The Southern Belle’s Handbook

By Loraine Despres

Honestly, I don’t check out the birthplace of lady authors before I buy their books. So I don’t limit my reading to only southern women authors. But, I can sometimes guess where a woman has grown up by the way she writes. I must admit, I do enjoy the flare and wit that often shines through in the writings of a girl raised in the south.

This is probably why Loraine Despres’ The Southern Belle’s Handbook┬áput a smile on my face the first time I read it. Mind you, Ms. Despre was not born in the south, but she was only a wee babe months old when her family moved to Louisiana, so the south is where she was rooted and grounded. This darling little handbook is along the lines of a quote book but the quotes are rules that make up this “survival manual for women.” The introduction describes this handbook as “a foolproof set of timeless wisdom that can help every woman accomplish exactly what she sets out to achieve in any realm of her life…”

Some of my tabbed pages include the following rules:

  • A Southern Belle picks her fights…there are so many other ways to get what you want. Rule #26
  • When you get to be a certain age you realize that the only thing you have time for is doing exactly what you want. Rule # 56
  • Forget his stomach. The surest way to keep a man happy is to become his cheerleader. Rule #33
  • Men fantasize about being a knight and rescuing a maiden in distress. Encourage this, it’s a good thing. There’s no reason for you to have to struggle while pushing a heavy bag into an overhead compartment. Rule # 73
  • Men will say anything. A Southern Belle pays attention to what he does, never to what he says. Rule #79
  • Throughout history, men have drooled over beautiful women. But there’s no point obsessing. There are plenty of misguided women who starve themselves to perfection, work out to exhaustion every day, and sit home alone every night – while at the supermarket you’ll find lots of women who are fat, feisty and married. You’ve got to keep things in perspective. Rule #87
Happy reading! If you have a favorite southern woman author, do tell me who and why you like her and I’ll share your scoop in a future blog.