A story our friend and my husband’s co-worker Ginna Parsons posted on Facebook:
Just wanted to say what a chivalrous man John Pitts is. Today I got out of my car at work after lunch and had apparently pulled a “Julia Sugarbaker.” That’s right. The back of my skirt was tucked into my drawers. John followed me across the parking lot, caught up to me and quietly said, “Uh, Ginna, I think your skirt is kind of twisted there and it looks like a two-hand job. You might want to fix it before you get in the office.” Then he averted his eyes as I adjusted said skirt. Fortunately I was wearing a slip. As if that’s any consolation. That’s why they call him Mr. Pitts. Cathy, you’ve got yourself a good one!
I do have a good one. My husband, a sports editor at one of Mississippi’s best daily newspapers, can be sort of prickly, I think — it’s fair to say that most people approach him somewhat cautiously. But those who truly know him know he was raised right and that he ALWAYS goes out of his way to help anybody who needs it, even in a fashion crisis. Also: Years of watching women walk finally paid off for him. P.S. When Ginna put this on her Facebook timeline, I was amazed at the young ‘uns (and I’m talking women in their 30s here) who 1) did not recognize the “Julia Sugarbaker” reference and 2) do not own a slip. What is this world coming to when you have to explain who Julia Sugarbaker is or why sometimes you really need to wear a slip????
Etiquette rules have loosened up considerably since the days when women had to make sure they had a pair of white gloves handy when they went out, but good behaviour never goes out of style. I thought, anyway. Recently Younger Daughter and I were at a popular local lunch spot in Florence, Alabama, and put our purses on a table to save it while we stood in line to order — only to find our table stolen and the thieves brazenly offering to let us sit there if we wanted. Uh, ‘scuse me??? We declined to share and plotted revenge all through our salads — spilling water and dropping plates of food figured prominently. Arrrggghhhh! Then later that afternoon, I posted about it on Facebook and got tons of responses and advice, plus the suggestion to write my next newspaper column about it. So I did: http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20100108/ARTICLES/1085027
I admit that I consider myself a courteous and polite person. I mean, I know to send thank-you notes and I know to say “please” and “I’m so sorry to bother you, but …” and I know it’s the right thing to do to smile and be pleasant and use good manners so that we all get along, goshdarnit. So how did I come to commit a practically unforgivable social faux pas not once but twice on the very same day??? What were those acts of misbehavior and why will two women probably never speak to me again??? I’m too ashamed to even say it here, so you’ve got to read my weekly TimesDaily newspaper column at http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20091023/ARTICLES/910235005 to find out — and please please please let me know I’m not the only one who’s disgraced herself this way. On the other hand, becoming a social pariah will sure free up lots of weekend time, so there you go: Silver lining!