Family, group of people

Karen Phillips Smith, Wilmington


Author: Karen Phillips Smith

Southern women can sing your praises to the sky or slash you apart with the nicest sounding words you could ever hope to hear. They are, for the most part, soft spoken and yet can say more with a cut of the eyes than a whole debate club’s worth of speeches.

I do not know a weak southern woman. They are strong women who are allowed to be soft and have the uncanny ability to be subtle like a freight train. They are known for their charm and their assertive, feminine forbearance and sharp senses of humor with surnames that reflect their long family histories.

Entertaining is in their blood. Setting a proper table complete with freshly starched and ironed napkins and tablecloth. Grandmother’s monogramed sterling silver flatware is evidence of their breeding and manners. Even if she is 90 years old, she always refers to her father as “Daddy.”

Although, certainly raised with an emphasis of breeding and manners, they also possess the keen ability to relate a story or pass down advice with humor, even if sometimes a bit bawdy. For example, “Darling, it doesn’t matter if your groom doesn’t know the difference between a shrimp fork and a pickle fork, you can always teach him,” or “You can always wear white when you walk down the aisle even if it’s your third time.”

Always remember that southern women know gracious talk is an art. They say what they please then add “Bless Your Heart.”