A Northerner’s response to the some of the
“17 Things You Learn From Growing Up In The South”
now that I’ve lived here for a decade.
OriginalPost by Chelsea Fagan
1. Southern food is truly the best. Whether it’s spicy gumbo, fried chicken and biscuits with honey, sautéed greens, or BBQ meat that falls off the bone — the south has it locked up. You grow up with that food and it is the stuff you will be craving for the rest of your life. The day I arrived back in America after a few years abroad, the first meal I had was fluffy biscuits with sausage gravy, two sunny side up eggs, and a glass of real sweet tea. It was transcendent.
I’ll give you gumbo, collards, okra, and grits… but out of all the foods I have ever eaten, these are my least favorite. Sorry Chelsea.
2. Hot asphalt and hot vinyl car seats are the stuff of summer nightmares. RIP to all the bare feet and thighs that have been lost to their merciless sizzle.
Yeah, we have the sun too… crazy how that works.
3. “Southern Belles” and “Southern Gentlemen” still exist, but the people who openly identify as such often embody neither idea.
4. People really are ignorant. The same people whose parents didn’t want them to be in science class when we learned about the Big Bang are the same people who, at age 25, are flagrantly posting Facebook statuses about Obama being a Muslim or gay marriage being dangerous to society. And on the one hand, you realize that they were kind of doomed from the get-go, but on the other hand, they have a vote. (Of course, this doesn’t mean that the stereotype about all southerners being backwards conservatives is true, either. There are Democrats and Republicans, just like you have anywhere else.)
Completely agree! Ignorant people are everywhere.
7. Spankings are definitely still a thing. When I moved up to Maryland (which some people still consider the south, but that’s debatable), I realized that a lot of my friends’ parents just “negotiated” with them from age two and beyond. This is not acceptable in the south. One of my most formative memories is being popped in the mouth by my grandmother in front of the entire line at Winn-Dixie because I called her a bitch. It was a moment equivalent in education to about four full years of schooling.
My 7 year old hiney can tell you that spankings are a northern thing as well.
8. There is no limit to how many foods can be fried. And, let’s be honest, you’ve tried (and probably enjoyed) 99 percent of them.
The fair comes to northern towns too, ya know.
9. American flag clothes are very much in fashion in parts of the country. My neighbor as a child had a collection of NASCAR memorabilia in his living room, including a box of limited-edition Dale Earnhardt Bugles (the corn chips). This man’s clothes were at least 40 percent covered with American flags.
Ever heard of the Indianapolis 500?
10. There are a million Honey Boo Boos. And the famous one is far more articulate than most of them. I had several Honey Boo Boos in my neighborhood except, instead of spouting adorable sayings, they mostly just ate push pops until their whole faces were orange and threw rocks at animals.
I agree, the south has rednecks, the north just has white trash. The difference is in the dialect.
13. There were very liberal “riding your bikes in the neighborhood” rules. Everyone pretty much had free reign all summer, and people were very rarely indoors. The sound of the crickets coming out (and the moms yelling from the doorways) were the only indicators of what time it was or that the day was actually over.
Me too. Just had to be home when the streetlamps came on.
14. All sodas can be referred to as “Coke,” even though this objectively makes no sense and only makes ordering drinks a step more complicated than it needs to be.
We called it “pop.”
17. Respect for elders is the most important thing ever. Talking back to an adult in the south, or not calling someone ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am’ is a one-way ticket to being punished into another generation. If you don’t have respect for grown-ups, you have no home training, and life is just going to be a struggle for you. To this day, as a 25-year-old, I still call older people “Mr.” and “Ms.” out of force of habit. I’ll likely do it until I am dead, and honestly, I’m a better person for it.
My friend’s parents were Mr. and Mrs. Last Name and we said “yes please” instead of “yes mam” and “no, thank you” instead of “no mam”. I do see a difference in language here, but do not insinuate that the north does not have manners.