Thursday, April 02, 2009

Ten years of things Southern

Ten years this summer I will have lived in the South, after driving all the long way down from New England, through the vastness that is Virginia.

Before then, either I had never heard of or I had heard only vaguely of or never encountered:

banana pudding
pulled pork
double first names
last names as first names, especially for girls (Kelso, Carver . . . MADISON)
luminous springs, with so many shades of red and pink that I never realized were possible
no hint of Mud Season
winter that lasts from Christmas to New Year's
two flakes of snow empty the grocery shelves of bread and milk
three flakes empty the parking lot of cars but leave carts asunder
grocery carts are not carts—they're buggies
smoking in the grocery store (at the beginning of my tenure; could that actually have been?!)
Southern Man hair
the Cotton Ball (!)
May Day (!!)
how blue it is to be so in a red state
upon meeting someone, being asked who my people are
upon meeting someone, being asked where I go to church
adult Sunday School
crepe myrtle
being called Mrs. Tut-Tut by all and sundry, from children to adults
college football fans
meat and three
Ted Turner


Anonymous said...

of these, my favorites are:

luminous springs, with so many shades of red and pink
winter that lasts from Christmas to New Year's
crepe myrtle

And I also like about the south, among other things:

boiled peanuts
sultry summers
the incredibly long outdoor dining season
being called "honey" and "sugar" by everyone

mouse (aka kimy) said...

I adore this list....what fun to read over it...

hmmmmm southern man hair

oh I do love southern food....but as with cotw, where are the grits!! good thing I don't live in the south surely I'd weigh at least 10 pounds more!

Candie said...

Mrs tut-tut that was a real lovely post!

MiloSez said...

Congratulations. You are half way to being considered for consideration to be a Southerner. And might I add -- Bless your heart!

Joanne said...

I kind of like the winter you have going on there, it lasts about, what, "10" days? Lucky!

New Yorker wannabes said...

It is funny how many differences one can find among different places of the same world lol

The picture and your words are great!

Take care
peace and love

Anonymous said...

tut-tut, the vastness of Virginia...I like to stay away from I-95 and take a back route through the mountains, when going up and down the coast. And speaking of vast, I've got to make it from New England to New Mexico, in less than two days( Texas alone...)

Kurt said...

It sounds kind of nice.

I have no idea who my people are.

Squirrel said...

Culture shock. When I moved to Los Angeles I was surprised how often people just stopped whatever they were doing to chat with me about nothing much... and how complimentary they were-- much more relaxed... very different from NYC where people are plenty nice enough but are eager to go about their business. Also people would "flake out" on very definite plans in LA without telling me, whereas in NYC if you had a definite plan in place, you knew you could depend on that person. Very different social scenes. Yet I love both cities very much.

Squirrel said...

what is meat and three?

is southern man hair facial hair ? (I'm not into mustaches beards or sideburns )

Brian Miller said...

lol. as a fellow virginian, hope you are enjoying the oddities. southern man evolved from the captured life in the south

tut-tut said...

Squirrel: Meat and three is the "blue plate special": the main meat of the day, plus three vegetables of your choice. Macaroni and cheese is a vegetable here.

Wings1295 said...

Very interesting! From someone sticking with New England, for now at least!

Roy said...

Great take on the theme, tut-tut! I did the exact opposite - I moved from the south (Maryland, which is much more of a southern state than many are aware of) to the north (Rhode Island), with a 6-month diversion in the Rocky Mountains between. Although I've been in the north a lot longer than you've been in the south - come May I'll have been here 35 years. And not planning to move any time in the foreseeable future.

red dirt girl said...

8 years for me in Texas.
I do NOT consider Texas any part of the South. Not even remotely.
Texas is its own country.
And I still do not feel comfortable in its skin.


Colette Amelia said...

It sounds like you are in another Country!

Great things to know!

Holly said...

Your post made me laugh. I live in the Northwest so I too would be caught of guard by many items on your list. Who are your people?....pleasee--e-e-e

Tess Kincaid said...

Being the northern girl, that I am, I am totally unfamiliar with a couple of these. Like meat and three?! Southern man hair? Hmmm.

Mrsupole said...

That was a great post, learned some things about the south. But it is funny here in California, we always say we live in either Northern or Southern California when we talk about where we live. They are so vastly different in how we live. Kinda of like the eastern half of the country has the North and the South. So in some strange way I am a Southern girl, but just not the southern that you are talking about. I have no clue about most of those things you wrote about. Oh well, it was nice to read about Southern Man Hair. Not quite sure what that is.

God bless.

Dakota Bear said...

Interesting list of things you are now experiencing in the South. I have seen some of them while visiting, but I will always be a Connecticut girl.

lettuce said...

this is an entertaining and interesting list

tho i don't understand all of it

Dot-Com said...

Places you think are supposed to be so similar can turn out to be ever so different. Cultural divides :-)

Megan said...

Looks like the man hair wins out for the most puzzling! :)

Do you think you will go back north some day, or are you affixed?

Tom said...

that's right... grits and the accents, and friendly people...the South is truly another world.

Anonymous said...

A great insight into life in the South!

Supermarket carts are called 'trolleys' in UK.

You are my 29th visit tonight and it is 0245am, so forgive my ramblings, I am going to call it a night and visit the rest tomorrow!

mouse (aka kimy) said...

i'm pulling that tut moves to cleveland....we're blue now and in the north!!! which means 4 real seasons.....

Baino said...

Fantastic. I believe they also do something awful with pork brains and grits (have a friend in Greenville Carolina) . .we have cicadas, crepe myrtle and meat and three! Nice post. I love getting to know people's different necks of the woods!

Gabby said...

Huh, southern man hair? Is it facial hair? Long hair on a man? A specific southern hair cut??? What a great trivia question.

Coffee Messiah said...

Ya lean something new everyday ; )

Kris McCracken said...

No raccoon and squirrel gumbo?

Kitty said...

I love the double first names. And if they don't have a double first name, the kids are referred to by their first and middle name. It's a world unto itself, yes?

Betty said...

What a timely post! Our coast-to-coast road trip across the south starts in just 3 weeks. I think I'm prepared for macaroni & cheese as a vegetable, but what are luminous springs? (They sound lovely.)

Betty said...

Ah. Luminous springs - as opposed to hazy autumns. I was thinking bedsprings or thermal springs. I need to get out more :D

Patrice said...

I wasn't able to post this Theme Thursday - but now that I have read yours, my own would have been redundant.

A lovely poignant post, and I do so identify. One of the things I loved about the city (Philly) was being able to be rather anonymous. Here in the south, it's considered aberrant behavior. It's not that there aren't good people, it's that one has to see beyond all that "southern charm" to find them.

The only thing I really love here is the winter, and the land.

Betty Carlson said...

My daughter in Olympia seems to have a lot of friends with last names for first names too. Is it a trend from the South?