My friend Mollie is the only person I have ever met who is capable of getting kicked out of a haunted house. You know those live-action haunted houses where you’re supposed to scream and freak out? Where that’s pretty much the point? Well, Mollie’s reaction to being charged at by a child-sized vampire was apparently so very extreme and so very loud that the management was forced to turn the lights on – and speaking as a frequent haunted-house-goer and liberal screamer, let me assure you that this literally does not happen at these places, ever. And then they told her to leave, and to never come back again. She got blacklisted from a haunted house.
Anyone capable of getting blacklisted from a haunted house is a person who I want to hang out with. Like all the time.
Mollie also has a tendency to fall into a dead faint when confronted with physically threatening situations, which means that she is the last person with whom you would want to be stuck during a zombie apocalypse, but might be the very best person to hang out with if you, like me, cannot get enough of that fainting goats video and would like to see a 4’10” blonde do a spot-on imitation of them. This ranks very highly on the list of attributes I have always hoped to find in a friend.
Mollie is also very, very Southern – yes, there’s the accent, but there’s also the penchant for smocked baby outfits, the tendency to monogram the bejesus out of her possessions, and the fact that oh god, does she ever yell loudly during football games. Mollie is a total mystery to me in many ways – as I am possibly the least Southern person on the planet (especially when it comes to style, having never met a piece of jacquard that I felt especially inclined to put on my body) – but she is also the person who I go to when I need advice on all things classic and feminine and lovely. Because in addition to being uncommonly talented at making me die laughing, she is also all of those things.
So I asked her for 20 of her favorite Southern finds (for women, for kids, for men, for BBQ sauce connoisseurs, etc)…and now I suddenly feel the need to sit on a porch next to a magnolia candle while eating pecan pie in my monogrammed Hari Maris. (OK, maybe not the last one. But all the rest of it, yes.)