Put a monogram on it

July 13, 2017


This week’s column reminds me of a joke — how much does a sorority girl weigh? Oh, about a monogram! Hahaha! Hey, you know you laughed!

Alexis Savannah Smith always complains she can’t monogram her guest towels because no one will use them. Monograms are a very big deal in the South, and a good Southern mother knows to not only be careful with selecting the child’s actual name, but to also consider the initials and the potential power held by a good monogram.

Suddenly, everyone thinks it’s cool to be from the South. People from hither and yon are moving down here in droves trying to fit in by inappropriately blurting out, “y’all” and sticking two foot tall vinyl monograms on the back of their mini-van windows which somehow makes them think they’re Scarlett O’Hara. Yes, it’s true we love monograms, but there are a few guidelines everyone needs to remember.

Although monograms didn’t originate in the South, Southerners have taken to the trend like a pig to corn, and monogram everything we own. Our five options for dealing with anything that sits still more than ten minutes is; 1. shoot it and eat it, 2. spray paint it, 3. fry it, 4. put a bow on it, or 5. monogram it. Of course, you’re allowed to double up and put a monogram on the bow for double cuteness points, but remember, combining spray paint with a monogram is just seen as vandalism, as poor Flora Ursula Crocker learned as she was being read her rights by Decatur’s chief of police.

Southerners cherish monograms because it’s the ultimate symbol of family. It’s who we are, and where we belong. We value the place from which we came and cherish the stories of hard working ancestors. The recent trend of exploring geneology isn’t new to us at all. My husband, whose New Jersey and New York families came through Ellis Island only two generations ago, had to rely on computer programs to locate his long-lost history. I, on the other hand already had paperwork on seventeen previous generations of Southerners on both sides of my family. The information was written in numerous family Bibles, recorded and documented in the church records and cemeteries. Our stories were orally passed down, with tales of colorful kinfolk, including one, who is one of the 13 ghosts of Alabama. Having a registered haint in my family makes me a dad-gum, official, bonafide belle. I know who my people are, and my people know me, and our shared monogram is the tie that binds.

“Sugar, these aren’t just regular old gumbo spoons, the “L” on the handles lets you know they are the . . . click HERE to finish the story at AL.com. – Thank you, darlings!


  • Oh yes, monograms galore over here! I just can’t get rid of the face towels that I had monogrammed for my girls, like twenty years ago! They must be very good quality towels and even better monograms, to have held up over time. I lovingly still use them even now that they have homes of their own. I recite their full names every time I look at those towels! Like a silent prayer and warm memory.

    • Come to think of it, we have a towel with my son’s name on it he received as a baby gift, and I’m unable to part with it. Glad you have good memories!

  • Monogram wisdom! Those giant monograms on cars make me nuts!

    • I’m with with Jenna. Some are so fancy that I can’t figure out what the letters are supposed to be. Monograms were never a thing in my family’s culture. Just pasta…lol. On another note, I was updating my blog roll and your new blog url now shows up on it. 🙂

  • Always know I will smile coming away from your posts! This one got a few hoots, and I guess it’s because it is always true. What would southern gals do without our monograms and pearls!!

    • And when we add a monogram charm to our pearls . . . woo-hoo! Thanks Emily!

  • I remember getting my cuffs on my button downs in college monogrammed. I was hooked. You are so right about the crazy size in the back windshield these days. Mama was right about being tasteful.
    I might have to slip on my tastefulness though… Do you notice that one university that seems to have the biggest letters on their vehicles. I am thinking they probably didn’t go there, just band wagoners as my daughter calls them.

  • Ellen Shook says:

    You always make me laugh!

    • I know you’ve monogramed some pretty good things in your time. I remember now, I made butter pats for company that had little “T’s” on them. Monogramed butter. Now, that’s sad. (but they loved it!).

  • Leslie I’m guilty of monogramming anything anyone will bring to me. Towels, sheets, pillowcases,little girl bows, dresses and panties even boots and handbags!

    • To have your own monogram machine makes you the queen! I still have my monogram purse covers that buttoned on to the wood handle from high school. Still my favorite bag of all times!

      • And by the way, you win the prize for being the first one on my blog to use the word, “panties.” What will the ladies guild think now? (they’ll want to monogram their bloomers!).

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