Monday, August 8, 2011

Divided Loyalties

I've traveled up and down the East Coast quite a bit, and there is always one consistency: people above the Mason-Dixon line comment on my "southern" accent, and folks below it call me "Yankee."

I admit it, I like southern culture for the most part. I love southern food, the slower pace of life, and the friendliness of southerners. On the other hand, I don't like NASCAR, only use white sheets for bed linen, and have never slept with my brother.

I lived.....very, very the south a couple of years ago. The very day I had moved into my new home, two elderly sisters just waltzed through my front door to welcome me to the neighborhood. After introductions, Miss Erlene, I believe it was, asked me "Honey, have you found a church yet?" Honestly, I haven't had time to find the bathroom yet. Then she and Miss Eulala sat on my sofa for two hours while Miss Erlene related her whole life story, including her childhood crush on Huey Long.

Southerners might be a  bit chatty, but Northerners are absolute masters of articulate brevity. True  exchange between  me and a store merchant in Stowe,  Vermont:

Me: "This label says that the blueberry jam is home-made. Is that true?"

Merchant: "A-yep."

Me: "Like, made by  your family?"

Merchant: "A-yep."

Me: " So you have a farm, or something?"

Merchant: "A-yep."

A looooong silence followed.

Me: "Can you change a 20?"

Merchant: "A-yep."

Honestly, if I wanted to talk with someone who only answered in monosyllabic grunts, I'd get married again.

So am I a Yankee or a Reb? 

Probably a little of both and a whole lot of neither. Call me what you want, just don't call me late for the corn bread. 


1 comment:

  1. As a fellow Baltimorean, I understand what it means to be neither Southern nor Northern. Folks down here in New Orleans peg me as a Northerner as soon as I open my mouth. At least under the tutorage of two fine Southern ladies, I don't look like one as soon as I walk into a room. That may be as far as I can go in joining the club, however, because I still can't stand to be late for anything.