My Mom is from the South and she married a Yankee. She was the first and only one in her family to do so which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it did take her family some getting used to my Dad’s Yankee ways (not to mention his accent!) Growing up, we divided our summer time between NJ and South Carolina so that Mom could visit with her family for a spell. (Southern for time). Wanting to fit in as Southerners, Sissy and I would begin to mimic their drawl and lose some of our Yankee-ness while we were there and we watched as our Mom’s accent increased the longer we stayed.
Those were fun times for us as life down South is a bit slower than up North. People take the time to talk a bit more to others and the words, “yes ma’am, no, ma’am, yes sir and no sir” are quite prevalent. In fact, we just revisited her family home a few weeks ago and the ‘ma’ams and sirs’ are still widely used which I adored! There’s something about being respectful to everyone which makes me so happy and I think that the way in which the Southerners all seem to still use those phrases makes life there even sweeter.
My Grandmama, being the mother of 9, had a saying for everything and as children, my Mom often took to repeating them to us in order to make her point. In fact, she used them so often that my Dad suggested she write a book called, “Mama Says” for Grandmama had a little ditty for practically everything! For instance, when we would misbehave, Mom would say, “pretty is as pretty does.” As little girls, Sissy and I would always want to be thought of as ‘pretty’ in the way that we had manners and made our parents proud by the way we were acting. So it was ingrained into us. We knew, “pretty is as pretty does” and we would comment on anyone who was ‘acting ugly.’
Well, one day, I guess I was doing something less than stellar and so Sissy at age 4, decided to remind me. But instead of saying the quote as it should be, she declared, “Remember, pretty does, pretty do!” Well, I got the gist of what she meant and my Mom who overheard her, giggled and the saying stuck. Now Grandmama’s saying has evolved to, “pretty does, pretty do.”
Do you have any family sayings that have stuck? Please share!