Bless Your Heart....this is not such a positive saying in the south. If you hear something like,"You got your hair cut, bless your heart," or "she is having an affair, bless her heart," you are not being complemented or hoping for blessings for you.
I explained this to some of my northern friends and since then they would end an e-mail or converstaion with "bless your heart" and it would crack us all up. When in a staff meeting one time a coworker actually used this in a sentence and three or four of us about fell over trying not to laugh out loud.
Since returning to the south I hear this statement all the time. My mom knows that it is not a complement and she will say it to me every once in a while just to get me laughing. The bad thing is that I hear it being said all the time here at the church I work for. I can't just start laughing when someone says this. I have actually bitten my tongue a couple of times to keep from laughing out loud.
If they would just learn to say "oofta." Actually I heard this the other day...it was good to hear someone use a word at the end of the sentence taht truly expresses what you are trying to say instead of trying to cover up negative feelings with "bless your heart."
Southern sayings crack me up......oofta!