I’m not sure if I’ve just been in a REALLY great mood for the past couple of months or if the world has been quasi polite, but this has been long over due, and luckily the lapse has provided for one doozy of an Uncouth Moment. Indeed, this week’s Moment is brought to you by what many Southerners believe to be the next best reading after the Bible itself: Southern Living. So imagine my surprise, while thumbing through my roommate’s latest edition of the southern mag, did I stumble upon an article rude enough to make the Uncouth list! But Uncouth it is, and so I digress…
This month’s issue consists of an article in the very back of the magazine entitled 15 Ways To Charm Her. The byline reads, “Want to impress a Southern girl? Just think ‘What would my grandfather have done?’ ” The author then goes into a list of criteria that we Southern women expect all men to do for us, with the point that manners are still en vogue, if only still in the South. But it’s not the list itself that is so Uncouth, as some of them are definitely desired and appreciated by many women (e.g. #4 Hold Doors Open, #9 Call Us). On the contrary, it’s the attitude and spirit behind the article that lights my fire. In one concise page, this article manages to deem southern women as haughty, imperious brats who have expectations that their men MUST follow in order for us to love them. Suddenly we have become demanding, impossible-to-please snots who require a picturesque Rhett Butler of a man to satisfy us. That’s right gents…be at the height of perfection at every moment, and you just may earn our love. And our love is definitely worth the effort. Just keep reminding yourself of that when we’re nagging you to death about being perfect.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t have expectations and ideals of the type of person you want to be in a relationship with. You totally should. But you shouldn’t ‘expect’ them to bend over backwards to be the EXACT person you envision them to be. My boyfriend is the finest of gentlemen, and I have dreamed and hoped for someone like him to come along. But the easiest, fastest way to turn him into a jerk (or better yet, get rid of me) is to embrace a list of expectations and demands that he must meet in order for me to love him. Any charm I did have has immediately wilted into nothing more than snottiness with an accent.
The reality is guys aren’t perfect. And thankfully, neither are we. Otherwise, I suppose a man’s equivalent to this would be, “Woman, look hot, cook and clean for me. Not only that, but have dinner ready at the exact time every day so that when I–your knight–waltz in, I may be optimally pleased after toiling for you all day. Oh, and don’t forget to iron too. You have now earned my love. You’re welcome.”
While men rarely overtly say it in this day and age, there is still a physical and domestic quality in women that men find attractive. But if a man wrote an article in the same tone as in Southern Living, he’d be the target of random slaps in the face for the rest of his life. And a love life? Forget it. So it makes me wonder why the writer of this article thinks that women somehow have a right to address men in such a manner and expect that they willingly acquiesce to our list of perfection without the slightest hint of resistance. Seriously, honey, you may not want to mention this article on your next date.
Ladies, want to be impressed by a true gentleman? Then appreciate the hell out of him. He likely won’t do everything perfectly. In fact, hopefully he won’t, otherwise you’d never appreciate him. But roll with the punches and love and cherish him for who he is. And if he is a true gentleman, he is responding in the same kind toward you. Because while we are gorgeous, charming and extremely lovable, we ladies aren’t perfect. Believe it or not, even the ones writing for Southern Living.
Darlin’ update: I found a fellow blogger who apparently has a much different take on this article than I do. Regardless, she has made my job even easier by typing up this article, as you need a subscription to view it via Southern Living’s site… 15 Ways To Charm Her . Thanks Little Red Blog’n Rouge!