Monday, August 07, 2006

What is it about the South...

...that makes my skin crawl? I have lived in the South for almost 13 years and I just couldn't quite put my finger on what it was. I just know that I hate living here. I have lived in Georgia for most of that time, about 11 out of those 13 years. I am not using just my experiences here in Georgia to judge the entire South. I spent 6 months in Alabama and hated it. I lived in Kentucky for 9 months and hated it. I have taken short jaunts into Tennessee, Mississippi and South Carolina and hated it. There is just something about the South that leaves me with a constant feeling of unease.

Could it be...

...that most Southerners talk really slowly and I am just too impatient to wait for them to get it out?
...that the heat and humidity are absolutely unbearable?
...that I find some Southerners are much too simple for my tastes? (I have been told that my cooking eggs in butter instead of oil is "fancy").
...that the "good ol' boy" mentality is rife in the South and I just believe that people should be treated fairly, no matter what?
...that it is rare to find someone here in the South that does not have a cigarette attached to their lips and/or a nasty "spit cup" for their chewing tobacco?
...that I find that most Southerners make important decisions-- like who to vote for-- based on emotion and knee jerk reactions and not rational and logical thought?
...that I am a very private person and most Southerners share entirely too much of their private lives with relative strangers and expect you to reciprocate?
...that Southern legislators think introducing legislation mandating that restaurants in Georgia serve "sweet tea" is an important issue? (Genius, that is why they have sugar on the table. Sweeten your own damn tea.)

I certainly don't look down on Southerners. They are human beings just like I am and living in the South does have its up side (the mild winters and the relatively low cost of living). Its just that I would think after 13 years I would be more acclimated to the culture. Apparently, it is not going to happen. I feel uneasy and creepy because I am a fish out of water here. I have absolutely nothing in common with most of the people I meet. I grew up in the Caribbean in a totally different culture. I know its not the South, it's me. There are plenty of people here from the Caribbean and they like it just fine. I don't. I still wonder how my husband came to be a product of something I dislike so much. I married a Southerner before I knew what the South was.

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