Southern Thing Column

Southerners fake? What does this Boston columnist know?

A Boston columnist says we’re all fake, y’all. The nerve. Read my response in an excerpt below of this week’s column from  To read the rest of the full column, click here or click the link at the end of the excerpt.

Is there such a thing as being too nice? If there is, you know a Southerner gone and done it. We just can’t help it. We don’t even like to honk at other drivers unless we really, really have to. And even then we tap the horn as lightly as possible so the noise will be less jarring … and we follow with a sheepish shrug and an apologetic finger-waggle. We’re just born that way.

I came across a post on the Odyssey saying none of that is real, that Southern niceness is fake. Yep. Someone actually came out in public with this claim: “Southern hospitality involves straight-up lying to people.” That just chaps my dimpled fanny, y’all.

The writer continued by saying Southern hospitality means “I’m completely two-faced and you’ll never know how I really feel about you.” I take exception … but only to part of that statement. We are not two-faced but there are times when people won’t know how Southerners really feel about them. And that’s a good thing. Does anyone – other than a prospective spouse, the family doctor and the dog who just pooped in the house – really need to know our true feelings? For instance, a woman could go her whole life without knowing her butt looks big and not miss that knowledge. Not even the teensiest bit. Remember what mama said: “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

The anti-Southern columnist – who, you will be shocked to learn, hails from Boston – even dissed our common courtesies, saying, “You don’t have to be rude, but you don’t have to be nice. If you have to hide your social judgments with ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ and ‘bless your heart;’ you’re being fake. I prefer the north, where people don’t hide their judgments in kind words: they were them on their sleeve.”

I have two words for this writer: Golden. Rule. “Judging,” honestly or otherwise, is un-Southern – just like it would be un-Southern for me to call this writer a disagreeable boob and ask if she’s wearing sandpaper underpants (or has some other underlying cause for her cantankerousness). Of course, I wouldn’t dream of such a thing. Click here to read the full column.

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