You ask, “Is being Southern a business?”
You bet your sweet, southern drawl it is! I mean, just think about all of the BIG money-makers who have benefited from the southern status. Just to name a few: Paula Deen, Oprah, Reece Witherspoon, Fannie Flag, Brett Favre, Elvis, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Richard Wright, Walter Payton, Eudora Welty, Mr. Faulkner, and all of the Manning guys. Oh, there are so many others, but you get my drift. I’m just saying that these are talented southerners who make us proud.
Bless our hearts! We’ve struggled through so many misconceptions about our culture, but you know and I know that we are genuinely good folks. Oh, yes, there are some rotten apples mixed along with the goodness, but Granny always said that sometimes there would be a “fly in the ointment,” and I’ve met a few “flies” in my time – bet you have, too.
Always remember that living in the south lane is a privilege and a blessing from our Lord.
So to brighten your day (mine, too), I have a list of southernisms that will surely tickle your southern, funny bone and bring a flood of memories as well. This list can be read in its entirety at www.rockinghamremembered.com. For my readers who do not indulge in the world of cyberspace, I want to share the southernism list with you via this column:
Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit, and that you don’t “HAVE” them, but “PITCH” them.
Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up “a mess.”
Only a Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of “yonder.”
Only a Southerner knows exactly how long “directly” is – as in: “Going to town, be back directly.”
Every Southern baby knows that “gimme some sugar” is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl on the middle of the table.
All Southerners know exactly when “by and by” is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept.
Only a Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who’s got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor’s trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large banana pudding!
Only Southerners grow up knowing the difference between “right near” and “a right far piece.” They also know that “just down the road” can be 1 mile or 20.
No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.
A Southerner knows that “fixin” can be used as a noun, a verb, or an adverb.
Only Southerners make friends while standing in lines. We don’t do “queues,” we do “lines”; and when we’re “in line,” we talk to EVERYBODY!
Put 100 Southerners in a room and half of them will discover they’re related, even if only by marriage.
Southerners never refer to one person as “ya’ll” – it takes more than one to make a “ya’ll.”
Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.
Every true Southerner knows tomatoes with eggs, bacon, grits, and coffee are perfectly wonderful; that red eye gravy is also a breakfast food; and that fried green tomatoes are not a breakfast food.
When you hear someone say, “Well, I caught myself lookin’,” you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner!
Only true Southerners say “sweet tea” and “sweet milk.” Sweet tea indicates the need for sugar and lots of it – we do not like our tea unsweetened. “Sweet milk” means you don’t want buttermilk.
A true Southerner knows you don’t scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the interstate. You just say, “Bless her heart” and go your way.
Southerness – Someone once noted that a Southerner can get away with the most awful kind of insult just as long as it’s prefaced with the words, “Bless her heart” or “Bless his heart.” As in: “Bless his heart, he was absent the day that God gave out brains.” Or: “Bless her heart, she can’t help being ugly, but she could have stayed home.”
Southerners don’t use the term, “I swear” – it’s “I swannee” in Southernism. Sounds more wholesome, but has the same meaning.
I love being Southern – wouldn’t live anywhere else. I enjoy my heritage and that I am, indeed, “kin” to most of any room of 100 Southerners. Nothing soothes the soul as a sweet Southern voice saying, “Ya’ll come back now when you can stay longer.”
So, I invite each of you to come back to this column week after week as we explore the wonderment of living in the South, and, hey, we might be famous one day like Oprah or Tim McGraw or even the Manning guys. It can happen, because we are Southerners!
Anne McKee is a Mississippi inspired storyteller and writer. See her website: http://www.annemckeestoryteller.com
You ask, “Is being Southern a business?”