Well, I’ve been an official “southerner” for a little over a week and my goodness have I learned (and picked up) a lot already. It’s almost scary. But like a good kind of scary, in that my heart feels calm and genuinely happy, even with the cultural shock 😉
Things I’ve learned.
People absolutely move at a slower pace here. This means walking, talking, driving, ordering food, explaining a situation, giving directions, did I say driving?? Whew! Lots of slow drivers and lots of really bad, slow drivers. I’ve definitely been able to put my Chicagoan defensive driving skills to good use here. (Which totally makes me feel like I’m in a real-life episode of Knight Rider, all badass and stuff.) (Well, real-life minus the talking car… which pretty much just leaves David Hasselhoff, making this situation way less cool…. unless you’re into that kinda thing.) (I might be kinda into it.)
You cannot buy any alcohol on Sundays (Chicagoans must be a bunch of alcoholics or something, I don’t know) and you cannot find wine ANYWHERE. They do not sell wine in grocery stores, gas stations, Walgreens/CVS – I’m telling you, you cannot find or buy wine unless you go to a liquor store… BUT- beer can be found just about anywhere. Apparently they consider wine to be more like the hard stuff, who knew. I wonder if this is why so many southerners make their own whiskey? Easy access??
You will, hands down, get to know not only your neighbors but also the person who works at Kroger. And when I say “get to know” I mean you KNOW them. Because when they ask you “Paper or Plastic” and you answer? They’ll respond with their LIFE STORY. (Which you know I love.) I’m serious. Amber, from Walgreens? Her Grandma is now in my nightly prayers and I mean that with complete sincerity.
I still haven’t mastered saying “y’all” in one smooth syllable – mine still sounds forced like “ya-uh-ul” (it’s not pretty) and I honestly don’t know if I ever will get into saying that. I think I’m a “you guys” til the day I die. (Chicago represent!) I’m also still having a hard time understanding some of the real southern accents but it’s only been a week so cut me some slack, will ya? Not to say I haven’t started to pick up some of these southern ways though…
Things I’ve picked up / found myself saying.
“Bless her heart”
Example: “That old man keeps driving over the center line, my goodness! At least he’s only driving 27 mph, bless his heart. Oh Lord, keep us safe!”
The truly scary part of this is the fact that this stuff is just coming out of my mouth… I don’t even think about it, I just say it and then Christian and I look at each other with wide eyes and I usually shake my head and say something like, “Oh, Lord… it’s happening.” (Bless my heart.)
Can I get a witness?!
In all seriousness though, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m linking up today with Anne for Wednesday Wishes and I have to say, I’m wishing for the south to stay just the way it is and that it continues to welcome me in the way it has. (Which is slow, of course.) 😉
*photo taken at one of my new favorite writing spots, the Eighth and Roast coffee shop