Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Once Upon a time

Once upon a time, there was a little girl who lived in The South.

She lived in The South of pearls and flip-flops, biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits, and sweet tea. She lived in The South of every Sunday church attendance, slow-paced living and even slower talking. She lived in The South where there were no strangers. Everyone was a friend, and everyone knew everything about everyone else.

When this little Southern Girl grew up, she went to college in The South. That's where she met The Yankee Boy. He was a nice Yankee. She was very surprised by him because she thought nice Yankees were a myth, like gold at the end of the rainbow.

The Southern Girl fell head over heels for the Yankee Boy. She even agreed to marry him. She was sure the Yankee Boy would get a job in The South. He would come to love grits and biscuits and gravy. His Yankee upbringing would be cured when they lived together in The South. She was sure of it.

She was wrong.

The Yankee Boy got a job Up North.

The Southern Girl that agreed to marry the Yankee Boy had to move to The North!

She was convinced it would be awful. She had heard horror stories about life in The North. She just knew that all the Yankees would be rude and mean. They would talk way too fast and make fun of her accent.

But she would have followed that Yankee Boy anywhere.

At first, life in The North was very hard on the Southern Girl. The Yankees didn't speak the same as she did. They didn't eat the same foods. They didn't wear the same kind of clothes. Instead of Buggies, they had Shopping Carts. And they didn’t have Bag Boys at the grocery store. The Southern Girl had to bag her own groceries! And they certainly didn't act in a way she understood. These Yankees were mean!

The Southern Girl in Yankee Land had a lot to learn. She had to learn how to live without sweet tea at restaurants. The Yankee people didn't even know what sweet tea was! She had to learn how to keep her thoughts to herself in public. The Yankees did not seem interested in chatting as they rang up her groceries or prepared her coffee at Starbucks.

Over time, the Southern Girl made friends with the cashier at the grocery store. She learned to bag her own groceries. She made sweet tea for all of her friends. The Southern Girl in the Yankee Land learned that just because the Yankees appeared rude, didn't mean they really were. They just didn't know any better. Given a little bit of grace, the Yankees could open up and actually be nice people. The Southern Girl even started to appreciate some of what The North had to offer.

The Southern Girl and the Yankee Boy had babies. Growing up in Yankee Land made it hard to raise them as Southern babies. There was some confusion at first. The babies like black eyed peas - preferably cooked with ham chunks. Those are really hard to find Up North.  The Southern Babies in the Yankee Land like grits too. The Southern Girl had to ask her Momma to ship the grits to her.

The Yankee Boy and the Southern Girl are trying to raise their boys with a bit of balance. They are the kindest boys in Yankee land. They say Yes Ma’am and No Sir. They say please and thank you. That's the Southern in them. They are also really quick thinkers. They’re comfortable in big cities and familiar with mass transit. That’s the Yankee in them. They have the best of both worlds.

And what happened to the Southern Girl who married the Yankee boy?

She is a very happy.  She has learned that Yankees are not all bad. Most of them are actually very nice people. They just need help. She still loves to go South. She enjoys the slower pace of life Down South and good home cooking. But she appreciates the things that come from living in Yankee land too: cheese steaks, changing of seasons, big city adventures, white American cheese, and new experiences around every corner.

She still talks like a Southern Girl. It confuses the Yankees. She blesses their heart and calls them "Darlin'". But every once in a while, you will hear her holler at the car in front of her in a very unladylike fashion. The Yankees may be rubbing off on her.

But she will always be a Southern Girl.

Linking up with Finding the Funny.


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