Anecdote, Awkward, Food, Home, Humor, I Wasn't Worried, I'm not a mommy blogger, My Idea Of Being An Adult, Thoughts, You're Fine

How Southern Have I Become?

I’ve been scaring myself lately. I’ve had many moments where I stopped and said, “That was awfully Southern, Jess.” I’ve actually thoroughly enjoyed my time here in the South. The only section in America I haven’t lived in is the Midwest and no thank you. There have been certain aspects to the South I’ve experienced over the last six months that you can only experience in the South. Kind of like New England with their Autumn – apple picking, cider donuts, jumping in the leaves, and oh my god I think I might cry. (You can experience those things outside of New England but it’s not the same.)

So here are some Southerner things I’ve dealt with that is so Southernly Southern that I now feel the need to rate myself on a scale of 1(Southern) to 10 (Northern).

The Food

I ordered Chicken and Waffles the other day for breakfast. I was ashamed as I was ordering it, and I felt the button on my shorts ripping at the seams. Chicken and Waffles is still a completely weird and foreign meal to consume but I’ve heard nothing but good things and decided to try it.

It was disgustingly delicious. For those of you unfamiliar with this meal, it’s a giant waffle with a piece of fried chicken on top. And yes, you dip both the chicken and the waffle in maple syrup. How the hell do they come up with this? And we wonder why the South contains the fattest population in America.

Scale – 1 (Dude…that was so Southern.)

The Pace

It’s very, verrrrrryyyyy, verrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrryyyyyy slow down here. Some mornings, it takes me fifteen minutes just to get my coffee. Nearly every coffee shop I enter, even the Starbucks, there’s no more than two people working the counter, even on the busiest mornings. And they take one order at a time.

They take the order. Spend five minutes making the order. Give the order to the customer. And then so on. They for some reason don’t take multiple orders and try to do everything at once. AMATEURS. 

But I’ve learned to buy myself some time. I wake up earlier, skip down the street and order my coffee, which the place I typically go to now knows my order by heart, and we will make small talk as I’m waiting. The pace down here has been bearable if I allow it.

Scale – 5 (You’re adapting…)

The People

Southerners have a certain quality in them that’s erie. Ever seen Fargo? All of the characters are so wonderfully nice and jolly while they’re trying to solve a murder.

This might be a better example: You can automatically tell when a New Yorker or a Bostonian is angry just by making eye contact. They will get up in your face with a rage you’ve never seen, all because why? You didn’t put the cream in their coffee like they asked. They’ve got places to be man!

But Southerners, they are all about the passive aggressive banter. Take my landlady for example. I got a voicemail from her last week and she said, “I was just driving by y’all’s place and noticed the recycling bin isn’t out, and I just can’t help but wonder…why???” And then she hung up. Bitchy, right? Yet her tone was so charming. She then texted me and Colleen asking about it, and I apologized and said we just aren’t used to taking the bins out because we’ve never had to anywhere else we’ve lived, but we can work with the girls next door to figure out some alternating schedule.

Her response was, “I completely understand and I know I clumsily forget as well. But that’s just part of being an adult living in a city. I’m putting money into making your home feel special and it would be nice if you appreciated it.”

I completely lost it. This woman tends to act like she’s my mother scolding me. I already have a mom. I don’t need another one. And then to accuse me of not having my shit together like a normal adult was downright insulting. However, if there’s one thing I learned about Southerners and they’re clever passive aggressive banter, it’s that it doesn’t usually last very long when you bite back because they hate confrontation. So I said, “I’ve lived in many cities larger than Charleston, so I’m aware that it works differently everywhere.”

Her response, “Alternating weeks sounds like a great idea! *Inserts smiley face*”

Scale – 10 (NORTHERNER! ALERT! ALERT!)

As long as my northernness never leaves me entirely, I’ll live. I don’t think it’s possible, honestly.

 

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Anecdote, Family, Festivities, Home, Humor, Memories

Home, and stories

Today, I feel like reminiscing my hometown. Since I no longer have a house there, I visit only once in while when I’m driving through. Lately, I’ve been missing it. I grew up in a small beach town in New Hampshire called North Hampton, founded in 1742. It’s not on the level of Stars Hollow with a crazy town selectman or a bitter Korean Antique store owner, but it has its boosts of colonial charm, and similar to Stars Hollow, all of the houses are extremely old and hold some form of historical value.

Solid example of every day life at North Hampton Elementary:

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(Source)

Let me start off by looking back at the fond memories of my fellow neighbors. There were the M’s to the left of us that seemed to never have a bad day. When I pulled into my driveway, me being the naturally bitter New Englander that I am, used to dread seeing Mr. M watering his lawn because that meant he would drop the hose with excitement and run across his yard just to pop over and say, “howdy”. We hated that. They had a daughter named Michelle who was the same age as my sisters, and occasionally babysat me. We didn’t exactly get along. One afternoon, my sister came home from school to hear me screaming at Michelle from their house, calling her a “Buttface” while she yelled something along the lines of, “I’m going to kill you you little brat!” I’m sure it was more vulgar, but basically my sister grabbed my hand and hauled me back home while I smirked. (I also won’t forget that time on the trampoline when I was probably seven and she jumped so hard that I flew into the air like a humpback whale punting a seal and landed face first into the trampoline. My nose bled pretty badly that day.)

We had our neighbors, the P’s to the right of us who liked to party just as much as we did. Their son, Nick, had a pet snake and my sisters recall Mr. P taking the snake into the garage and chopping him up into pieces. Of course, seeing only Mr. P’s torso with a butcher knife in his hand made it look even more disturbing than it actually was. They also had a fat beagle named Spike who would slip and tumble into the ditches in our backyard from our dog Jasmine. Occasionally, I’d look out the back door and see little legs pointing up and some scrambling before I ran out to help him.

We also had a lady down the street with a very impressive collection of flamingoes in her yard. And the grumpy elderly couple  who was always performing yard work every day and never bought one single box of Girl Scout cookies from me. There was also a farmhouse with a donkey, and every day on the school bus, I’d see the Donkey named Jericho and his butt in the doorway. He recently died and I mourned his loss 3,000 miles away.

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My school was tiny. I went to one school that had grades Preschool to 8th grade, and there were about 65 kids in my 8th grade class. I knew most of my classmates since the finger painting days which is probably why health class was so unbearably uncomfortable. Imagine sitting in a classroom talking about the inner workings of the vagina with 65 kids who you practically call brother and sister. Even when dating became popular, it still felt weirdly like incest. It seemed like our health class lasted years. We learned about sex starting from fifth grade all the way to eighth grade. I remember one activity we did, the boys sat on one side while the girls sat on the other, and we asked each other a series of questions and I wanted someone to just bury me alive. One boy decided to announce to everyone that he didn’t like blow jobs. Some force came over me, and even though I didn’t know what a blow job was at the age of twelve, I then blurted out, “How do you know?” Everyone started laughing and I instantly felt like crap.

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Because of our small, close-knit class, we were extremely sheltered because nothing bad ever happened in this quaint town. It wasn’t until we went to high school and met kids from other towns that it felt like we had been hit over the head with a frying pan of reality.

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We had the annual walk to the beach at the end of the school year that was a 3.5 mile walk. I wouldn’t consider it child labor but….

We had a middle school teacher that followed us through 6-8 grade so she was like our Mr. Feeny.

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Our middle school dances were combined with the students at Hampton Falls, who had an even smaller school than we did. The dances consisted of us standing in a corner watching the other teachers dance to 50 Cent and “Tipsy”. And I really hated the fact that they always played “Stairway to Heaven” as the last slow song of the evening. It’s way too damn long.

Every year we held a Thanksgiving lunch where we could dress up as either a pilgrim or an Indian. 97% of North Hampton’s population is white, so naturally, everyone dressed as a pilgrim. My mom always tried to convince me to dress as an Indian every year because I’d be “different”, but I always fought back with, “EVERYONE ELSE WILL BE A PILGRIM THOUGH!” I always won that argument.

These fond memories get me all jazzed to go home in T-minus 18 days. How many of you are going home for the holidays?

Be sure to send me your holiday stories for the very first You’re Fine Holiday Contest! The winner will receive a New Years gift from me as well as your story posted to my blog on Christmas Day. Any questions, email me at jreyna91@gmail.com! 

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