Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Man's behavior might be a 'Southern thing'

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Southern: I shared your question with the most "Southern" gentleman I know -- the writer and humorist Roy Blount Jr., author of many books, including "Save Room for Pie: Food Songs and Chewy Ruminations (2016, Sarah Crichton Books).

Roy responds: "I don't think anybody should get away with anything by calling it 'Southern,' any more than I think anything should be put down by calling it Southern. I would say the 'mother's-death' excuse for expanded affection expires, universally, after three to five days.

"The question this raises for me is less about regionalisms than about the Golden Rule, which I feel is flawed in its execution here. 'We treat others the way we would like to be treated' is working for Boyfriend and 'Miranda,' because they both like being treated the way they treat each other. If either of them were in "Southern Exposure's shoes, they might like being treated to the same behavior they're treating her to.

"But she doesn't like it. So Boyfriend has to say, 'Oh, I didn't realize how those little pecks on the lips look to you. I'll bear that in mind. But you don't think I kiss her the way I kiss YOU, do you? C'mere.'

If he did that and she was still unhappy, she should go back to the air-kissers up North."

I'll add that you've stated your case. You should not bring it up again. The fact that he does bring this up makes me believe that he's attempting to gaslight you.

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