I am often confronted with the accusation that, “Yankees are just so rude!”
I am always shocked. I don’t think Yankees are rude at all. I think we are honest. Not a mean, “You’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny”, kind of honest, just an, “I’m not going to waste your time or mine by pretending to like/accept/enjoy something or someone who I don’t” kind of honest. We are tactful, but to the point. That way, you always know exactly where you stand. .
I have discovered that, here in the south, it is considered rude to be honest.???? Here, it is much more socially acceptable to smile and be cordial in public and then use the all-inclusive, “Bless her/his heart”. This phrase is spoken in a somewhat exasperated tone and with head bowed, slowly moving back and forth in the classic “no” posture. In fact, this is not only proper, but perfectly acceptable and preferable behavior.
Disclaimer for those of you North of the Mason-Dixon Line: Now, don’t be confused.
The phrase “Bless your heart” is used, not to pronounce a true desire that God actually “Bless” anyone, or, as an offer of empathy/sympathy, which is what we mean if we say it in the North. No, Southerners, are reared to be polite at all costs. So, when they simply cannot stand not to speak an unkind word, this phrase is the golden eraser. It miraculously covers and negates the “unkind” words that were just spoken, thereby reestablishing the status quo niceties. Once it is spoken, all awkward silence from the potential social faux pas fades.
Everyone smiles, nods in relieved agreement, and they all go on their merry, polite way.
I just prefer to tell you what I think and have you tell me what you think. I may not like the truth, because, well, sometimes the truth hurts. However, I would rather have someone shoot straight with me any day of the week than try to “soften the blow” so as to not hurt my feelings.
If we don’t agree, okay, if we do, great!
Then, we can all go on our merry, authentic way. It’s quicker and simpler. There’s no guesswork.
Just keep it real. Please people.
Maybe that’s another thing I prefer about the North: the lack of pretense.
I’m comfortable with that. It’s another thing that just “feels” right.