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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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Awkward, Humor, Sarcasm, Things I Should Have Solved A Year Ago

Anecdotes Of A Once Anti-Social Waitress

waitress

I read something by the Underclassy about all of the things waiters and waitresses don’t tell you. One of the points he made is when customers assume you’ve tried everything on the menu, which gets a little old when you’ve waitressed for however many years.

“How is the salmon here? Is it good?” To be honest, I don’t like salmon. But I will lie to you and tell you how awesome it is.

“What is the strawberry margarita like?” It’s a strawberry flavored margarita. I’m sure it takes just like any other damn margarita you’ve had in your lifetime.

When you are asked these questions, you are then forced to get fancy with your descriptions. I will never forget the time someone asked me, “What’s in the bacon cheesy fries?”

How do you get out of a question like that? No matter what you say, and how you say it, you sound like a condescending asshole who is lowering your IQ standards to meet theirs. There are so many things we want to say to you, but we hold back entirely. So, my suggestion would be to milk it the best you can. If I could go back in time, I’d like to answer their question by saying something like:

Well…we take a sack of potatoes, chop them up, lather them in this garlic truffle butter. Toss them around the frying pan, season them, add a dash of holy water, and then place them in the deep fryer to get nice and crispy. Then, we take a block of Wisconsin cheese. This isn’t your average Wisconsin cheese. This was found in the back woods of the great Green Bay Packers land found by the beefy Clay Matthews while wearing a red flannel, mountain boots, and his hair up high in a man bun. He found a land of abandoned aged cheese. The cheese was then shipped to us and mixed in with this European cheese that was once kissed by Grace of Monaco. Her kiss sent the cheese to a type of nirvana, which is why it’s still so good to eat. 

Then, there was once a pig. He was The pig. The pig of the pen. He looked after all of the other pigs in the pen, took them in, and cared for them. He was an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and donator to the Make A Wish Foundation. And then one day, he decided to sacrifice himself. Just like Jesus. He was like the Jesus pig. He brought himself to the farmer and yelled, “Take me!” The farmer picked up the fat pig, chopped him up into pieces, and that my friend, is what you have drizzled across your beloved cheesy fries. Jesus pig. 

And once you are finished with this fictional story you have just sprung before them, you are then awarded no tip. Which is precisely why we say nothing.

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