Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Charm and the Southern Male


By Carol Laurin

It is generally assumed that all Southern men are charming, but that is not actually the case. Most are merely polite, although in today’s world that will certainly pass for charm. They softly call you “ma’am” and open the door for you or help you pick up the books or packages that you dropped. They give you that gentle deference that says, “Yes, indeed, I certainly noticed that you are a woman.” But that’s not charm.

No, a truly charming Southern man is a dangerous creature who doesn’t come with a warning label. It would do no good. The more you were told to keep your distance, the faster you would run toward him. We want what we shouldn’t have, what isn’t good for us. But the danger here is not a deliberate intent to cause harm. In fact, it is just the opposite. These men are honestly born with a deep appreciation and affection for all women, regardless of age. They truly love and are fascinated by women. They often have no idea of the havoc they wreak.

First the way he looks directly into your eyes. Then that soft drawl, spoken in a voice that is warm and masculine but not too deep. It has a cadence too, a strong, pulsing rhythm that lulls your senses and weakens your ability to think. At times the sound will drop to almost a whisper. His head will lean gently toward you, making you feel like you are the only woman in the world. You can feel the warmth of his body from two feet away and his scent, clean and definitely male, drifts toward you. Those eyes that twinkle at you, the innate flirtation that comes as natural to him as breathing, the implied sexuality – if he has a dimple, may God have mercy on your soul.

Your heart will beat faster, your breathing will become shallow; you may feel lightheaded or slightly anxious. It all flows over you like warm honey and you don’t care if you drown in it. If every fiber in your body yearns for him, you are in serious trouble. And when the time comes and it’s all over, you will remain under that spell to some degree for the rest of your life. It becomes a part of who you are.

Someday I will sit on the porch of an old folks’ home, rocking quietly in the shade with a smile on my face and a distant gleam in my eye. The nurses will whisper to each other and wonder, “What in the world is she thinkin’ about?” And in my mind’s eye will be that long, slow, sweet memory of a charming Southern man, the softness of his voice in my ear and the heat of his touch on my skin. And as long as I can remember him, I may be old, but I most certainly will not be dead.


I am proud to be both a native Texan and a southerner. My family has been in Texas since 1836 and in the South since before the American Revolution. After years of writing only as a hobby, and doing a lot of technical writing as part of my job, I am currently working on a novel.