Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Bless your heart
Bless your heart-
is a perfect example of : It's not what you say, but how you say it.
You will hear this often down South and if you're unfamiliar with the phrase you will smile at the person who said this to you and walk away feeling good about yourself.
But you may have misinterpreted its true meaning.
Like ketchup, it's versatile. It can be used to augment something great, like a french fry or cover up something ugly, like head cheese.
French Fry Scenario:
I often encounter this when I'm at the grocery store with my kids. My five busy bees buzzing around helping get what we need and returning back to the beehive with their loot.
For an outsider it's mayhem.
For us: choreographed chaos.
Bless your heart - the man, woman, or child behind me will inevitably say. And what (I'd like to think) they mean is: 'Wow, that's a lot of kids! They are so helpful and well behaved...you are an amazing mother. '
Little do they know I have bribed my children with lollipops that are waiting for them in the car, my entire shopping trip took only 15 minutes, I forgot 75% of the items I originally came in for, and we left with enough marshmallows to last us through the next millenium.
But the overall sentiment is positive and uplifting.
A warm fuzzy, if you may.
Head Cheese Scenario:
Perhaps you know someone who regularly likes to indulge in the evening cocktail right after breakfast.
You could say, "That Miss Sheila, she drinks like a fish...bless her heart"
And what you are doing is judging her by pointing out her drinking problem.
Alleged drinking problem.
Maybe it's a cultural thing to throw back a martini with your scrambled eggs...
What do I know?
And if you say it with a twinkle in your eye and a smile on your lips, it won't even seem ugly.
Even though it is.
An ugly, Ugly, cold prickly.
I am drawn to the duplicity of this idiom. And if I am to be honest, I will admit that I am more suited toward the latter usage.
The Head Cheese scenario.
But since I'm a Jersey girl at heart it sounds ridiculous rolling off my tongue no matter what the intent.
In fact, every time I use it, I do so in jest.
Poking fun at myself for being an impostor.
So I'll raise my glass to you Miss Sheila when my 5 buzzing bees, arms overloaded with bags of jumbo sized marshmallows, topple you over at the grocery store in the morning, spilling your drink, desperately trying to earn their lollipop.
Bless my heart.
Mimosa with pomegranate juice
fresh squeezed orange juice
here's what I do:
1/3 part OJ + 2/3 part Proseco + splash of pomegranate juice.