Thursday, February 4, 2016

What The South Taught Me

Now that I live completely outside of what I'm use to, in an entirely new culture, I've never been more thankful than I am now for what living in the South taught me. Of course I'm sure those living here in Yankee country learned valuable things that allow them to navigate or accomplish things easier and faster than us a-click-behind southerners, but that's okay because what they didn't learn is what we southerners were preached to about.
These things we southerners are taught, will guide us for the rest of our lives when we need advice on life, fashion, relationships, cooking and the list goes on. Some of these things are funny but, I promise you, its all true:

         1." Ma'am" and "Sir" are a requirement.
         In the South, its only polite and good manners to greet everyone as ma'am and sir. If not you                just seem down right rude. The sales associate in Walmart is not a “Hey you,” he's a “Sir.” The            woman at the homeless shelter, no matter how much you look down on her is a “Ma'am.” (This          does not reflect my personal views.)
    2. Family is the most important thing.
    Some of us learn this the hard way but, its true. Your mamma will always be your best friend, your daddy will always be your biggest supporter, your siblings will always be your number one fans, your grandparents will always be your best secret keepers, your cousins are always family that seems more like friends inside and outside of school, your aunts and uncles are like your mom and dad only they don't scold you. It goes on but, its true, family is important, you can't choose them, you're stuck with them and you might as well learn to love the whole crazy bunch of them.
    3. The gift of gab is a real gift.
    The lot of us down south tend to sound, sloppy and slow. In fact 80% of people down there will make you learn patience in the most annoying way possible. A lot of people talk so slow and form their entire sentences in syllables. It will drive you insane. In fact every time I visit back down south, I find my patience tested every time. Point being made, if you have the talent of speaking smoothly, and perhaps like me you are just a bit sharp minded for sarcastic comebacks when bantering you are truly gifted with gab. Yankees still think the best gabbers talk slow.
    4. Sundays are the best days.
    Sundays are the days you spend with those you love most, eat a meal together, see a movie, play football in the backyard. If you're an original southerner, you'll start that Sunday off with morning worship.
    5. Men should be gentlemen and women should be ladies.
    Gentlemen open doors, say “bless you” and don't make women feel inferior. While gentlemanly manners are seen up north too (one of the things that attracted me to my own boyfriend now despite his northern heritage), ladylike manners are seen less and less everywhere, it seems the few left are down south. Women can dress sexy, but that doesn't mean look like a prostitute. Women can curse but don't talk like white trash. Its a definite pet peeve when you deal with people that don't have manners to match your own
    6. The golden rule is literally the golden rule of the South.
    Be kind to everyone, treat everyone how you want to be treated. Undue kindness will go farther than you think.
    7. You don't need a holiday to be thankful.
    Appreciate the things you have and the people around you everyday. Someone you think is replaceable will prove you wrong. No matter if you have a little or a lot, you should be thankful for it because the alternative is always NOTHING.
          8. They don't call is Southern Hospitality for nothing!
          When someone visits you, its only hospitable to tell them to make themselves at home and                   offer them sweet tea, a slice of pie and directions to your nearest bathroom. Guests should                   never have to ask for it, because you've already offered. I find I slack on this myself                             sometimes, my mother though, that woman will drive you nuts with her sweet minded                         hospitality.

          9. God is a priority.
          No matter your religion, there's some sort of bible in your house and you know how to pray                 properly and you do so often. And you don't take his name in vain. Simple as that.
    10. Can it or freeze it.
    If you can grow it, chances are you can can it. If you can't can it, then you can definitely freeze it.
          11. Mosquito spray doesn't work.
          I don't care what you say, we try all brands, all candles all nets. Mosquitoes are like a plague in           the South, you can only do so much, the spray stops working as soon as it dries. Summers are             both enjoyable and miserable.
    12. Sports might as well be a religion.
    If you don't love football then you surely love some other sport. Sports are the language of the South, if you don't enjoy at least one type of sport then you won't be able to relate to anyone down south.
    13. Pride
    Every bit of pride you have is worth it, although some down south take it a step to far to arrogance. What I'm really getting at is southerners take their cities, roots and flags seriously. In the south everyone acts like they are in it together, like sharing a higher cause, even if its just a parade of trucks with Razorback flags. You stay down there long enough and they're support all through all attitude will leave you feeling immensely confident and ready to take on the world.
    14. Fry it or role it.
    If you can't fry it, then role it (put it in a casserole.) The South is all about its comfort food, the north can have their Italian pizzerias and bake shops. Because fried green tomatoes, cornbread, grits, hush-puppies, fried river catfish, pecan pie, greens and sweet rolls are all about dying happy with a full stomach because, chances are most heart attacks in the south come from our insanely delicious cholesterol infused food.
    15. Big hair is a real thing.
    While no other southern state is quite like stereotypical Texas, we do have rodeos and state fairs... You'll find women from every walk of life with pressed Wranglers, shiny belt buckles, ostrich-skin Ariat's and big hair that puts them a stair step closer to God. Curled, in a bun or straight, we southern women go big or just stay home with our hair.
          16. When in doubt wear pearls.
          When you can't seem to find the right accessory to put with your outfit, whether it be for the               club, casual or work... wear pearls, they literally go with everything and add an innocent touch           of class to anything you wear. Just avoid great grandma's heavy string of pearls. Pearls can                   rescue a wardrobe emergency but they do not look good worn in a cloudy vintage mess of                   yellow string.

So there you have it, just a few of the many things living in the South taught me about life. I hope you enjoyed reading Straight Southern today! On a side note, I want you all to know that I do read the hundreds of emails that come in every month, I don't always get to reply to all of them, but I still wanted my readers to know I do read your emails, I appreciate all of your love and encouragement and keep those topic ideas rolling in! Love y'all!

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