Sunday, February 23, 2014

You Know You're in the South When...

I notice things about Georgia when I visit now, since I'm no longer a Georgian. Things that used to be normal to me... now make me pause and chuckle. I love the South. Totally miss it when I didn't think I would. Ten years into Utah living is making me miss home sweet home (and makes me want to sing "way down yonder on the Chattahoochee!" lol)...

Chattahoochee River with Atlanta skyline
Photo: www.southernenvironment.org

Things I've noticed:
  • in Georgia there are pecans, boiled peanuts, blackberries, and peaches sold everywhere - the best ones are found at side-of-the-road stands
    • in Utah it's hard to find good produce in general, but the peaches are the worst
  • street names: Honeysuckle, Sweetwater, and Peachtree
    • I'm used to the grid system! in Utah, I can find any address just by hearing it... in Georgia I've gotta use GPS or go by landmarks
  • made-up word: learnt (oh, there are many, many made-up words in the South, but I heard this one a lot the last couple trips)
    • Utah has its own made-up words... like "onry"... the word is "ornery," yall! You're pronouncing it wrong and it's been driving me crazy for 10 years!!!
  • on Georgia radio, if it's not country, it's "all I want for my birthday is a big booty girl" (totally heard this when I was riding in the car with my father-in-law, awkward for me - he and my toddler nephew just sang along! ha ha ha)
    • I enjoy rap every once in awhile, but to hear a white radio host on the rap station in Utah just ain't right
  • car seats for kids are treated as optional if you're just "going up the block" (think Britney Spears with her kid on her lap when she was driving in Los Angeles)
    • I wouldn't dare NOT strap Kal in and I'm sure in Utah there are "mommy wars" going on about which car seat is the safest (I can't imagine hearing that kind of argument in Georgia)
  • tractors and riding lawn mowers are just part of traffic in Georgia, everybody goes at a leisurely pace
    • forever ongoing construction is the norm here! and terrible and fast drivers
  • people ain't afraid to tell you how it is (or how they think it is)... passive-aggressiveness, sarcasm, and tact are rare
    • in Utah, I can't tell when someone is being sarcastic or beating around the bush or not... sometimes that causes some miscommunications (especially when people think I'm being sarcastic when I'm really being genuine)
  • just about every black guy has dreads or at one point had dreads... Zay likes to tell his brothers, "Man you ain't never gonna get a job with that hair!" ha ha
    • I see just about as many black guys with dreads in Georgia as I see white guys with side parts in Utah (and white shirts & ties!)
  • I can no longer understand people without concentrating really hard; expressions that have come about in the last 10 years are lost on me (like "I'm feeling some kinda way" - still don't really know what that means)
    • I'm losing my accent! when I first came to Utah, it was THICK and someone even once told me that they thought I was faking a Southern accent because it was so ridiculous; now it only comes out if I stay on the phone with my Mama too long; my heart tickles a little when I hear a good ole Southern drawl
  • there's nothing better than a bonfire or a downpour of rain, either one make me extremely happy
    • I get neither one of these out in this desert!
  • everyone is religious to some extent, or so they say (can't really tell who is religious or not on a Saturday night)
    • everyone here is an "intellectual," but also many are religious and they take it very, very seriously (too seriously); if you're not super religious, you're atheist (don't think I ever knew an atheist in Georgia)
  • a slight breeze outside and everyone has on parkas, hats, scarves, gloves, boots (snow is a cause for a panic)
    • in the dead of winter, I still go outside barefoot in Utah... I'm used to it now; Georgia cold ain't nothing!
  • when I say "I don't drink sweet tea," I get a dumbfounded look... and it's hard to bring up my "no beef or pork" diet either!
    • in Utah, I have many vegan friends and Mormons don't drink tea or coffee, so I fit in... :)
Anyways, I'm homesick and thinking about these things! So glad I got to go home in December, but the trips are never long enough. Utah has been great. I found myself out here, really grew up, learned how to build a strong marriage, got a higher education, really figured myself out spiritually, gained confidence in who I am, developed talents, figured out what I really wanted in life, made amazing friends. But something is calling me home to my roots and it's been on my mind a lot recently.

This isn't really a pros and cons list, just things I chuckle about when I think about Utah vs. Georgia.

EDIT: A friend pointed out I didn't mention the bugs! I can definitely say I don't miss spiders, cockroaches, gnats, and mosquitoes (and other creepy flying insects). Ha ha ha. It took me 4 days to get used to the spiders surrounding me when I visited last. But I did get used to it. :)





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