Southern Mamas Opine on the Call Home App

Hello folks, let’s chat…I’m somewhat confused, and a bit concerned over all the new tech toys, particularly those they call “wearables.” For instance, say you’re a self-conscious young girl who’s taller than all the boys in your class, always needing to be reminded to stand tall. And let’s just say — hypothetically, of course– that your Southern Mama is constantly pulling your shoulders back and reminding you to suck your stomach in? Well, help is here, y’all. You can get yourself a custom corset instead, one fitted with sensors and speakers so that every time you slouch it will emit a loud and irritating sound. Some people might say that’s six of one and half a dozen of the other, but I’d never say that cause Mama might be listening and hey– at least you can remove the batteries.

And how about the matching tech bracelets you can share with your loved one? Push a button and it vibrates on the other person’s arm. These could be used for an emergency or simply to tell the other person that you’re thinking of them. Or, if you’re the church pianist you could buzz your girls to quit talking during the service instead of glaring at them– and before their father thumps them on the head with his big old men fingers. Again, hypothetically.

There’s much, much more, but they all raise serious questions our society’s increasing inability to communicate.

I’m thinking of the recent debut of the Call Home App. Have you heard of this?

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It was developed by an irate mother whose kids wouldn’t answer their cell phones. The parent can shut the child’s phone down until they call home for a code to unlock it. Apparently, there’s one exception– they can call their parents or they can call #911.

I’m just saying, I broached this with a group of my girlfriends, all Southern Mamas, and there was a clear consensus. Should it get to the point that they have to shut down their child’s cell phone to get him or her to answer it, #911 would be that child’s best bet.

Everybody Puts Their Drawers on the Same Way

Hello folks, let’s chat… As part of our instruction in the social graces, belles are taught to keep our stomachs sucked in and our noses lowered, (lest we drown when it rains). We’re also encouraged to remember that everybody puts their drawers on the same way, one leg at a time. This because Southern Mamas can’t abide their offspring succumbing to intimidation. Our training serves us well. For illustration I bring you a story from a recent trade show.

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I was delighted to catch up with author friend, Olivia deBelle Byrd. Olivia is a southern humorist like myself. She likes to say if you can’t make a living as a southern humorist with a name like Olivia deBelle Byrd, you aren’t trying. Olivia has recently released a gentle love story set in a bygone era entitled Save My Place. Last weekend she found herself presenting this debut novel on an unlikely panel with two distinguished MBA’s from Harvard and one internationally published college professor– all with resumes long as my arm, all there to present their serious war volumes. In the very middle of them sat Olivia deBelle Byrd, who considers her claim to fame being a proud Kappa Delta oliviafrom Birmingham-Southern.

I was front row center, sending “You go, girl” vibes. It proved necessary.

Olivia may have been trying to figure out how she wandered into battle but knowing how the other soldiers pulled their drawers on helped put steel in her spine. Every time the discussion turned to her, Olivia deftly segued the heavy war talk right back to her own tender tale with grace and wit that charmed the room.

We had supper together that evening, and in the bounce back style that would make any Mama proud, southern or otherwise, it was clear that Olivia deBelle Byrd hadn’t simply survived a tough situation, she was planning to maximize it.

“Just think, Shellie,” Olivia said with a smile. “Now I’ve got myself a war-ah story.”

Pretty sure she gave the word an extra syllable for good measure. Well played, Olivia deBelle Byrd, well played.

Hugs, Shellie

Why I Avoid Pretension At All Costs

Hello folks, let’s chat… It was a dressy white tablecloth event. A formal dining area beautifully decorated and adorned with chandeliers, impeccably mannered servers tending to well-dressed guests– the whole nine yards. For me, it made the moment that much better.

While I do try to act like I have enough sense to come in out of the rain when I get invited to places like this– especially if I’m the speaker, and I was– I refuse to put on any airs. I can mix and mingle with anybody but pretention is a kill-joy and I do love me a good laugh. It’s been my experience that even the swanky events deliver, maybe even more so.

I was finishing a delicious salad at the head table when I noticed the woman opposite me enjoying a small bowl of soup. I mentioned that it looked good. She agreed that it was delicious.

“I’m not sure if it’s an etouffee or what,” she offered. “I didn’t order it. The waiter just set it in front of me.” She shrugged her shoulders. “I guess because he noticed I wasn’t eating salad.”

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With that, the other diners chimed in. “It looks like a seafood bisque,” someone said. We all nodded. And that’s when I noticed that a

second bowl had been placed to my immediate left, but that seat was still empty. My suggestion that the rest of us take our spoons and have a taste test was met with hearty appreciation. I was reaching for the bowl when the waiter returned with our dinner plates, the prerequisite chicken breasts with veggies.

“Excuse me, sir.” My new friend addressed the waiter. “Can you tell me what type of soup this is?”

The man hesitated. “Well,” he said. “That’s not soup, ma’am. That’s sauce for the chicken.”

To her great credit, when Soup Girl realized she was knocking out everybody’s gravy, she laughed as loud any of us.

As I’ve so often said, “Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves. They will never cease to be amused.” You can quote me on that.

Hugs, Shellie