Sunday, February 3, 2013

February Faces: Smart Man

"It is no wonder that every Southern man of family is careful to say he outmarried himself. He can pretend it is a matter of courtesy, but it has become a convention and a convention with teeth in it."

Andrew Nelson Lytle in A Wake for the Living

I wonder if there are any Southern men who still say this? That they married up? Do women need to hear this anymore? Does it even matter anymore? There are certain older men I knew and a few I still know who act as if they are the luckiest men in creation to have married their wives. And I believe they're sincere. Maybe this is true of all parts of the country, the world even, but there really is a vanishing breed of Southern men from my father's and uncles' generation who were so courtly that you left their presence believing that they held women in such high esteem. 

[This young married couple were photographed in June of 1944 at Valdosta, Georgia.]


  1. My husband says that all the time. He really does.

    His parents were from Oklahoma and Texas - is that the Southern influence on him?


  2. I am only a Southerner of the last 7 1/2 years, but I know several older couples at church who fit this very well. Jack is 86, a retired bank president and a true Southern gentleman in all respects and treats his wife, Miss Mary in very high esteem. It is wonderful to see.

  3. I just heard this in the reverse and thought it was funny (it was said all in fun). Someone told a guy we know that he 'got lucky' to marry such a nice gal. He said he did, but she was the one who married up. ;)

    You're call on this one is right...holding wives in high esteem is not really high on the totem pole anymore. Everything now a'days seems to be about equality.

    Thank you for your considerate comments on my blog today. Your kindness was appreciated.

  4. Dewena, When My Ted remarks that he is a lucky man...I say "yes, you are and don't forget it !" Then we both laugh. I see couples that look as if they were made for each other and I call them "Toast and Honey". They just fit. The ones that don't match up, you'll hear people say,"What did they ever see in each other." LOL..xoxo,Susie

  5. Wasn't ever that lucky. And I think men of that distinction are perhaps a vanishing breed. Or maybe that's because I don't know them.

  6. A few years ago, I heard a football coach say about his wife, "I punted way beyond my coverage." Which was a way of saying he married up.
    After almost 39 years, I'm still happy with my choice :)

  7. I think this way of thinking still exist. I think both my husband and I feel this way about each other....and for totally different reasons :)

  8. My husband tells me this quite often. I feel the same about him too :) I think making each other feel special is very important in a relationship.


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