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Saturday, April 30, 2005

Southern Charm

For many people, southerners are thought of as slow witted, grammatically challenged inbreds whose sole purpose is to amuse the more intelligent beings of the world. That misconception has been validated by redneck jokes and Arkansas rumors but couldn’t be further from the truth. Truth be told being southern isn’t a burden but rather a blessing.

Where else can a person appreciate lightening bugs?
Where else can a person learn the art of rocking on a porch in a wooden chair while being serenaded by crickets at sunset?
Where else can a woman be swooned by the mere act of a man opening the door for her AND pulling out her chair?
Chivalry may be dead in the north, as may be appreciation for simpler things of life, but in the South, these are just a few of the perks of a good Southern upbringing.

‘Yes ma’am’ and ‘No sir’ aren’t adorable affectations used in a condescending manner. Respect in the South. It’s a given. But so is laughter. We love to laugh whether it is at politicians or ourselves, we can find humor in the most tragic events. And not just slight chuckling under our breath, either, but loud, feel it in your spine, cross your legs so you don’t urinate on yourself kind of laughter.
If I had to identify the main difference in the Southern and Northern way of life, I would say it all boils down to our choice of drinks. Southerners cherish sweet tea and porches. How many Northerners sit on their front or back porches with sweet tea in one hand and a fly swatter in the other? Not many if any.

There is so much we can learn from each other, North and South. Our ability to disregard time as absolute could be tempered by the fast paced rush that Northerners have embraced as normalcy. We could show our northern neighbors that our choice of big hair, outrageous clothing, and flashy accessories can be a good thing off stage and in public.
May we all find common ground that unites our differences and binds our hearts together with honeysuckle blossoms and crepe myrtle.


  • I'm certainly willing to learn. But is that whole sweet tea thing required. I don't care for tea, sweet or otherwise.

    Out here in California (particularly Palm Springs) we like our patios, but our beverage of choice may be different. It tends to be either bottled water or a cocktail.

    By Blogger The G-man, at 6:51 PM  

  • I grew up in Texas. Yes sir and Yes ma'am were required. (As in: Would you like a glass of tea? Yes. Yes WHAT? Yes, ma'am.
    Called my parents ma'am and sir until college.
    But in middle school we moved north...and when I said yes, ma'am to my teacher she sent me to the principal for being "snippy". Not that I'm not the queen of snippy, but it seemed like something of an over reaction.

    By Anonymous KJ, at 9:08 PM  

  • Nice place. Thanks for stopping by my site. If you want to join up with us, go to Stop The ACLU.org and send an email to Nedd. If you want the newsletter their is a form in my sidebar. Thanks again, Jay

    By Blogger John, at 10:23 PM  

  • This northern thanks you for your lovely post. Do you have a chair available? I love to recline on the porch. Bring on the tea, sweet or not.

    By Blogger Brat, at 12:35 AM  

  • Politeness is not a matter of where you were raised, but rather it is a matter of how you were raised. This explains the overall lack of respect from young people these days. Sad, but true.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:21 AM  

  • I love Southern hospitality. Going north terrifies me but I'm going to the Big Apple some day just to go. I am. I really am. I think.

    By Blogger Monica, at 9:44 AM  

  • Being married to someone from another country, I laugh at the "differences" people find between the north and the south...that said, we may be moving to Dallas in the near future, so I should probably shut up.

    By Blogger portuguesa nova, at 10:23 AM  

  • Hey don't forget that we wave to other drivers that we pass and people that drive by the house. Even if it's just with an index finger. We are polite to everyone.

    By Blogger Two Dogs, at 3:38 PM  

  • As another Texas girl, I'm surprised you consider yourself a Southerner. After all, why lump ourselves in with those other states? ;-)

    By Blogger Sooz, at 3:51 PM  

  • I learned Ma'am and Sir right here in Illinois. I'm looked at as something of an artifact like homemade butter or ice cream, or horses. The hell with it I love my Mama, horses, my dogs and my truck and if that's antiquated amongst these damn yankees, screw it. Like popeye the prophet put it, I yam what I yam.

    By Blogger Kevin, at 11:34 PM  

  • My my, woman, you give me the vapors!

    By Blogger The Ugly American, at 5:50 AM  

  • I am also from the south-My mother's family is from Arkansas and my young growing up years in Texas.
    I always tell people I am bilingual, Southern and English. I am proud to be a Daughter of the South.

    By Blogger Gienne, at 11:36 AM  

  • Your descriptions of the likes and dislikes, the mannerisms and of what we all "cherish" is as stereotypical and condescending as saying we all lve racist watermelon and fried chicken jokes. The South is not Mayberry as you would have people believe. It is as tortured and pleasant as any other place on earth. All this back porch rocking chair suff is embarrassing.

    By Blogger CodyinChattanooga, at 12:54 AM  

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