Spur of the Moment

Southern mamas and their side eye

Being a country girl, I swear when I open my mouth either sticks or my mama fall out. We also all know that the South has a flavor and language all its own. Some of these things would make a Yankee do a double take and say what the heck. 

Good gussie!

Good heaven Lord Almighty!

Go outside if you’re gonna kill each other.

The higher the hair, the closer to Jesus.

Y’all play pretty.

Sweatin’ like a backrow Baptist.

You done messed in your knickers this time.

And so on and so forth. Now in Mississippi, the only thing that’ll get people moving quicker than a tornado in a trailer park is a good saying or the look that said, “Run!” Well, in my case, my mama had the side eye to get me going.

I swear my mama has the deadliest side eye look this side of the Mississippi. Y’all know what I’m talking about here. You see that look on your mama’s face that dares you, and she’s lookin’ at you from the side of her head. Now my mama is the sweetest lady there ever was, and she’d give you the last shirt off her back in the middle of Antarctica. But don’t piss her off. And if you got that side eye … just say, “yes ma’am” and get ready to bend over.

I’ve seen my aunt disrespect my mama’s house one too many times. My mama would give that look and then flip that woman’s big ass over the couch. Funny story, but not for here.

Now my mama ain’t no little lady. She ain’t no prim and proper Ole Miss southern belle lookin’ for a husband. She had one (aka my daddy) for over 30 years and then kicked the marriage to the curb because he could be an asshat.

People either love her or hate her, there’s no in-between. When it comes to this woman you know exactly where you stand, and if you get out of place she don’t mind putting you back into it.

My mama is a lady of the Delta mud. She’s smart, but not school smart. She quit school, but got a GED and spent almost four years in the Air Force. I love my mama, but when she gets pissed, I was only ever stupid enough to step to her when I was a teenager. I don’t do that so much anymore.

Oh, but that side eye. There’d been plenty of times as a teenager (I was stupid!) that I’d get that look of warning, the brain would be saying shut up, but my gums will still be just a flappin’. And then they wouldn’t be.

And I didn’t dare walk away from her in the middle of argument. I’d have the hounds of hell after me for disrespecting her that way. Not just her, but daddy’s belt too sometimes.

Don’t get me wrong, I know it sounds like my mama was abusive. Good Heavens no, she just wasn’t going to be disrespected in her house, especially not by some snotty-nosed little half-pint. I’ll be honest, as a teenager, I wasn’t the greatest to my mama. I never quite realized what she did for me until I became a mom myself. Or how much of a butt the men in my family can be.

My mama is a strong woman that raised strong kids, even if we can be little dicks sometimes. She put herself through nursing school when I was 14 because my dad said it would get too hard and she would quit. She said watch me and graduated a year later with a 4.0 GPA.

He got that side eye that day too.  


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