1. Thou shalt always look like a million bucks, no matter what.
Having just birthed twins following a 42-hour labor without an epidural is no excuse to resemble a hot mess. It’s what waterproof mascara and long-wear pressed powder is for. Do not forget, your memaw will be viewing these pictures.
2. Thine family shall likewise look spiffy.
At all times thine daughters shall sport bows half the size of their craniums.
Thine husband shall not fear pink trousers.
Thine sons shall wear one-piece, hand-smocked john-johns into their teens, at which point they may switch to bow ties and flip-flops.
3. Thou shalt monogram the crap out of everything.
How else will thine daughter determine which Vera Bradley carry-all is hers after a rigorous Cheer Tumble All-Stars session at the Y?
Thine automobile shall not be exempt from this practice. Yes, thine SUV may already feature an OBX bumper magnet, thine family in stick figures on the back window and an orange Clemson paw (GO, TIGERS!) for easy identification, but then, so do half the cars in the Black Lion parking lot.
4. Thou shalt be able to stretch a penny like no one’s business.
Thine seasonally updated, magazine-worthy home featuring some impressive accent pieces and a hint of whimsy cost thou $18.36 to decorate, thanks to Pinterest. Thine children’s back-to-school wardrobe may only contain pieces from Janie and Jack and Vineyard Vines, but due to thine diligent scouting at consignment sales, it cost thou a mere $23.67.
Thou shalt never pay full retail. Thou aren’t one of those gullible New York City moms, bless their hearts.
5. Thou shalt eschew regular monikers for thine children, such as “John” and “Cindy.”
Instead, thou shalt give them last names as first names. Even if those last names sound ridiculous as first names, for example “Shepherd” or “Dillinger.”
Triple bonus points if thou art able to honor multiple branches of the family tree by doubling down with surnames for first and second names. Williams Phillips Mulgavey? Thou hast just scored big time.
6. Thine children shall possess manners that put most adults to shame.
Sure, that Northern mom may have looked impressed when thine daughter called her “Ma’am,” but thine son, Filmore Stevens Carter III, waited a split second too long before jumping up to hold the door for her. Thou shalt give him a talking-to later.
7. Thou shalt honor no other colors but pink and green.
Hast thou got that?
8. Thine children shall be raised to believe the South is the bomb.
On a regular basis, inundate thine children with stories about miserable experiences thou hast had on trips up North, where strangers don’t share their life stories while waiting in line at Target and no one uses the expression, “Have a blessed day.” Using color illustrations if necessary, demonstrate how thine offspring have escaped perdition in this lifetime by being born south of the Mason-Dixon line.
The Old Testament may have proclaimed the Jews God’s chosen people, but that’s only because its authors hadn’t been to Virginia.
9. Thou shalt fear any temperature below 70 degrees.
The first autumn day it hits 65, though shalt wrap thine children in scarves and pull wool caps over their ears. Yea, when it drops to 60 degrees, thou shalt request their school hold recess inside.
Should it drop to 50 degrees, get thine butt onto Amazon pronto to buy ski suits. Make sure thou dost have these suits monogramed.
10. Beneath thine genteel exterior, thou shalt possess an impressive set of cojones.
Thou wilt hook thine own live bait and skin that 12-point buck thou didst take down with thine crossbow.
Should thine children uncover a nest of baby copperheads in thine backyard, thou shalt smash the snakes single-handed with a shovel while carrying on a conversation with thine neighbor about her mama’s back surgery.
The above was written by a yankee mom who immigrated to the South six years ago. Although she initially experienced culture shock, she now knows she could never live anywhere else.