Southern Women

I once asked my father how old you have to be before you understand women. His response was, “I give up. How old?”

I have relatives and friends in all parts of the country. But Southern women have a way of doing things that are just baffling to men.

In the South, women clean their house before the housekeeper arrives.

Wife: “Oh, my gosh! I forgot. The cleaning lady is coming today. Quick, get up at help me clean the house!”

Husband: “But she’s the cleaning lady. Isn’t cleaning the house her job? Isn’t that why you hired her?”

(Wife sends husband the death stare)

Wife: “Don’t just sit there, get up and help me. We can’t have her show up and see this place looking like this. It’s a wreck. What will she think? She’ll tell everyone…”

Husband: “What? That she’s cleaning dirty houses?”

(Wife sends double death stare)

Wife: “You start the vacuum. I’ll clean up the kitchen.”

(Husband searches liquor cabinet for the small bottles he saved from the last airplane ride)

But, it isn’t just the housekeeper that gets assistance; it’s also the dishwasher.

Wife: “Honey, don’t forget to wash the dishes before you put them in the dishwasher.”

Husband: “Wait. What?”

Wife: “You need to scrub everything really good and then stack everything in the right place in the dishwasher. Plates on the bottom facing the silverware, and all Tupperware and other plastic items on the top shelf.”

Husband: “Why can’t I just hand wash the dishes and put them in the drainer?”

Wife: “Don’t be silly. That’s what the dishwasher is for.”

And then there are Southern women’s hairstyles.

A Southern woman will rip pages out of every magazine she can find (even Reader’s Digest is fair game) to narrow it down to the 36 hairstyles that are closest to what she wants.

And then, just prior to going to the hairdresser, she will spend hours fixing her hair as close to the style she found that she likes best.

Wife: “I’m headed to the beauty shop.”

Husband: “It looks like you just got back from the beauty shop.”

Wife: “Why are saying nice things? Did you buy another set of golf clubs?”

When the wife returns, the hairstyle looks completely different than the one she said she wanted.

Husband: “That doesn’t look anything like the one you showed me from Readers Digest that you said you wanted.”

Wife: “I know. When I got to the beauty shop, the lady in the chair had this style. I told her that’s the one I wanted. Isn’t it beautiful?”

(Husband goes back to liquor cabinet)

My father left this earth a couple of years ago. I’ve never forgotten what he said when I asked about understanding women.

I’m saving that response in case one of my sons asks me the same question.

In the meantime, I have to go turn on the vacuum. The cleaning lady will be here in half an hour.


©2019 John Moore


John’s book, Write of Passage: A Southerner’s View of Then and Now, is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. You can reach John through his website at


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