The Alabama Housewife

The Alabama Housewife
Words by Mary Alayne B. Long
Illustration by Nathalie Maxey

As we all prepare for the new year, I am preparing for a brand new column right here in the pages of Good Grit Magazine. I love getting to change and grow with the seasons, and I am so grateful that the good folks here let me channel that into the words I share with you all on these pages. Starting with the next issue, I will be writing about three things that are so dear to me—non profit organizations, beautiful homes, and laughter—and while I can understand how you might not automatically put those things together, I can assure you that my spin on Humanity, Home and Humor will make them add up beautifully. Stay tuned…

In the meantime, please enjoy my very last question and answer column filled with my very sassy opinions. I’m going out with a bang. 

How can I raise my little boy to be a strong man and to be sensitive? I constantly fight the urge to tell him to “dry it up” when he’s upset about silly things. 

Don’t fight that urge. No child needs to be falling apart at the drop of a hat. It’s okay to tell boys (and girls) to straighten up and fly right. We need strong men in this world. You can teach your son to be thoughtful and kind and helpful and strong all at once. Trust me—those kinds of men really do exist. I married one and raised another. 

I have an old friend getting married and the ceremony is going to be small. I still want to send a gift even though I was not invited. Is that okay? 

You are very kind to want to send a gift, and it is never a bad thing to celebrate a new bride and groom. Just remember to send the gift AFTER the ceremony. Sending one before can be seen as angling for an invite, and that is very bad form indeed.

How do you gracefully handle “hot topic” subjects with your friends who completely disagree with you? I feel like there’s a new mine field to walk through every day. 

I have multiple friends who think differently than I do about everything from religion to politics to extra crispy or original recipe fried chicken. We place our friendship first and understand that private matters are just that—private. If your friends can’t agree to disagree without being disagreeable, it might be time to do a little pruning to the old friendship tree. 

How can I stop worrying about what other people think about me? 

Try to remember that what other people think about you is none of your business. I can also assure you they’re not thinking about you nearly as much as you believe they are.