One of my first words as a child was “tacky.” I first learned it when as a toddler, my parents would take me out to look at Christmas lights in our Southern hometown. In the days before mandated child safety seats, I would stand in the front seat next to my Daddy. I could not say the l in “lights” so I pointed my finger and said “ights, ights!” Whenever we came to a house with colored blinking lights, my mother would say, “Now that’s just tacky. I believe Yankees live there. Everybody knows that all white lights are much more tasteful.” So very early on, I learned the difference between tacky and tasteful and I passed it on to my girls. I have never used colored lights. My girls and I have compiled a tacky list for your entertainment.
1. Wearing white shoes before Easter or after Labor Day though Princess Daughter who lives in Texas tells me that the weather has loosened that rule some in her state.
2. Leaving the house without your make-up and your hair in place. Lipstick is critical.
3. Yard balloons at Christmas
4. Pink flamingos in your yard as well as white painted tires lining the driveway. Yard art in general is tacky.
5. Tacky is the way most people dress who shop in Walmart.
6. Showing up in a restaurant for breakfast in your pajamas. College students are notorious for this.
7. Not tipping or failing to call ahead to a restaurant if you have a large party.
8. Using any mayonnaise but Duke’s.
9. Failing to write a thank you note. Some people consider electronic thank you’s acceptable but a true Southerner knows what it means to take the time to create a hand written note on the right stationary, of course.
10. Arriving late. People think you are attention seeking.
11. Putting extremely personal information on Facebook or Twitter.
12. Anything Donald Trump puts on Twitter.
13. Wearing a swimsuit that reveals too much especially if there is lots of flesh to reveal.
14. Visiting the sick in the hospital and staying forever.
15. Showing up at the vet without your pet in a carrier or on a leash.
16. Acting as an “Ugly American” abroad and embarrassing our nation.
17. Asking really personal questions.
18. Failing to respect diversity.
19. Serving chicken salad made with dark meat.*
20. Chewing gum in the choir loft.*
21. People who brag about their families and kids.
22. People with no manners.
23. Showing up to someone’s house empty-handed.
24. Talking about someone else, unless you first say, “Bless her heart.”
25. Not waiting until everyone is served before eating.
26. Showing cleavage during the day.
27. Having loud cell phone conversations in public places.
*from the Southern Women’s Channel
“I wouldn’t say I invented tacky, but I definitely brought it to its present high popularity.”
Please feel free to reply and share your examples of “tacky.”