This phrase came up in a conversation I was having with a friend who lives up North. It came up again at our neighborhood Bible study on Wednesday. My Northern friend said that this phrase is confusing for them sometimes because they are never sure exactly what it means...if it is good or bad. At Bible study, one of the ladies (Southern born and bred) said she hated hearing this phrase. So, I thought I would take a minute to clear up any misconceptions you might have when you hear a Southerner say, "Bless Your Heart".
Bless Your Heart is a phrase that Southerners can use for good or evil. I don't know it if started out that way, but it's the way it works now. Here are a few instances of its use and how it should be taken:
"You wrecked your car? Bless your heart, that's awful!" = This is a Southerner being sincerely nice and hates that these circumstances happened.
"I see you got your hair cut...bless your heart" = This is never good. This is telling you that this was not a good decision, please don't ever do this again.
Then, there are some obscure instances...
"Bless your heart, those are the most interesting salt shakers I've ever seen!" Hmmmm, do you say thank you or I'll find you something different to use?
I admit that sometimes, I don't even know how to take it. But, if I use "bless your heart" it is always in a good way....meaning that I sympathize, empathize and generally hate that something bad is going on in your world.
While I'm at it, I would like to clear up a few other misconceptions about Southerners:
1) I have all of my teeth. Well, except 2 that I lost last summer due to an abscess. A dentist, who shall remain nameless, broke a drill bit off in my tooth (go ahead and cringe and say "bless your heart" because it is appropriate to do so) and then put a crown on it. It had no choice but to abscess...that was miserable.
2) Down South, it is Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Mellow Yello, Dr. Pepper, etc. There is no soda or pop. We don't know what that means.
3) "Yonder" is an actual location.
4) We do not fry everything in oil...sometimes we fry it in butter.
5) We are always "fixin'" to do something.
6) We have hissie fits and conniptions and they are always pitched!
7) We push buggies, not carts.
8) We make friends while standing in line at the store or in the bathroom at Chick-Fil-A.
9) Texas is not a Southern state.
10) Southerners always bring food to a funeral.
Hope you enjoyed this little bit of silly! Happy Saturday!