That’s Nice

You know that old saying that Southerners can be rude to you, and you’ll walk off smiling about it? It’s true. And it’s not just through the famous ‘bless your heart’ that we’ll get your goat. We have other ways of putting you down without saying nary a bad word. My favorite? That’s nice.

I learned this one from Mama Clark back when Brandon and I were dating. When someone got to bragging in front of her – or said something she didn’t care for, she piped up with ‘that’s nice.’ Sounds sweet, right? Bless your heart. Nooooo! It’s a vicious comeback born out of an old joke:

Three recently married southern belles are sitting together, catching up on what had happened since their respective weddings. It’s not long before the three ladies begin showing off what their husbands had done to spoil them.

The first belle sticks her left hand out and lets the sun hit the diamond on her ring, “Isn’t it beautiful, y’all?!” The second belle exclaims, “Oh my stars! I can’t look at it; it’s burning my eyes!” The third belle looks at it and replies, “Oh my, that’s nice.”

The second belle takes her turn to show off and takes the girls to the front porch. When they get outside, they find a brand new pink Cadillac. “Y’all like it? We just got it yesterday!” “Oh lord, how beautiful!” The first belle replies, trying not to sound a little envious. “It looks like a dream, hon.” The third belle looks at the car coolly and replies, “Oh my, that’s nice.”

The first two belles are a little irked at the third belle’s dismissive attitude. So one asks, “Well, what did your man get you that’s got you all high an’ mighty?” The third belle replies, “My husband sent me to finishing school over the summer.” The first two look at each other, confused. “So?!”

“Well, that’s where I learned to say, ‘Oh my, that’s nice’ instead of ‘f*ck you!’

– Anonymous

Over the last twenty years, it’s become my go-to clap back. I don’t need to say anything ugly to anyone – I can just throw them a sweet little ‘that’s nice’ and go on about my merry way without them being any the wiser.

What’s your favorite Southern comeback?

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