SOME observations from "New Times in the Old South: Or Why...

Salmagundi

September 30, 1993

SOME observations from "New Times in the Old South: Or Why Scarlett's in Therapy and Tara's Going Condo," by Maryln Schwartz (Crown Publishing Group):

"Rules, rules, rules. My grandmother in South Carolina had four sets of good china and rules for every occasion she was to use them. It was lively, but it's from a time gone by. I don't worry about what's correct to serve and when, I don't have to. I work. My husband works. When we entertain, we use a caterer. I let her worry about the details. I just worry about the bill."

-- A Charlotte, N.C., woman on entertaining in the New South.

"No matter how many new ways and new rules I've learned traveling to other parts of the country, I still will never forget the things my grandmother always emphasized. My favorite is that you should always wear your neckline lower in the back than you do in the front. It's not the impression you make, it's the impression you leave."

-- A Tennessee woman remembering her Old South grandmother.

"No greater etiquette battle is being fought in the South today than over the use of names. One woman found a new solution to a very Old South problem. When she told her new dentist, a Southern chauvinist, that she would be responsible for her own bill, he still insisted on having her husband's name. When the bill was mailed, it was sent to her husband. The angry patient decided fair is fair. She sent her payment to the dentist's wife."

-- A Southern woman's story of new times in the Old South.

"Southern women today spend a lot of time analyzing themselves. They still love being flirtatious. They still love dressing up. But when they read 'Gone With the Wind,' they aren't as tolerant as their mothers were over Scarlett's fixation with Ashley Wilkes. Talk about a dysfunctional relationship. That wasn't love, that was an addiction. I personally think that Scarlett was terrific. But I can't help but wonder what she would be like today -- out in the business world and with a good therapist."

-- A Mobile woman on how Southern women have changed.

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