Seven years ago I moved from the west coast to the south. There are numerous adjustments when making a move that includes such a radical cultural shift. Most of the differences between the west and the south have appealed to me and I am happily integrating into the southern culture. While on the phone the other day, I said ya’ll and even after it was pointed out to me, I still didn’t believe I said it. I wasn’t trying to say it! It just happened in the middle of the flow of the conversation. That’s when you know you’ve acclimated to being a southern woman.

One of the first things I noticed about my adopted region was the housing. The homes in the Dallas/Ft. Worth suburbs are typically bigger, more beautiful and shockingly less expensive than in the San Francisco Bay Area.  The manner in which homes are decorated is very different too. Time, energy, thought and money go into many of homes in the burbs of Dallas/Ft. Worth. Some homes look like museums and that absolutely no children or pets have ever resided there; even though they do. It’s a magic trick to keep those appearances up!

When I first moved here, I actually enjoyed focusing more on the decorating aspects of Texas life. But…as is true with many things, there is an underbelly. An underbelly to decorating? Yes. It’s called female competition. Lots of suburban ladies (women, chicks, girls, gals – whatever word you would like to use is fine) enjoy decorating their homes and don’t really have an opinion about how YOU or I decorate our homes; they simply like our company. However, there is a strain of ladies who come to our homes and while giving us a hug, their eyes are scanning our baseboards for dust or a perceived mismatch of color choices. Yes, we all know these ladies and yes, they really are judging our homes.

So, here’s my solution: I don’t invite these types over twice. Pretty simple. I have zero tolerance for competition among friendships. Life is hard, short and full of twist and turns. We need our girlfriends to be safe harbors of sisterhood, not cattiness.  I promise that if I come to your house, I won’t be looking for dust bunnies; I will be thankful for the invite and enjoying your company. I ask that you do the same when at my house too; otherwise, you might not be invited back. Seriously.