Some thoughts on southern women

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 14, 2006

This week we have featured a Greenville native who has penned her first (but we hope, not her last) book. I have already scuffed up the edges of the cover of Melinda Rainey Thompson’s &uot;SWAG: Southern Women Aging Gracefully,&uot; so I am hoping Kevin can crop it nicely when he scans the lovely cover art by J.D. Adams in.

You will soon be able to purchase your own copy of this former Greenville gal's book at bookstores.

You can also order it directly from the publisher at

In the meantime, I’d like to share some of Melinda’s thoughts from her numerous delightful SWAG lists with you. Enjoy!

On the subject of &uot;Things Southern Women Find Suspicious:&uot;

n Anyone who dislikes small children or animals.

n Perfectly healthy women who voluntarily choose to dispense with wearing makeup in public on a regular basis.

n Sushi. We call that delicacy &uot;bait&uot; down here.

n Southerners who eat fried chicken with a knife and fork. We’d like to see their birth certificates.

n New husbands who have a &uot;great&uot; relationship with their ex-wife.

n People selling &uot;fresh&uot; shrimp one thousand miles from the nearest body of water.

n Grocers who say their tomatoes are &uot;homegrown&uot; even though they have Guatemalan stickers on them.

n Old people’s cooking. It pays to check under those dumplings.

And here are some &uot;Things Southern Women Could Do Without:&uot;

n Patronizing southern men who interrupt her sentences.

n Wedding invitations from people she has never met.

n News crews who search trailer parks for women in hair curlers and beer-bellied men in overalls to interview about the state of the New South.

n Dinner guests who say they are on a diet after she’s slaved all day cooking a divine, fat gram-loaded, deep-fried, Southern feast for them.

n Parents who fail to teach their children good manners.

n Men – not gentlemen, of course – who wear hats inside.

How about some &uot;Rules for Burying a SWAG:&uot;

n Bury her in the same lipstick she wore her entire life.

n Make sure there is plenty of food to feed everyone so that the dead SWAG will not have to worry about a head count from heaven.

n Do not squabble among your siblings over her china.

n Do not dress her children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren in tacky clothes for her funeral service.

n Make sure you know her favorite passages, prayers, beliefs and pet peeves.

n Do not let the grass grow so high over her head that you will need a map to find her grave.

And last, but not least, some &uot;Things SWAGs Should Never Wear to Church:&uot;

n Outfits you have previously worn to cocktail parties.

n Perfume in such vast quantities that individuals with allergies carry doses of epinephrine to church in case they are forced to sit next to you.

n Jewelry flashy enough to have been worn by one of the Gabor sisters.

n Skirts hemmed so short that your Sunday panties are displayed every time you kneel at the altar rail.

n Blouses designed to emphasize cleavage of a magnitude only appropriate for pornographic movies.

Angie Long is Lifestyles reporter for The Greenville Advocate. She can be reached at 382-3111 ext. 132 or via email at