The internet is a wonderful tool, but makes it super easy to track anyone – pretty much anywhere, so I make it easy for any would-be stalkers and give them a head start. I live in the South. Mooresville, North Carolina to be exact. I’ve lived in the general area all my life. I was born in Concord, grew up in Kannapolis, took a brief break from the country for a 5 year taste of the city in Charlotte, and landed back in Mooresville 7 1/2 years ago.
(This picture has nothing to do with anything, aside from being a beautiful morning sunrise in the South.)
Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks this area is a great place to live. We are absolutely flooded with transplants. I love my transplants. <3 Some of my best friends, actually all of my best friends, hail from other areas of the country. One things that's never ceased to shock them are some of the things that just seem normal to those of us from the South.
Take for example, yesterday afternoon… I was on my way across town and encountered a funeral procession. I did what I always do, what we (Southerners) always do, and pulled off to the side of the road to wait for the cars in the funeral procession to pass. As I, and quite a few others were waiting, a car went on around all of us. To any Southerner, that would be considered rude and disrespectful, but an awesome Twitter-friend pointed out that it may have very well been someone who’s not native to the area and had no idea why we were all stopped.
So, here’s a brief, mostly light-hearted look at things I think you need to know if you live in the South…contributed to by my lovely transplant friend, Stacy at Looking For Isis.
1) We stop for funerals. Just go with it. It something we do to show respect to the grieving and it really only takes a few minutes of your time. If you’re in such a rush, and you’re not headed to the ER, perhaps sitting on the side of the road for a minute will give you some time to reflect on your busy life
2) Tea is sweet. If you want your tea with less than 1 cup of sugar to the gallon, you better order something other than ‘tea’.
3) Just because we use the word y’all, don’t assume we aren’t educated. There are some fine North and South Carolina Supreme Court Judges who’d love to tell y’all otherwise.
4) When we say ‘barbeque’, we mean pork. Barbeque is not what you do in the backyard with your charcoal or gas grill. That is grilling.
5) Stop fighting the humidity. It is what it is. There is no amount of Aquanet that is going to save you in July or August. Pull it up, throw a cap on it or accept the frizz.
6) ‘Down yonder’ may indicate 20 feet away or 20 miles away. If you’re getting directions and you don’t have any idea where you’re going, ask specifics.
7) A ‘buggy’ is a shopping cart, not a stroller or something you pull behind a horse.
8) We like to add words to things. Up North, it’s a slide. In the South, it’s a sliding board. Up North, it’s a hose. In the South, it’s a hose pipe.
9) ‘Youngins’ refers to anyone younger than the speakers. It doesn’t necessarily mean the ‘youngin’ in question is actually young. My grandfather would refer to my dad as a ‘youngin’ and he’s in his fifties.
10) You do not, I repeat, do not want your heart blessed. ‘Bless your heart’ may sound endearing, but unless it’s coming from someone old enough to be your great-grandma, there’s a good chance it’s not meant in the most sincere way.
11) A toboggan is headwear, not a sled.
12) There’s no right answer to the question ‘what church do you go to?’ Seriously. Unless you’re ready for the conversation that may potentially follow, divert the attention toward another subject. Seriously.
13) This sort of goes along with number 10, kind of. Everything here is ‘precious’. It’s the standard answer when anyone shows anyone anything. Being called ‘precious’ is like being called ‘normal’.
14) Snow, even the threat of snow = chaos. We don’t have plows here, except the kind farmers use in the field. You will miss work. Your kids will miss school. Don’t drive. Just don’t.
15) If you like bread and milk, don’t wait until you run out to restock in the winter. If you do, the forecast will suddenly include snow and there will be no milk or bread in a three state radius. Trust me.
So, what can you add to the list? I know you all have something! From the perspective of the Southerner or the Transplant… let’s hear them!