Monday, May 08, 2006

Theme Week 15

This is all good advice from my friend, Miz Myrtle...a true "G-R-I-T-S"...

Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit, and that you don't "have" them, you "PITCH" them.

Only a Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up "a mess." .. and we ain't given our secrets away to no Yankees.

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." The Cornish also know this secret, but they 'ain't tellin' either.
Even Southern babies know that "gimme some sugar" is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in 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 well.
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 puddin!

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.
Only a Southerner, both knows and understands the difference between a redneck, a good ol' boy, and po' white trash.
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! Southerners know grits come from corn and how to eat them.
Every 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. ?
And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say, "Bless her heart" and go your own way.

To those of you who are still a little embarrassed by our Southerness: Take two tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning. Bless your heart!
And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff, bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on Southernness as a Second Language!
And last but certainly not least, for those that are NOT born Southern but have lived here for a long, long time, all y'all need a sign to hang on y'alls front porch that reads "I ain't originally from the South, but I got here as fast as I could."


Blogger johngoldfine said...

Interesting, funny. You lived down south, right? How much of this is professional southernism, like professional a-yuh down-eastism? How much is genuine regional culture?

10:42 PM  
Blogger marciamellow said...

Like any of these pieces, it's a mixture to be sure. Myrt (a true southerner who moved north at least 40 yrs ago and still calls everyone "Hon" or "Sugar") is so much a part of this, that when I sent it to her daughter, without comment, she wrote back.."That's my mother!!" Myrt once struck up a conversation with the country singer, Lori Morgan, in an airport. When Myrt was telling about the experience, part of her comment was,..."Bless her heart...she has to be on the road so much!"

7:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've really enjoyed reading your stuff over the semester.

This is a great piece. I spent most of my growin up days in the south. You definitely struck those chords perfectly. Oh, and there's 9 outta 10 days a pitcher of sweet tea in this girl's fridge.

11:59 AM  
Blogger marciamellow said...

Thank you anon...always nice to hear nice things! (Bless your heart!!)

8:34 AM  

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