Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The South Will (Not) Rise Again

On Monday I happened to find myself at a ChuckECheese birthday party (which is a story for another day). While rollicking in the mouse fun, I was lucky enough to meet a guy named Branden. We started chatting about the usual: what do you do, where are you from, etc. During the conversation I found out that he is from sweet home Alabama! I then shared with him my intense fears of The South. Most people are afraid of the unknown. Some view the unknown as Arabs, Latinos, Canadians, etc. My unknown is The South. In retrospect I probably shouldn't have shared my thoughts with him as that's not a very good way to make friends with someone from The South.

There are two things in life that I'm terrified of and here they are:

1. Germs- specifically kitchen germs

2. The South

Why am I so afraid of The South? Good question. I've known plenty of normal Southerners and they seem mostly normal (well, most of them). As normal as the rest of the country anyhow. But maybe that's just because they've lived elsewhere for a while. Maybe the people who actually live in The South and never come out are the weird ones. I'm pretty sure that's it.

If I ever moved down there, I might end up flying a confederate flag in my front yard and another one on my car for good measure. And go around saying things in my slow Southern drawl like, "The South Will Rise Again!" or "Damn Yankees!" Sending my children to bad schools and letting them marry their second cousins. Canoeing through swamps. Catching alligators. Oh, and I might become a republican. Although since Utah and my parents didn't do that to me, it'd be a long shot.

Here's just a little excerpt from a website called The Confederacy Project that illustrates these fears. "Another PC myth was that slaves were mistreated, starved, and beaten. Not true, slaves were treated better than share croppers and day laborers; they were provided adequate food, shelter, clothes, and medical care. Slaves were private property and were expensive to buy and keep so they were not used for the extremely dangerous jobs such as mining, building of canals, and other such projects because the risk of loss of slaves in accidents would have an high economical impact on their owners, especially if they were injured and not able to work any more. So much for another PC myth that slaves built the infrastructure of the nation and so reparations must be paid to their descendants. Even after the War Between The States, many freed slaves stayed with the families that formerly owned them." Right... so it was okay to treat people like property. I mean, as long as they were well taken care of. Just like cars or a house. They're worth a lot so you take care of them. No biggie...

They say that to overcome your fears you should face them head on, but I just don't think I can do it. Nope. Can't make me.


Anonymous said...

I don't know why you are so afraid of the South. I think that it's one of the most interesting regions in the U.S. I for one would welcome the chance to view some of the Civi War battle sights or tour a plantation in South Carolina. Robert E. Lee (a southerner) is one of my heros. And lets not forget the intriguing love of state the the Virginians have. I almost wish that I grew up as an eighth generation Virginian. Perhaps in my next life I could be born in the south.

Stacy said...

So if you meet an amazing guy who meets all the criteria on The List and he happens to be a Southern boy, it's a no go? Southern boys can be bikers, too.

(The post was very entertaining, by the way.)

LEstes65 said...

Having just relocated from the blue haven of Boston to the red & blue mix (mostly red) of Austin, I totally hear you. But I'm here to tell you that, 2 years into my life as a Texan, I am still a democrat. I will never - while in my right mind - allow a confederate flag anywhere near my house, car, children's clothing, etc. While living in Boston, I refused to pick up the "pahk the cah in Hahvid yahd" accent (likewise not allowing my children to pick it up). While living here, we aren't picking up any drawl (well, Austin is rather a melting pot of people and accents so not much influence around us). I will say "Damn Yankees" but only because I'm a Red Sox fan - my exlaimation tends to confuse those that fear The NorthEast down here. The schools in Texas are exemplary (who knew?!) and in Austin, they're the best in Texas. I am hugely relieved about this because the public schools in Boston weren't all that. I'm adopted so allowing my childred to marry my second cousins has no genetic consequences. However, I won't be letting them out of the pure YICK factor. I'm in the hill country (with rivers & creeks galore) but no swamps. Alas, no gators. But I do want to slap all the people screaming "GITTER DONE!" and "HOOKEM HORNS!" (doing the hookem horns hand sign). I love the color of burned orange and have quite a bit of it in my wardrobe. This makes people think I'm a UT fan. I could care less so that's fine if they think that. I have never liked any college enough to wear their logos (esp since I dropped out of the only one I attended).

All this yapping is just is possible to relocate to The South (although, the geographically challenged people who named the south east "The South" while naming the dead center south "The Southwest" need to be slapped) without losing any of your previously developed personality. Although, I like to blend my Boston and Austin homes by periodically delcaring "Wikkid pissuh, y'all!" No one gets it but me.

JenKneeBee said...

Anonymous (known as Sam to some): I can just see you as a civil war belle sitting on the veranda sipping your iced tea in a big fancy dress. Ah yes, the dresses. That's really why you want to be a southerner right? :)

Stacy: I think I'd have to meet the guy first. And if he didn't expect me to live down there. Ack!

LEstes65: Hahahah... People actually say GITTER DONE and HOOKEM HORNS? That's awesome. I've actually never though of Texas as part of the South or Southwest. More like it's own entity. Fascinating...

LEstes65 said...

I'd say most Texans agree with you - there is quite a bit of pride remainingn from the days when Texas was its own country. I'm sure not a few people think of Texas as its own entity. And I have to say, the only people I've actually heard say "Gitter done" were saying it in jest. But the fact that it's joked about down here makes me realise there are some that MUST say it for real! And yes, the UT students (especially alum) DO actually yell "HOOKEM HORNS" and do the hand sign. I find that just so odd and amazing.

Diane said...

I was born in Virginia & raised in Pennsylvania. My family was in Woodbridge and Fairfax, Virginia.

Lovely part of the country, but I realized that I could never go back or consider living in the South. Way too hot/humid and different for my tastes.

Most of the South scares me too. It's all in my perceptions of how I feel they are and way too red. As generally it's more conservative and religious.

I'm used to being in the minority as a democrat in a very GOP state, but Colorado has been leaning more blue.