Now I’m a northern girl, but I’m no stranger to the South. I was actually born in South Carolina and spent several years there as a college student and newlywed. And having also done my fair share of traveling, I was pretty sure this move would be a fairly easy one. Still there are some things that I’ve noticed since my arrival, and while I wouldn’t say that I’m experiencing culture shock per se, I think it’s safe to say that I might be going through “heightened cultural awareness.”
So here are some things I've observed in the last two weeks. Let’s just file them under “You know you’re in the South when…”
- Within ten miles of crossing the state line, you see a homemade poster board sign that says simply “Civil War” and has an arrow pointing in the appropriate direction.
- Your local grocery store stocks Cheerwine popsicles in the freezer section.
- Your children, who only have memories of the North and Midwest, think that that the dirt is “ground up bricks.”
- The seller on Craigslist gives you a 50% discount on a couch when he discovers that your husband is a Baptist pastor and assures you that “it’s just the right thing to do.”
- Every lady in the church over the age of 65 is name Granny.
- Your six-year-old son wants to know why you don’t have a southern “accident.”
- Your seven-year-old daughter, when trying to describe the bug that was crawling on her clothes, can draw an accurate sketch of a tick.
- The first church supper includes fried chicken, poke salad, and sweet tea (with no rigatoni or pierogies in sight.)
- Your husband can preach in a linen suit and nobody bats an eye.
- The suspicious looking holes in your beautiful hardwood floors are precisely what you think they are. (Yes, it’s old damage and no, I don’t want to talk about it.)
All in all though, it’s been a pretty successful move and we’re loving the chance to live in a new area, be closer to family, and finally start to put down roots. And at the risk of stereotyping, all I have to say now is “Ya’ll come visit us sometime real soon.”