In a very special episode of Ask a Bougie Chick…

This month in our recurring series, Ask a Bougie Chick, we have a very special afterschool special of a letter to share. Coming from my blog cousin Max Reddick of Soul Brother v.2, an aspiring bougienisto (I just keep making 'em up) asks for OneChele's advice.

Dear Ms. Bougie,

I have a problem that I really hope you can help me with. You see, I really, really would like to be bougie, but I just don't know how. My wife has been trying to teach me for years now, but she's just not patient enough.

I was raised in the South, mostly in the rural South. And during that time, I picked up some habits that are not that bougie.

First of all, I carry a bottle of Louisiana hot sauce wherever I go. My wife is appalled by this. But I like hot sauce, particularly Louisiana hot sauce, and most of the places we frequent don't have it, so I just bring my own just in case.

And also, if I get really excited, I tend to gesticulate with my hands a lot and talk loud and laugh even louder. My wife says bougie people don't talk loud. And if I am eating something, bits of food fly out of my mouth and stick to those around me.

Lastly, try as I might, I find myself using those old southern colloquialisms that I heard growing up. For instance, if I see something that far surpasses the given limits, I yell out, "That's just too much sugar for a dime!" Or when I see something that is not worth the cost, I say, "That's not worth a plug nickel." And I don't even know what a plug nickel is. Recently, when on a dinner date with my wife's bougie friends, someone said something that I agreed with. I meant to say, "I concur." But instead I blurted out, "Sho' nuff is!"

I have done everything I could think of as required by the rules of bougie. I went to college then on to grad school. I bought me a home in the suburbs and a foreign car. But I just cannot get the knack of being bougie. Can you help me?


Maxwell Reddick

To start, someone who uses gesticulate and colloquialism in the same letter is nothing less than bougerific. Home in 'burbs - check. Car from a land far away - check and check. All is not lost.

Let me next direct you to Bouge Rule #6You can be bougie and hood, just not at the same time. The key to your success for full bougie ascendency may be in your ability to balance your hoody moments with your bouge moments. For instance, I have a hidden (well not after this post) predilection for some really ruffnecky music. I spent one summer jamming to AMG's B* Betta Have My Money . (From the title, you can tell it is not the classiest of tunes. I apologize to all females everywhere. First heard it in the club, beat is booming… okay [hanging my head], there's just no justification for the love I had for this song. Yes, I'm ashamed and endangering my BougiePass). My POINT is I did not recite the lyrics while wearing a formal gown and attending a boulé ball. See? Hood and bougie… but not at the same time.

Onto your next concern… the hot sauce. Be not dismayed. BougieDad carried his own pocket-sized Tabasco wherever we went. He elevated this to bougenificence by having a small leather carrying case for the sauce (so much better). Yes, I recall fondly (not!) attending the opening of a new restaurant when my father asked the Chef (!) for Tabasco. The Chef blanched, we all rolled our eyes and yet ten minutes later, we see the head waiter running back inside with a brown paper bag… the Tabasco had arrived. Unbowed and undaunted, BougieDad proceeded to spice up his Lobster Newberg. In BougieDad's case, bouge meant never having to say he's sorry.

As for your country colloquialisms, well that's just Southern. We that reside below the Mason-Dixon line have a special linguistic pass. We're allowed to say things like, "Hotter than cheese grits on a griddle" or "It's just up the road a piece." The first time my Cali friends heard me say I was having a fit of the vapors, they replied, "We sorry, Miz Scarlet, we don't know nuthin' 'bout birthin' no babies." Whatever, haters. We of the Southern persuasion deserve to be a bit colorful. Here's a trick I learned, when you feel the need to reply with something like, "You ain't neva lied," "Ain't dat da truth" or "The Devil is a Lie" instead respond with, "You don't say" or "Hmm, interesting" or "Is that right?"

The loud-talking requires further review by the bouge committee. I mean sometimes your black needs to override your bouge. I distinctly remember being at a party with an SO (Significant Other). From across the room, I saw some random broad come up to him, lean in with touching, giggle and ask something. He turned and pointed to me. She came over and asked me if she could borrow my boyfriend for a minute. She also asked to borrow a condom. As I was four Appletinis into the evening, I'm afraid I reacted poorly and with much volume. Chele's pleasing personality slipped and my inner Shaniqua started taking over. Turned out the girl was a bride out for her bachorlette party on a scavenger hunt and needed to ask a guy for a condom and a kiss to complete her list. Whatev... I had to be me... both bougie and black.

The full-bodied laughter and wild gesticulations are just personality my friend, embrace them… though you may want to consider holding napkin to mouth (preventing food spewage) and making sure there is no one in backhand slapping range. J

Beyond that, here's the unspoken rule of the Black and the Bougie (don't tell anybody)… Fake it until you make it. Further instruction may be gained by the continuous reading of this blog (of course).

Disclaimer: These just jokes people, do not send me the "you are so stuck-up" emails! Besides as we say in South, ya'll know I'm five cents short of a quarter.