Last week I got to visit Mom and take her on her doctor rounds (she’s doing great, by the way). Along with a day-trip to visit a friend and watching a couple of movies she’d been wanting to see, I read her my work in progress, Southern Challenge.
In this light-hearted romance, I transplant a Georgia girl (Kayla) to Texas and send her after a rancher’s son. Her best friend in the story, Meagan, is Texan through and through. In one scene, I have Meagan helping herself to a glass of tea in Kayla’s home. That’s where Mom had me stop reading.
“Nobody would ever just make themselves at home in someone else’s house like that!”
“Uh, I do.”
“Oh, surely not. I raised you better than that.”
“Mom, everyone does it.”
“No they don’t!”
“Well, yeah–everyone I know does.” From there, I went on to explain how close friends do exactly that. “I wouldn’t go through her office drawers or help myself to her jewelry box, but yeah, I’d make myself a glass of tea. Iced tea–not t-bone. I’m not talking about making myself a four-course meal here, just a glass of tea.”
“You’re kidding.” She had a bit of trouble accepting the fact that I was the rudest woman on the planet. Maybe the better description is that she was mortified. “I never did that. Ever.”
“Well, your generation was different.”
She didn’t believe me. She just figured she’d failed as a parent and Emily Post would be shaking an accusatory finger at her in her dreams for rest of her natural days.
We decided to put the issue to a vote on Facebook: “When you go to visit a good friend, do you know where her glasses are? Do you ever fix your own iced tea?”
Yep, just like I figured, it’s generational–and regional. One lady even mentioned Emily Post. Problem is, Emily Post didn’t tell you what to do if your hostess doesn’t offer you anything, and you’re just ’bout dyin’ of thirst. I figure if your hostess doesn’t play by the rules, you don’t have to either. So there.
Anyway, lucky me, one woman who responded was from Georgia, and gave me the Well, I nehvah! response I was expecting from a Southern Belle, meaning the depiction of my MC is spot on (yea!). Two Kentucky ladies agreed with her. Almost all my Texas friends as well as one of my Arizona buddies gave “heck yeah” responses, except for one Texas gal pal who’s a tad older than me. She sided with the southerners. The stinker. (You know who you are!)
One lady–who is now my new best friend–says she’d do it anywhere. She doesn’t want to be waited on. “If I’m new in the house, I’ll ask, then I’ll help myself.” She has lived in Delaware and New Mexico, and now she’s in North Dakota. Great folks in those states.
The score was tied, but I ask you, what’s the fun of having an outrageous character if she doesn’t shock the sensibilities now and then?
Mom, I love ya, but in this argument–you lose. 😀