Sandie Simply Says

April 20, 2009

Spin Cycle: Mind Your Manners

Filed under: Spin — by Sandie @ 5:47 am
Tags: , , ,

This week’s Spin Cycle assignment is all about manners. Want to know more about the Spin Cycle? Visit Jen at http://www.spriteskeeper.com.

Living in the South, manners have taken on a whole new meaning. My friend, Ginger, once blogged about the fact that Southern women don’t get mad. I believe this is in a large part due to the fact that everyone is so polite down here. Even when they insult somebody, it’s done politely: “Bless her heart, she has the face like a horse’s butt.” Who can get mad at that?

I remember the minute I realized I was in a different world down here. My husband and I had stopped at a gas station just inside the Georgia border. I had to use the restroom, so I went insde. A man had walked out the door a several seconds before I got to the door. When he saw me approach the door, he stopped, walked 3 steps back to the door, and opened it for me. I was in shock! Especially since I’d just moved from an area where holding a door open was almost unheard of.

I think the biggest thing that sets Southerners apart from anyone else in the country are the ma’ams and sirs. I grew up in the midwest. Ma’am and sir were just not words that were used often. And depending on who you said them to, could even be taken as an insult (“I’m not OLD enough to be called ma’am!”). Getting used to being called “ma’am” all the time, took some time. I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m not shocked every time I hear it. And I’ve long since stopped being insulted by it (or could it be that I reall AM old enough to be called ma’am now?). Teaching my kids to use ma’am and sir is a whole other ballgame though. I just hadn’t done it.

Alyssa picked it up a bit when she started school. Her first grade teacher was a bit of a stickler for it, but I’ve noticed over the last couple of years her usage has declined a bit. Angelina, on the other hand, has just picked it up. Every time we ask her to do something, we’re answered with “Yes, ma’am!” (Doesn’t matter if she’s talking to me or Tony, the answer is ALWAYS “yes, ma’am!” We’re working on correcting that one!). I find myself hoping this is something she keeps up after we move. It just sounds right and will be a great legacy from our time here.

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4 Comments »

  1. I like yes ma’am and no ma’am (sir). I say it to my kids all the time and hope they pick it up. People aren’t so nice down here in FL since it’s a melting pot of northerners/southerners but I’m definitely a door holder.

    Comment by halfasgoodasyou — April 20, 2009 @ 6:31 am |Reply

  2. What? You’re not Southern? And when I say “southern”, I mean “Southern”. As in Southern born and bred. Since you’ve always been so polite and all, I just reckoned you were!

    Comment by Ginger — April 20, 2009 @ 8:05 am |Reply

  3. Even if I’m 10 steps ahead of someone getting to a door, I will stop there and hold it open for them. While most women ignore me and just breeze on past, most men will stop in consternation because a woman is holding the door for them. Gets em all the time! I completely understand where you’re coming from. I find the manners of visiting Southerners to be the best I’ve come across! You’re linked and I missed you!

    Comment by Sprite's Keeper — April 20, 2009 @ 9:45 pm |Reply

  4. I’m in South Florida, generally people are not all that polite. My husband always gets stuck holding the door open for folks who won’t even acknowledge him. When we drove up to TN to visit my sister-in-law, it was so surprising how the further north we got the more pleasant the people became. Gave me a bit of a culture shock for the first couple of days, I was just a tad suspicious of all the good manners…

    Comment by mrsbear0309 — April 23, 2009 @ 12:07 pm |Reply


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