My wonderful mother-in-law, a fine southern woman, has educated me well in the art of southern living. In the past 15 years of marriage into a southern family, I’ve learned all about fried chicken, fried okra, sweet tea, and pimento cheese sandwiches. I’ve learned about slow time around the table.
I know southern food, and I thought I knew most southern expressions and even used them myself. I could reckon so, carry on, go somewhere directly, be fixin’ to do something, and straighten up something that was cattywampus. I could be “as serious as a heart attack” and make sure I “didn’t get too big for my britches.”
Other phrases I needed help understanding, so folks in town (thank you Mrs. Weaver!) tutored me back in the early days of marriage. I learned that “the devil’s beatin’ his wife” meant it’s sunny but also raining. I learned that when I was nearly finished with the dishes, I was “on the short rows” based on the short rows at the end of the tobacco fields where the tractors would turn around.
We’ll today, I was complaining about how some of the fruit farms don’t yet have apple cider. I said, “I’m so disappointed!” I said it as if this were the worst thing in the whole world.
My mother-in-law turns to me and simply says, “Well now, build a bridge and get over it.”
Build a bridge and get over it! Stop your complaining! This isn’t anything to fuss about!
I thought about the expression all day. When I want to complain about anything, I know I’ll shut my mouth. I’ll build a bridge and get over it real quick now.