if necessary, for a lady never allows a conversation to die or become stagnant. She says what she means and, even if it’s negative, people still smile. She buys, washes, irons and lays out her husband’s clothes and they are also appropriate for whatever situation they are to be in.
She throws the perfect party, pours the perfect wine, roasts the perfect chicken (ahead of time, so she can mingle with guests), makes the perfect salad (which shall be served in a bowl, separate from the main course, for God forbid, they may touch otherwise), bakes the perfect pie. She plans everything. Everything. Nothing is left to chance.
She runs her household like a great general runs his battle campaign. The deer and woodchucks are pretty diversions, until they eat her landscaping. Then they must be shot. She wears the perfect pearls, the perfect diamond (big enough to cause envy, small enough to be tasteful), shops at the right stores and knows all the right people. She is gracious to the help and remembers waiter’s names. She loves gossip, but would never spread rumors. She knows all that is going on around her that may impact her husband in any way.
You see, you don’t have to be from the south to be the perfect southern woman. Being a southern woman is all about being the perfect woman – something that can be accomplished anywhere. Except New Jersey.