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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Being Southern

There is something different about being from the South. When people find out that ask. I assure them that there are a few of us. Then they ask me what the South is like... For some reason, people take their time in the South. They take their time to be polite, genteel, friendly. There is a respect shown, especially to those older than you. But the warmth is what makes such a difference. The warmth shown to each person as he walks by - a friendly "Hi, how you doin'," just really makes a person feel at home, wherever you are. The fact that store clerks thank you and talk to you while you are in line. But it's more. There is something ingrained in a person from Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, Texas or Louisiana. (Tennessee, Kentucky, the Carolinas and Virginia count also - but not Florida.) There is a bond when you meet someone else from the South, and there's more to it than comparing accents. There is a pride in being a Southerner, I think it's almost like being a Jew. There is that bonding point, knowing that someway, somehow, you have something almost undefinable in common. But it works (especially when you are in a place like New York, and outside of your comfort zone). I get asked such questions about the South - questions about cows and trailers and traffic signals. I assure people that you can find those things in the South, but you can also find them in rural Pennsylvania so they aren't as much a symbol of the South as people would like to think. I get told I talk funny, and am asked to "perform" on occasion (to which I politely decline). There's something more to it than grits and biscuits, warm weather and being polite. There is something that is a culture, that you just can't understand unless you spend quality time there, which I recommend everyone do. It's really cool to meet others from the South, because they just get it. At this point, I feel that, no matter how long I am gone, it will always be a part of me.

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