Monday, May 7, 2007

Southern Lady Screaming

I have 4 installations with 4 different artists scheduled for 4 different days this week. For those of you who don't know what that means, it translates loosely to saying I plan to climb 4 different mountains on 4 different continents, all while coddling 4 different artistic temperaments, and all while smiling for the young fans who line our path.

What this means blog-wise, is that I'm relying on little snippets I wrote in a quieter time. First up, a small explanation of Southern Lady Yelling.

If you know any women from the South you’ve probably heard Southern Lady Screaming, you just didn’t know it. Raised with the ideal of being a gracious and courteous lady at all times, the Southern Lady knows on an almost cellular level that she must NEVER make a scene, or the sky will fall down. Or something else *really tacky* will happen. ‘Tacky’ is another crime the Southern Lady scrupulously avoids (and a subject for future discussion).

So when confronted in public spaces by the appalling behavior of a friend/husband/relative, Southern Lady does some yelling, but not the usual kind. When Southern Lady yells at her friend/husband/relative in public, it is done with no volume at all. It is done in deathly quiet. There may be some hissing as she forces her words out between gritted teeth and an awful smile. Her hand – if the criminal is in reach – will either be holding on with a grasp like a steel clamp, or will be carefully folded away to foil the urge to slap.

There are two dead giveaways for Southern Lady Yelling. First, while the scary-quiet yelling is going on, look at her eyes. Southern Lady is looking at you with intent to incinerate. If you look too long it might actually happen so look away if you know what’s good for you. Second, after the yelling is over, when Southern Lady recounts the excruciating scene of humiliation/embarrassment/horror, she may actually raise her voice – but ONLY in the re-telling, as a matter of emphasis and perhaps to add a touch of comedy to the story. After all, Southern Lady knows how funny it is for you to imagine her actually yelling at someone in public.

1 comment:

George said...

"intent to incinerate," indeed! You've captured the essence of another Southern Lady-ism I like to call, "smiling while stabbing you in the back." The quiet, calm, calculated stare, clinched-teeth smile and biting insult. It's all just too precious.