Women to my left. Women to my right. Pastel colors everywhere. Enough conflicting perfume scents to make my head swim. This might be the largest female gathering on planet earth.

And I’m in their hotel lobby.

If you want to know what I’m talking about, visit town during a Mary Kay convention. You’ll see women of every shape, size, and hair-color—too many different Southern accents to count.

Such as the eighty-year-old woman who sits next to me while I’m eating a lukewarm complimentary breakfast. Her daughters are with her— granddaughters too.

“We ah from Marietta,” the elderly lady says, using eleven syllables.

Then, instead of shaking my hand, the lady extends her wrist. Kind of like the Queen of England does when she blesses a NASCAR race.

Anyway, I’m not sorry about my strong affections for the women of Dixie. There’s something special about them, and I’ll die believing that.

They are well-behaved, and unpredictable. Using only one breath, they can cuss you blind, then turn around and preach a full-blown sermon. Sometimes they do both at once, using so much charm you end up writing them a thank-you card for it.

They dress to the nines, often spending upwards of six hours before a bathroom mirror. Like the lady I saw in the lobby wearing ten-inch heels, a puff-pink suit, and fourteen feet of hairspray. It must’ve taken her a week to get ready.

Or the young girl in the hoop-skirt and bonnet—it took three grown men to get her out of the hotel elevator.

My tenderness for these females runs deep. This might have a lot to do with the food they make. They can whip up cornbread, crank out biscuits, and deep fry a hundred chicken livers before you’ve even brushed your teeth. They’re not ashamed to eat what they make, and by God, they don’t expect you to be either.

They are all beautiful. Short, tall, round, skinny, well-bred, or just a little red in the neck. But they are something else.

They can convert church bulletins into a hand-fans, take sermon notes on an old envelope, and won’t hesitate to tan the hide of a sass-mouth—even if he’s is in his forties.

She’ll watch football, out-scream you at a tailgate party, open beer bottles with car keys, and stink up your house with a fresh pot of collards.

She’s a single mother, a widow, a full-time employee, craftswoman, housecleaner, church lady, cracker-jack bridge player, expert bedmaker, Mary Kay sales associate, and church pianist.

She can pay her own taxes, cut her own grass, train your bloodhound, sew her own clothes, hold Bible study in her living room, and can flat throw a baby-shower. She is confectioners sugar on the outside; one hundred percent black powder underneath.

Take a good look at her, this isn’t the perfect woman. She’s even better than that. She is Southern.

And she’s all mine.

35 comments

  1. Karen - March 1, 2019 9:11 am

    “Using only one breath, they can cuss you blind, then turn around and preach a full-blown sermon.”
    This is so spot on. You are such a gem, Sean.

    Reply
  2. Karen Roberts - March 1, 2019 9:56 am

    Wow, you nailed it on this one Sean…and you are blessed, (and you know it), to have her in your life!

    Reply
  3. Kay Fulmer - March 1, 2019 10:45 am

    “She is confectioners sugar on the outside; one hundred percent black powder underneath”. You nailed it. Best description of southern ladies I have ever heard!!! You are the best since LG.

    Reply
    • Roxanne - March 1, 2019 1:36 pm

      Absolutely my thoughts! Best line ever!

      Reply
  4. Jean - March 1, 2019 10:46 am

    I think you know us pretty well…..and Sean you are a lucky man!

    Reply
  5. Elizabeth Edens - March 1, 2019 11:12 am

    Love it!!!! And proud to be one!!!

    Reply
  6. Jennifer Hill - March 1, 2019 11:23 am

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    Reply
  7. Bernadette Wyckoff - March 1, 2019 11:26 am

    Once was a Mary Kay Texas gal…now LA(lower Alabama Roll Tide) retired hair stylist/salon owner. Beauty and the Beast…best way I know how to describe a true Southern Lady. Truly blessed….so are you Sean

    Reply
  8. Gerri Harper - March 1, 2019 1:06 pm

    Love it, Love it, Love it!! I could swear I heard the ghosts of Lewis Grizzard and Julia Sugarbaker reading over my shoulder. Thanks Sean!

    Reply
  9. Nancy Shields - March 1, 2019 1:14 pm

    I fear “Southerness” is going by the wayside. Most every region’s uniqueness is dissolving. Masked me sad. I love today’s piece. Thanks.

    Reply
  10. George Curl - March 1, 2019 1:14 pm

    Well stated. Nothing beats a Southern woman,

    Reply
  11. Shirley Northington (Skelton) - March 1, 2019 1:17 pm

    Can I get an Amen?!!

    Reply
  12. Roxanne - March 1, 2019 1:35 pm

    On behalf of southern womanhood, I thank you. The intricacies of the south will never die–we ARE southern. And that is sayin’ somethin’!

    Reply
  13. Gail Pollock - March 1, 2019 1:44 pm

    Amen brother!

    Reply
  14. Connie Havard Ryland - March 1, 2019 1:55 pm

    Thank you. As one of those Southern women, it’s nice to be loved and appreciated. We are capable of so much. That scares a lot of men but that’s okay. There are enough out there like you that appreciates us. And we don’t need anyone’s approval either. We just go about what we do, because it’s who we are. Love and hugs today and every day.

    Reply
  15. Jack Darnell - March 1, 2019 2:18 pm

    You got a lot of nerve, or SHE told you to be there! Either way you took your life in your hands.
    At’s a lotta wimmin in one place.

    The southern woman, Good post, HOWEVER, I got the best one, sorry about that, but I got to choose long before you!
    Sherry & jack (Central Florida)

    Reply
  16. Sue - March 1, 2019 2:20 pm

    Love this, and you’re a fortunate man to have her in your life.

    Reply
  17. Amy - March 1, 2019 2:36 pm

    Love, love, love! Congratulations on winning the affections of such a woman!

    Reply
  18. Jess in Athens, GA - March 1, 2019 3:03 pm

    Sean, I do appreciate your Southern pride. I’m right there with you, brother!!!!

    Reply
  19. Jones - March 1, 2019 3:23 pm

    👏👏👏👏👍👍

    Reply
  20. Barrett - March 1, 2019 3:29 pm

    Great story. I am an Alabama girl and I agree with all you said. But I can out scream my brother, husband, and the fans in the stadium when my team plays. Most of us can use a gun too, if necessary.

    Reply
  21. Cathi - March 1, 2019 3:54 pm

    As a lifelong Southern woman, thank you so very much for your kind words. I’m glad Jamie has someone who appreciates her!

    Reply
  22. DONNA - March 1, 2019 3:55 pm

    Thank you, Sean. We Southern women are just as you describe! — peace, dc

    Reply
  23. Mary - March 1, 2019 4:02 pm

    YES! YES! YES!!! Nailed it!

    Reply
  24. Edna B. - March 1, 2019 4:02 pm

    I loved this one. Yup, those Southern ladies are something else! But then again, some of our Northern ladies are just as sweet and feisty too. Your description fits my daughters to a tee. Enjoy that beautiful woman of yours. You have a wonderful day, hugs, Edna B.

    Reply
  25. Linda Moon - March 1, 2019 4:40 pm

    You have spoken TRUTH for Southern Women everywhere, even those of “my people” who migrated up NOATH. Thank you for complimenting us all!

    Reply
  26. Ala Red Clay Girl - March 1, 2019 5:13 pm

    If raised properly, G.R.I.T.S. (girls raised in the South), are true steel magnolias. So proud to be one and happy that you have one on your arm.

    Reply
  27. Janet Mary Lee - March 1, 2019 8:20 pm

    Ooooh! I loved this!!! And here’s to Jamie and all your women folk that made this possible!!! 😉

    Reply
  28. Jenny Magoulas - March 1, 2019 9:06 pm

    I love reading your blog! It brings a little sunshine into my life daily! I am one of those Southern women that talks slow ,with many syllables and often asked where are you from??? My mother , thought lipstick and hairspray could fix any bad day! I lost my mother almost a year ago to Alzheimer’s. As long as she knew me, she would always say “ honey, now matter how old you get… never forget to look pretty! “ My mother, Olivia Rebecca wore lipstick, hairspray… to keep every hair in place and beautiful painted nails (on fragil hands with crooked little fingers full of arthritis) until the day she died. Thank you for taking me with you on your journeys, it feels like going home on so many days ♥️

    Reply
  29. Beckie - March 1, 2019 9:06 pm

    Well said!!!

    Reply
  30. Shelton A. - March 2, 2019 12:41 am

    Ahhh, the charm and grace of the Southern Belle. Women of many, many talents.

    Reply
  31. Carol Heidbreder - March 2, 2019 3:20 am

    Oh my goodness! I most certainly saw myself in there today ! Loved it!

    Reply
  32. Kathy Coxwell - March 2, 2019 7:04 pm

    Love this, even though I’m not. MK user or wear an abundance of pink. You always manage to capture the real Southern woman without making her appear dumb, as so many writers do. Thank you!

    Reply
  33. Steven - March 5, 2019 3:59 pm

    A friend sends me your musings daily and since I am a NC boy now hailing from TN you kinda stuck as one of my favorite writers. Not up there with John Grisham mind you but you’re still young…comparatively.
    You described my mother from NC, my sister from Florida by way of NC, my wife from SC and my second wife from Georgia to a T! Well written my boy!

    Reply
  34. tammyroughton1 - March 7, 2019 9:56 pm

    Sean,
    I love your paintings of a Southern Woman. I love the nods to pearls, outfits, and hairstyles. I am like you about growing up to be a good old man, I want to be a Southern Woman when I “grow” up. I love the idea of Southern Hospitality.

    Reply

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