Morphing Into A Southern Lady, Finding My True Self

Have you ever thought [or said] something that made you say to yourself: now where the heck did that come from?

BE MINDFUL AND PAY ATTENTION to your thoughts, they say. Tune into yourself, they advise. Be cognizant of what you’re thinking about, they encourage.

Then you’ll know your true self, they claim.

Well apparently, if we agree with the basic premise of the foregoing, I’m morphing into a southern lady.  Here are three real life examples from last week in which I paid attention to what I was thinking while the person in front of me babbled on.

 🔷  ~

#1 – The cashier at the drug store went on a small rant when I gave her cash for payment for my purchase.  She immediately started talking about pennies, specifically her dislike of them, and how recently our county tax rate had changed, making her job more difficult because [somehow] the new tax rate made more work for her when she had to make change… so she was going to get a petition going to change the tax rate back to what it’d been before.

My thought: THAT DOG WON’T HUNT

~  🔷  ~

#2 – The receptionist at the doctor’s office told me in a wordy girlfriend-to-girlfriend way that she was not happy about the newly remodeled waiting room because she could no longer see the TV on the wall in the waiting room without getting up from her seat and walking into the room itself, instead of sitting behind the reception counter… doing her work… presumably.

My thought: SHE’S YOUNG

~  🔷  ~

#3 – An acquaintance, known for being a drama llama, told me with tears in her eyes about her latest troubles that stemmed from being asked to do too much in too short of time for her to feel in control of her project.  Yes, she was sure the system was actively working against her… until she double-checked her text message and realized that she was getting twice the amount of time she needed to do her thing.

My thought: WELL BLESS YOUR HEART

~  🔷  ~

UNTIL LAST WEEK I DIDN’T realize that underneath this midwestern nice exterior lurked a southern lady waiting to summarize the scene in front her with pointed polite colloquialisms that ooze passive-aggressive charm.

Well tie me up and call me Loretta*, it’s like I’ve found my true self, y’all.

I suppose it’s a matter of time before I start saying these things out loud, but with a midwestern accent that may negate their impact.  This will in no way make me less happy, because I can’t stop the people from babbling but I can have fun with it in my way.

What do you say to yourself when people drone on and on about topics you don’t care about? Are you a southern lady, too? Spill the beans in the comments below.   

* Gold star to anyone who knows where that Southern saying came from!

Published by

Ally Bean

Observant. Humorous. Adaptable. Pleasantly crazy. Midwestern by chance. Kindhearted by choice. Wordy.

106 thoughts on “Morphing Into A Southern Lady, Finding My True Self”

    1. Z-D, I get that. I used to be more east coast, but lately I’m using southern lady sayings. Like I’ve evolved to a new level of being. So darned genteel. 🙄

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  1. Funny, I recently wrote a post about colloquialisms, ABean. I haven’t posted it yet. When people babble on about nothing, I’ll usually tune then out. Sometimes, if another party is present, I’ll do a “polite” eye roll and then carry on about my business.

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    1. Jill, I’ll look for your post, colloquialisms are such fun. The thing is that once I get hold of some of them I cannot not say them, or think them. I usually pay attention to what people are saying to me, which is probably why I need a ready supply of southern lady sayings to make the social interactions more agreeable for me.

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  2. Somehow, being able to use “Bless your heart” appropriately is a true southern talent. I have an aunt in Virginia who can dot that so well. She can also convey about a thousand different meanings by saying “Well, I declare”

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    1. Dan, I love the “well, I declare” saying. I’d forgotten all about it, but now that you mention it I had an aunt in FL who could throw that one around like a true southern lady. Thanks for reminding me of her.

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  3. If a Loretta you’re aspire for, please count the syllables, there must be more.
    Loretta Lynn’s been taken, alas. Loretta Sue, methinks, adds just the right bit of sass.

    Signed, Janet Louise (to one side of my family). Alas, I’m drowning on again.

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      1. Hi Ally, or is it now Aly May? it’s me, still on my phone before my day fully begins. Just know the southern folks in my family always used both names to call me, so you needed one too, to be a proper southern belle. ( My poetry tends toward the hallmark card level. :). Glad you liked it.

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    1. nancy, I love your inner thoughts! I think “let it go” often, too. I wonder if there’s southern lady way to say that so I could include it in my repertoire of sayings?

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    1. LA, nope, the Loretta saying is from somewhere other than song lyrics. I hadn’t thought of Dolly, but when it comes to southern charm she’s got it. I’m good at looking impasse, but what I’m thinking is a whole ‘nother thing.

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  4. I haven’t run into any long-winded folk in some time Ally Bean. I do however think that I run more to the British for my silent criticism. I have always enjoyed “Don’t get your knickers in a twist” when confronted by the random, overly annoyed person spouting their complaints.

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    1. Deb, oh I do like your British inner dialogue. That’s something wonderful to have going on in your mind while listening to these babbling folks. Maybe when I’m done being a southern lady I’ll try your approach.

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  5. A true southern belle would make sure she paid with exact change the next time she purchased something from the drug store. All in pennies. Counting them out on the counter one at a time. And with a sweet tea and moon pie smile on her face, of course…

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    1. evilsquirrel13, oh what an idea you have there! I cannot imagine how that cashier would have been if I tried that. A five dollar bill got me this rant, can you imagine what she’d say if I only had pennies, her archenemy! 😏

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  6. In these situations (not in real relationships) I just love passive-aggressive. They make me feel so good. I do the “well, bless your heart” every once in a while. I had an email rant from a drama queen friend (or former friend…still debating) this past week. My response was delete, delete. I would have loved to be in person and give her one of the southern expressions. She’s not dumb so she may get it except that she’s so deep in her own $h!t. Truly enjoyed this post. Needed a giggle.

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    1. Kate, I like the distinction you make between being passive-aggressive toward strangers/acquaintances versus friends/family. You’re right, there’s a difference between those situations.

      I’m fond of delete, too. It’s not in my nature to engage in lengthy conversations, oral or written, with someone who is, as you said so perfectly, deep in her own $h!t. It’s for that reason alone I think I need to learn more southern colloquial sayings, just to be prepared. 🤨

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  7. I’m part southern (thanks, Dad!) so I simply can’t help myself. And I can’t tell you how many times Bless your heart comes into my head (and sometimes even out of my mouth).

    This is why I do everything I can online, civilization coming to an end be damned. I simply can’t stand all the chatter and talking and… *faints*

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    1. Tara, my father lived part of his childhood in the south and I have relatives who’ve always lived there, so I’ve been exposed to southern sayings my whole life. I understand what you mean about not being able to help yourself, especially when random people start babbling to me about whatever has got them in a snit. 🙄

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  8. This was hilarious. I usually think “Ah youth” for the young, but the one southernism that has really taken hold in me is “y’all.” It didn’t take long for me to start saying it when I moved South, and I don’t think I’ll ever shake it.

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    1. Akilah, I’m glad you enjoyed this. I was surprised when I realized what I’d been thinking last week. I say “y’all” once in a while, too. I’ve been around people who use it all the time, so it’s there in my lexicon, waiting to be said. I say good for you for adopting it and making it your own.

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  9. I don’t think I pay much attention to what I’m thinking when I’m listening to someone speak. I shall have to start doing that, but, in some cases, I’m pretty sure I’d better hope paying attention doesn’t cause the words to flow out of my mouth, unbidden.
    I left a comment so I could be a cool kid. What a feeling!

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    1. Carol, you are definitely a cool kid. Thanks for commenting. I realized last week what I was thinking, but now I wonder how long it’s going to be before I blurt out what I’m thinking, instead of being more reserved. I do like southern sayings so… maybe… not… so… bad to say them!

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  10. I have loved “bless your heart” ever since a southern friend told me its true meaning. Those southern gals will cut you with a smile… and you’ll be none the wiser. For some reason that Loretta quote reminds me of Steel Magnolias… a great source of southern sayings.

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    1. Janis, I’d forgotten all about Steel Magnolias. I need to re-watch it so I can up my southern sayings repertoire. As for the source for the Loretta saying, I’m sorry to tell you, sweet pea, it’s not from a movie.

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  11. I love those passive-aggressive sayings, but they wouldn’t fit in very well in the PacNW where I live. We are known for our openness and bluntness, not always a good thing. Is there a Midwest accent? What does it sound like?

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    1. Margaret, I dare you to try a southern saying where you live and see what happens. 😉 Yes, a midwestern accent is more nasal sounding and slightly flatter than other areas of the country. That being said I do a believable southern drawl having lived near and/or amongst southerners all my life. I could pull off southern lady.

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  12. I don’t know Southern sayings but I really liked Drama Llama! Reading the comments here, I can see I’m going to be using “Well, bless your heart” a lot more frequently. Thanks Ally!

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    1. Janet, yes, we all know at least one drama llama, don’t we? 🙄 I wonder what people will make of your “bless your heart” when you use it. Not everyone knows the subtext that goes with it.

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  13. What do you say to yourself when people drone on and on about topics you don’t care about? Are you a southern lady, too? I’m no lady, Southern or otherwise. If some idiot is blathering along about something that never did interest me, I’ll check out mentally. Apparently that shows on my face, because I’ll become aware that the droning has stopped and the blatherer is staring at me with a weird look on their face. I have to regroup hastily…and hope they didn’t ask a question. My mind is totally blank at such times or I’m thinking about how much I have to pee, and how soon I can politely run away from the boring-er..

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    1. Melanie, obviously you know yourself well. How funny that your mind goes blank when faced with a babbler. I find that I’m drawn in at first, but once I realize how this conversation is going, I turn southern in my thinking. We all cope in whatever way works.

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  14. Well…if your mama raised ya right, you must reamain polite and listen to the said person’s ramblins. Until of course you remember you have a casserole in the oven!!!

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    1. dennyho, I’m a good listener. I have that gift, but I also find myself wondering how I might gracefully exit the conversation. A casserole in the oven is a perfect exit line!

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      1. I must share this story…my very good friend was visiting from Pittsburgh, I took her to my favorite haunts in Richmond. Friend got ‘stuck’ at a coffee bar listening to cashier talk about something, cannot remember what. Barista was very nice, and kind, and funny, but slow as molasses according to my friend who tried unsuccesfully to extricate herself from the conversation. My friend thought it rude to be held captive when all she wanted was a cup of coffee and to be off shopping again. I must admit, I was a bit shocked at her resonse which was ONLY to me of course because her mama raised her very well. But it did cause me think about how we all are used to what we know. Now having said this, I spent several years in P’burgh, C’bus, and west coast and I was RIDICULED and practically blackballed for using ma’am. My mama would have shot us for forgetting ma’am or sir in her pressence. Who is right and who is wrong?

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        1. That’s a good story pointing out it’s all in your experiences and expectations when it comes to talking with people. I wouldn’t think a thing of a barista telling me a long involed story because people have done that around me since I can remember. I can understand though how if you weren’t used to it, it’d be weird. I don’t hear many people use ma’am and sir around here. I’m sure that it seemed antiquated to some people who heard you use it. But whatcha gonna do? Be yourself, I’d say.

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  15. I don’t think I know many southern expressions, other than the ones you mentioned. I sometimes will say someone is going to be on something like a duck on a June Bug. I think I got that from Scarlett.

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    1. J, we live close enough to the south to hear these sayings said, without irony, around here. I rather like the subtle snarkiness of some of them, but I didn’t realize that they’d been programmed into my brain. The duck on a June bug one sounds very Scarlett.

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  16. I grew up in the South, but I don’t know what I do when someone babbles on. I’m probably just used to it and keep a smile on my face. As to y’all, I never quit saying it. It comes in so handy.

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    1. Anne, people seem to find me and then launch into lengthy monologues about their problems. I’m a good listener with an impassive face, nodding my head, but what I’m thinking inside is where the fun is!

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  17. Lately, saying, “With all due respect” before a sentence is considered to be disrespectful now in the military. Seems understandable anywhere, since usually what comes after is what isnt what the hearer wants to hear.
    Great post, Ally!

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    1. krcc, I didn’t know that about “with all due respect” but I’ll keep it in mind. I don’t think I say that often, although I do find myself from time-to-time needing to tell someone something they don’t want to hear. Not sure how I preface unwanted news… 🤔

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  18. Okay, I confess — this post has sent me FAR DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE! You knew that I would Google your starred quote didn’t you?! That led to loads of interesting background — some of it more “colourful” than others! Thanks for this interesting diversion to my evening! 🙂

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    1. Donna, well butter my butt and call me a biscuit, you and I are alike! Once I realized I’d thought “that dog won’t hunt” I researched it to see its source. I know quite a few southernisms, living where I do, but there are hundreds more. And like you said, some are too colorful for me to say, but honey child, some are perfect.

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  19. I love all the Southern idioms and I worked in a diner where all the employees were from the Deep South and I learned a ton of them. “Well bless your heart” is so much more genteel than saying “you’re kidding, right?”or “puleeze!” You pegged them right. Ally have you ever seen the YouTube videos of Southern women with their expressions? My friend who grew up in Charleston, SC has sent me some in the past. There are multiple videos and just search for ” Southern Women Say” … I haven’t seen them all, but Episode 6 was one of the funniest IMO. I can’t get the link to work, so search for Sh%t Southern Women Say Episode 6.

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    1. linda, I know most of my southern sayings from hearing other people around me say them. I’ve read a few articles with lists of southern sayings, too– but haven’t seen anything on YouTube. However I’ll go over there and search for some. I love words and humor so morphing into a southern lady was probably inevitable for me. Thanks for the research idea.

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    1. Eilene, good point. You have to have the right cadence when you say southernisms. It requires a confidence that I may have grown into over the years. I’ll think on that. And yes, I agree, the comments on this post have been wonderful. Thanks for adding to them.

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  20. LOL – is it bad that I’m laughing out loud and so right there with you on a sudden southern bend to responses to life? Us Midwesterners are so polite it hurts sometimes. But then we wise up and remember its blogworthy and fun to just listen. Care to sip some tea? Wait…that’s different and not just southern (sweet tea-like), but I’m sure you get it!

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  21. Hilarious! My parents are from the south, so I have usually said most of the above statements, including, “Lord, have mercy” (or its variation “Oh mercy”), “if the creek don’t rise” (which was a head scratcher to a kid growing up in the city, and others.

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    1. L. Marie, I’d forgotten about “Lord, have mercy” and it’s a classic. The “creek don’t rise” is already part of my personal lexicon, having moved to a subdivision wherein that thought is often literal.

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  22. Episode 7 is pretty funny too Ally. In fact funnier than the other one I mentioned. I was telling my friend about your post and she said “no, send her Episode 7!” These ladies are not as sweet as sweet tea and the idioms will just kill ya. (Sh%t Southern Women Say Episode 7)

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    1. I just watched Episodes 6 & 7. They’re wonderful. I wrote down 7 sayings that I heard as a child, but have long forgotten. Oh my, these are my people. Thanks for telling me about this.

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      1. You’re welcome Ally. I knew you’d get a kick out those woman after reading your post. When my friend got the first e-mail with the video, she passed it along and said “OMG – I know we sound just like this when I go back home and get together with my old school buddies!” And those buddies were in an all-girls college prep school (Ashley Hall). There were so many expressions, I lost track of them.

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  23. I am LOVING these. Absolutely loving it. Living in the south (which is very different from being born in the south or growing up in the south) can feel a little Body Snatchers — you wake up one morning and wonder where that mental drawl came from. Terrific post!!

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    1. Laura, I’m happy to know you liked these southern sayings. I was surprised with myself when I realized I was thinking them, but I’ve found my people. I love that you have a mental drawl going on in your mind, that’s way cool. I’ll work towards that, too.

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  24. I am a complete novice when it comes to southern colloquialisms, passive aggressive or not, so most would be met by me with a blank stare from me whilst I try to interpret. Although I voiced my opinions once to a presumed southern belle to which she claimed (incorrectly) that I was as,” high as a Georgia Pine” – little did the presumed southern speaker know that was Double Dutch to me. So I think I’ll ‘see you’ one reluctant hunting dog idiom and raise you one Aussie slang, “…a few sangers (sandwiches) short of a picnic” Now that would confuse them! I think I’ll give , “That dog won’t hunt” here and see what happens! Fun.

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    1. Forestwood, I like your Aussie slang and think it’d fit right in with the southern lady sayings. I’ll keep it in reserve for when the time is right. I’ve not heard “high as a Georgia pine” and would wonder about its meaning, too. Does it mean you’re drugged [high] or idealistic [tall tree near the sky] or I don’t know what else? Interesting saying, I’ll give you that.

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      1. I really can’t say what the intended meaning of the online georgia pine comment was, Ally. I was advocating for gun control which was a huge topic in Australia at the time and she was a big supporter of personal gun ownership. Does that give it any more context? I took it to mean she thought I was crazy but perhaps it was some kind of Georgian drug reference?? The thought of an Aussie bogan and a southern belle word sparring over the net presents an intetesting visual. Sort of like Crocodile Dundee meets Scarlett o Hara!!! If it was a reference to being high, she had that so wrong on both counts! Lol! Perhaps the southern belle in you will come across it sometime and let me know what it really means Haha! Thanks again for a fun post.

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        1. Ok, I’ve researched what this pine tree saying means and it means you’re intoxicated therefore not to be taken seriously. That makes sense in your conversational context. I adore your visual of Dundee versus O’Hara. It’s perfect. Have a happy weekend. It’s always fun *chatting* with you.

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          1. Ah. Intoxicated. Is there such a thing as a Georgia Pine? Those Georgians must be pretty wild – Now I have these mental image of Georgians climbing pine trees when drunk – LOL! I guess as I don’t recall having had a drink when we had our conversation. But I did learn something from it. Happy Easter to you and yours, Ally.
            Amanda

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  25. My mother is as Southern as the day is long, and since she’s the voice in my head, there’s plenty of that. Just aphorisms and meringues, hm? I am, as we do, turning into my mother, but I’ll never match her grace — not that she didn’t try. I cain’t help it. I was born this way! Kinda funny you’re turning into a Southerner. Also, what interesting tales 🙂

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    1. joey, my father spent part of his childhood in the south so maybe I’ve got a latent gene in me that is all about being a southern lady. Now you, with a true blue southern mother, can’t help but know how to be politely passive aggressive when need be. Ain’t it the truth about turning into our mothers? Scary sometimes.

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  26. Wish I had time to read all the comments –
    And I like the dog won’t hunt one

    Have you heard that some say those with a deep southern draws renewed perceived to be less intelligent –
    Hm
    And liked your fun with colloquialisms and the culture norms (sometimes feels like head games in certain areas)

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    1. Prior…, I have heard it said that a deep southern drawl is considered a sign of being less intelligent. That’s completely absurd and I don’t buy into that thinking at all. I know what you mean about cultural norms feeling like head games. Many colloquialisms are not for today’s times, but the ones that are acceptable are spot on to getting a point across.

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  27. This is one of those posts where the comments start to take on a life of their own 🙂

    I particularly like Rivergirl’s comment about “southern women will cut you… and you’ll never even feel it”. Oh, the posts I could write about the team of Americans we hired once to help us in our Canadian company to become more competitively aggressive. One of them was a gentleman from the South. It would have been a serious mistake to think his slow Southern drawl tagged him as ‘less than intelligent’. As Rivergirl said, he could shred you in seconds and you wouldn’t know what hit you … and you’d probably end up thanking him for it afterwards!!

    btw – no one will ever suggest I’m becoming a southern lady 😉

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    1. Joanne, you’re right about the comments on this one. They’ve been a delight to read. I grew up visiting relatives in the South and living South-adjacent. I suppose it should be no surprise to me that I’m morphing into a Southern Lady. I learned early on about the sweetly veiled snark that comes with the people who live in that part of the US.

      I’m intrigued by a company that hires a team of Americans to teach its employees how to be competitively aggressive. There’s got to be a blog post story in that experience.

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      1. hehehe … there likely is 🙂 but I’m not sure how I’d write it. I should think about this a bit.

        We learned a lot from these guys … but I suspect they also learned a few things from us 😉

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