Monday, November 19, 2012

Southern Sentimentalities

I was born in Augusta, GA and I have lived in South Carolina my entire life (see North Augusta/Savannah river). My family hails from Tennessee and Georgia since pretty much the dawn of time. To say that my roots are entirely Southern would be an understatement. There are, of course, things about the South that are less than perfect, but by in large, I am pretty happy about being Southern, and don't even get me started on Charleston.

There are so many things about the South that are well known - the food, the football, the accent etc., but to be honest, my favorite Southern-isms are the intangible ones. The ones that let you know where you are even if you don't know really know where you are. For example:

I love that Southern people give directions using "where such and such used to be" as landmarks.

I love that no matter what town or city you are in, there will be a group of retired men sitting at Hardees early on a Saturday morning.

I love the half hand wave without letting go of the steering wheel thing people do while driving down a country road.

I love the sayings, the colloquialisms, and the totally nonsensical words and phrases used by Southern people, and the fact that the people they are speaking with understand them completely.

I love the small town festivals, many of which originated from all kinds of bizarro beginnings.

I love listening to a good story teller.

I love that it is considered perfectly reasonable to own at least five or six casserole dishes, if not more.

I love the names that Southerners give their children, and that it is no big deal to have multiple people in the one family share the same name.

I love the subtleties and complexities of Southern conversation and how it remains mysterious to many people not from the region.

There are many other things I could name, but I'm curious. What do you love about the South? Or if you aren't "from here", what do you love about your region of the country?

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