Thirteen Things You Need to Know About the South

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Ask any Southerner and they’ll tell you…growing up in the South is a privilege. Southern folks ENJOY life. Things move at a slower pace, people are much more friendly and tradition runs deep. If you don’t believe us, just go to an SEC football game. Heck – even a high school football game will do. Known as friendly with a whole lot of y’all, the South is steeped deep in tradition and everyone should visit at least once in their lifetime. You will be a better person once you experience a dose of Southern culture. Here are thirteen things you need to know about the South.

Humidity

There are times the humidity is so thick you can see it. But guess what? There is an upside to the muggy weather: great skin. The additional moisture in the air keeps skin hydrated with a slight glisten. Your skin will never get dry again which means BONUS! No wrinkles! Once you wipe the sweat or um, perspiration off your beautiful face, bask in the glory of just-stepped-out-of-the-spa-skin without spending a dime!

Leather Seats and Heat Don’t Mix

If you think the humidity is bad, this is much worse. Everyone who has spent any amount of time in the south knows this all too well. Many bare thighs have been burned by plopping down in a car that has been sitting in the sun. Luckily, the burn only lasts about 10 seconds.

The Number of Food Items That Can Be Fried is Limitless

In the South, anything is fair game. They’ve been known to deep-fry chicken, potatoes, green tomatoes, dill pickles, zucchini, pies, Twinkies and even sticks of butter. And don’t forget catfish. No self-respecting town south of the Mason-Dixon Line would be caught dead without a catfish house. Don’t judge though, we all know everything tastes better when it’s deep-fried!

Tailgates

As mentioned above, if you haven’t experienced an SEC football game, you are sheltered. If you haven’t experienced an SEC football tailgate, you basically haven’t lived. The spread will blow your mind.  BBQ’d everything: ribs, beef, pork, fish, chicken, cheese…we mean everything. The amount of homemade desserts, dips, breads, side dishes is impressive. Don’t have tickets to the game? No worries! The satellite television set-ups will blow your mind. Watching the game on a 60-inch flat screen while enjoying Southern fare?  There could be worse things in life.

Coke Means ANY Soda

Just because someone asks if you would like “Coke” doesn’t mean you are getting a Coca-Cola. It simply means you are getting something sugary and carbonated. That is actually part of the fun…you never quite know what you are going to end up with.

Southern Food is the Best

If you haven’t experienced Southern fare you have no idea what you are missing. Fried chicken, BBQ that falls off the bone, mashed potatoes, gravy…LOTS of gravy, homemade desserts and sweet tea are just the beginning of the amazing food Southerners cook. Should you find yourself lucky enough to be invited to a church potluck, GO! There’s an unspoken rule in the South that no one would be caught dead taking “store bought” items to a potluck. {this same rule applies to tailgates}

Respect for Elders

Southerners truly revere those generations ahead of them. Raised to say “yes ma’am” and “no sir” to anyone more than 5 years older, they turn to their elders for advice. The wisdom imparted is typically invaluable and followed. Don’t miss out on an invitation to sit in front of the general store to chat with a group of retired men. The life lessons you learn will be priceless.

All Tea is Sweet

When offered tea, just know in the South it’s going to be sweet. Very sweet. If you’ve never had sweet tea before, it’s kind of a life changer. There’s nothing like sipping a tall glass of it on a hot day and then taking a long nap as your blood sugar crashes. Unsweet tea is for sissies.

Bless Her Heart

Every Southern woman knows when her neighbor says, “Bless her heart,” what she really means is she’s getting ready to describe someone’s inequities as a southern woman. “You should have seen what she brought to the church potluck, bless her heart.” Apparently, adding that phrase to any gossipy statement, negates the fact that it is gossip. And mean.

Southern Dialect

The Southern dialect could be considered a foreign language to some and you may need a translator. Southern: “Jeet?” “No, jew?” Everywhere else: “Did you eat?” “No, did you?” Trust us, this is just one of MANY things you won’t be able to understand. You can probably find a translation book at your local Barnes and Noble.

Family is Important

Like really important. You can pretty much ask anyone over the age of 50 about their family tree and they will present a 600-page book. And they know the people in the book. Every. Single. One. Most people are lucky to know their second cousins, Southerns know their sixth cousins, well. And don’t even think about crossing one of these people. Blood is thick in the South.

The Hair is Big

We are pleased to report the classic Southern motto “The higher the hair, the closer to God” is still very much alive. Older women will puff up their bouffants for a trip to the grocery store, while young women wear their hair in bouncy curls that cascade down their backs. Being in the South will make you keenly aware of your inability to use a curling iron, but keep working on it. You know, for God.

Hospitality is a Virtue

Southern people are more apt to hold open doors, buy your beers, and strike up a conversation in the middle of the supermarket. After a few of these random acts of kindness, you may find yourself making a conscious effort to bring that charming culture into your own less-than-hospitable life. There is nothing better than someone improving your day without expecting anything in return. And in the South, that’s kinda every day.

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