Saturday, April 23, 2005

I'm no belle.

A while ago I participated in a book meme that was going around because it was interesting and I have this great love of books. Friend Houston, who passed the meme on to me asked in my comments, because I was currently reading the new Ya-Ya book, "Tell me true, Brenda, when you first read the YaYa Sisterhood, didn't you think she was writing about you and your friends?"

I've turned that over in my mind for several days now and I think the answer would have to be mostly no with a little yes thrown in. You see, true Southern Belles are born. You can't just make a decision to become a Southern Belle. The country club is a big part of their culture and that's where they make their debuts, meet their husbands, and sometimes even get married. Their lives include the Junior League because doing charitable works is part of the Belle's heritage, it's an instilled value. Young girls are put into dance classes at an early age, and the Belle's silver and pearls are always real. I knew many Southern Belle's, but growing up, I wasn't part of that special group. I think a true Southern Belle would have classified me as poor, white, trash.

Our father was mostly absent in our lives and my mother had to struggle to feed and clothe us even though they stayed married until I was 10 or so and from age 6 to age 14 we lived on the farm where my grandfather sharecropped. During those years we didn't even have indoor bathroom facilities.

I knew we were poor and although I had some great friends who were true Belles, I never invited them to my house because I was ashamed of being poor. I had moments of great awe when I accepted a few invitations to their homes and saw how the other half lived.

As for the yes part of my answer, I do believe I had the courage and abilities to take nothing and make something of it and was able to scale many mountains and mole hills that many in my family never even attempted. I have a kind heart and love my family, for the most part, no matter how dysfunctional or undeserving they are at times. I can be bold, brassy, and assertive and know how to depend on noone but myself when the need arises. Please and Thank you, and Yes Sir and No Ma'am are part of my vocabulary. I think these are all abilities that Southern Belles possess.

I guess my love of the Ya-Ya books comes from reading them and seeing that even when you're born with the silver spoon, it can become tarnished. So even the good life has it's need for the silver polish.

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