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…can get away with just about anything as long as they start with “Bless his/her heart…” or end with “…God love him/her.”

Really, it’s criminal.


You know you’ve heard it.  And I think it’s spreading all over the country.  People can make fun of the South all they want, but secretly – I think you’d love to be able to just tell it like it is sometimes, and Steel Magnolias from Richmond to Dallas know the trick.

Just a few examples if you don’t mind:

Bless her heart…

…She can’t help being ugly, but she could have stayed home.

…Betsy’s a wonderful baker, but I’m afraid to eat anything from a kitchen that dirty!

And then there’s the “God love her” thing.  “Bless her heart” is reserved for minor to major insults.  “God love him/her” is for serious character asassination.

“God love her”…

…10 children, she couldn’t say no to an ugly midget.

…she’s a wonderful person, but with that sorry husband, she’s just too much work.

…if she hadn’t married money, she’d have no taste at all.

You’ve met them, seen them on TV and in the movies, and you may have even quoted one of them here or there.

You know who they are, the Julia Surgarbakers and Clairee Belchers of the world, the women you love to hate and want to be.

One of my favorite scenes from Steel Magnolias is when Clairee and Truvy are talking abou the new park dedication…

Clairee: I’ve just been to the dedication of the new children’s park.
Truvy: Yeah, how did that go?
Clairee: Janice Van Meter got hit with a baseball. It was fabulous.
Truvy: Was she hurt?
Clairee: I doubt it. She got hit in the head.

The only thing missin’ was a “God love her” or “Bless her heart”.

So, if somebody winds UP a sentence with “Bless your heart”, get ready, you’re about to be slammed.  And if they end it with “God bless you/her/him”, well, it wasn’t meant to hurt – more’n a little anyway.

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