How To Love Like A Tough, Southern Chick


Cracker Queens exhibit a fun, fearless, take-no-prisoners attitude towards love.

Among a Southern woman's charms lies razor-sharp wit and a no-nonsense attitude towards men. Think Dolly Parton, Food Network's Paula Deen and Gone With The Wind authoress Margaret Mitchell, who took a "man's job" in the 1920s writing a column for the Atlanta Journal.

Author and NPR contributor Lauretta Hannon calls these iconic ladies "Cracker Queens," the term she's developed for fierce, loyal, thick-skinned Southern women. Hannon's memoir The Cracker Queen: A Memoir of a Jagged, Joyful Life features touching and humorous tales of her Southern roots and dysfunctional family members. Her PBR-drinking, hell-raising female relatives show us that a Cracker Queen in love is both tough and tender—but don't you dare call her a Southern Belle.

YourTango: What is a Cracker Queen? How do we know one when we meet one?

Lauretta Hannon: A Cracker Queen is a strong, authentic, fabulous woman. She has a raucous sense of humor and can open up a can of whup-ass as needed. She has known loss and hurt; these things have made her beautiful, resourceful, and above all, real.
A Cracker Queen radiates joy, playfulness, and love. She might be flashy and loud, but she will never play games with her lover or spouse and demands the same in return. In other words, she won't put up with any crap. Attempting to hold a Cracker Queen down is like milking a rattlesnake: It's best not to try it. But to win her love is to have paradise on earth.
You will know her by her sequined tube top, her trademark cackle and her mesmerizing charm.
What are the linchpins of a Cracker Queen?

Love is at the core of everything Cracker Queen. From that love springs the other regal essentials:
Forgiveness: She holds no grudges and doesn't engage in hissy fits. She's amazingly forgiving as long as you are honest with her.
Gratitude: She will appreciate you and express that appreciation every day.
Purpose: A Cracker Queen is spiritually focused. You'll have to exhibit some depth before she'll ever go out on a date with you.
Fearlessness: She is not afraid. Never try to motivate her through fear or threats. This is when a Cracker Queen will turn on you and end the relationship in a highly dramatic fashion—let's just say that fire is usually involved.
What's the difference between a Cracker Queen and a Southern Belle?

Belles are fake, manipulative, and concerned only with looks and other surface things. They love to act helpless around men... and it's a hell of a lot of work to get them out of those hoop skirts.
Cracker Queens are fiercely authentic at all times, supremely honest in their relationships, and always ready for a good romp.
What is the Cracker Queen's attitude towards dating? Sex? Relationships? Marriage?

Cracker Queens are playful, vigorous creatures who thrive in the dating scene and enjoy fun, uninhibited sex within transparent relationships.
What do we think about marriage? Well, we like it so much that we've been known to try it many, many times.
How do CQs handle disputes with their husbands? Do they divorce?

A Cracker Queen is the best listener in the world, so she'll hear her husband out and try to come to a resolution. But if it becomes apparent that he is doing her wrong, she has an age-old Cracker strategy: She burns his clothing and other possessions in the driveway.
Cracker Moms teach their daughters early that smoke drives out vermin. Likewise, a fire in the driveway will banish husbands who've turned out to be rat finks. I guess that answers the question about divorce, too.
If you were to offer advice on how to love like a CQ, what would it be?

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  • Treat your beloved like today is your last day on earth with him.
  • Love him with a generosity of spirit that seems otherworldly.
  • When minor conflicts arise, laugh it off and remember that life is given for joy.
  • Do not give a damn what anyone thinks of your relationship.
  • Take and give pleasure.
  • Keep a box of matches handy just in case.

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This article was originally published at . Reprinted with permission from the author.