Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Southern Culture - Tips for the Outsider

I think there might need to be some sort of a 'visitors guide' or something set up for people who come to the South. Here're some things friends and I came up with last night while we were talking about Southern culture.

1. Southerners want people to like us. Not just 'tolerate' us. We want to make people happy. We're bred/brought up this way and it's deep in there.

2. We tend to take people at their word. If you say you're going to do something, we expect that you will do it. And if you don't, then that's it. Of course there are exigent circumstances, but we're not speaking of those. Just instances where you promise to do something and then don't. There are usually no second chances - you've lost us forever. There's some wiggle room, of course. Another Southerner will likely get more leeway than Someone Else.

3. We expect exaggeration and bluster from politicians, not regular people. If you say something, we assume that you mean it. So watch what you say, because people will still settle their differences the old fashioned way in some parts.

4. Southerners are not putting on airs. We are, in fact, friendly, hospitable, and civil. If we're sharing freely with you about ourselves, it means we trust you. But, like #2, if you break that trust, it's gone forever. And we're easily offended. If you've offended us, we will likely just cut you off entirely until you make amends. And even then, it will never be the same. We like a lot of people, but we don't respect them until they've earned it.

5. We gossip. It's not meant to be harmful, though it does get that way sometimes. It's just the way we talk. We share information, but it's boring unless it comes with an interesting story.

6. We can take criticism, if it's done properly. That means you do it civilly, or you do it with some humor. We don't just go straight for the throat. If it's to that point, it's too late and it's already a fight. That's the Yankee way. And we all know they're not brought up right.

7. Brutal honesty is rejected. It is a virtue to maintain civility through slight dishonesty. 'Little white lies' keep society from burning to the ground, people.

8. Do not yell at a Southerner. Ever. Do not interrupt us while we are talking unless the building is actively burning down around us or Timmy is stuck down the well. Do not mock us, jeer at us, or make a public spectacle. We are speaking. You will get your turn, and we expect you to speak politely as well when you've got the 'floor'. If you cannot do this, you will be cut off and we won't even acknowledge that you exist until you've made amends. I'm not kidding. We shun people. You don't have to agree with our opinions, you just have to be able to express yourself like a full grown and proper human being.

9. We're always early. And we always leave late. It's just polite to be on time, and 'on time' just happens to be at least 15 minutes early for us. Seriously. If we actually arrive somewhere at the time we're told to be there, we're late. And leaving takes a lot of good-byes, so expect the ending time of anything to be maybe half an hour after it's 'ended'.

33 comments:

  1. OK, I was laughing at "Someone Else" in # 2

    and this is so so so true:

    "And leaving takes a lot of good-byes, so expect the ending time of anything to be maybe half an hour after it's 'ended'."


    We can never just say "OK, bye." and leave. It's a long process. I noticed this recently when we were leaving our neighbors' house and Andrew gave his three million goodbyes. :-D

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  2. It's true! It's all true! ^_^ One of the cooks here is totally in love with my accent, lol. He thinks it's awesome. ^_^

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  3. Susanne,

    :D

    It's true! You can't just *leave*, you have to say good-bye. And that always leads to just another story or another this. Or oh, did you see-

    And an hour later you're still there!

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  4. Heather,

    :D

    Of course he is. It's a Southern accent, therefore it is superior!

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  5. Awww this made me laugh.

    Actually, the thing about being late if you are on time, is so true for me actually! Which is why it's horrible for me to date guys who are on Pakistani/ME/Arab/French time, and are ALWAYS late!

    And yes, I remember my Mum starting to say we had to leave and start the goodbyes an hour before we really had to/wanted to leave at family gatherings :P

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  6. And yeah, when I spent time in Arkansas (that counts as the South right? I was amazed at how open and friendly and hospitable people were.

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  7. Becky,

    That'd be a non-starter for me, really. I can't stand being late! Either on-time late or Late late.

    Yep. I said half an hour, but that's a lowball figure, really. It usually takes much, much longer!

    *lol* Yes, Arkansas counts as the South.

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  8. I thought so... the 50 churches in a 50,000 pop town was a bit of a giveaway ;)

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  9. And that's how you know you're in the 'Bible Belt'!

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  10. Btw Amber, talking about Bible Belt... I just read today about the people who believe Judgement Day will be on the 21st of May! Please tell me you don't believe that... apparently I've been deceived by Satan...

    "@rksteg must inform U Rebekka~U have been DECEIVED by the chief liar #satan ~ http://WECANKNOW.COM #TIMELINE of #history is 100% accurate~!@"

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  11. Too funny! I just mentioned him in my other comment to you!

    No, I don't believe that the world is coming to an end on the 21st. Aside from the fact that the world can't end until the Dresden Files series has been completed (and that's another ten years, maybe), he used the same sort of wacky numerology to get to this answer *and*, more importantly, we are told, flat out in the Bible that no one knows when the end of the world will happen. So I really don't get the whole obsession with trying to predict it. Everyone's been wrong so far, and I imagine they will continue to be wrong for millenia to come.

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  12. Yes, I ignore such people...or laugh at them. Like Amber said, the Bible clearly says ***no one knows.*** I don't get why they try to predict it somehow. For publicity? Well, it works as people keep reporting their silliness.

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  13. Because they're convinced that they are 'enlightened' and have access to secret knowledge or some such crap. They're nutters. At least most of these groups don't suicide on the day of the apocalypse. Those are tragic.

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  14. One of them is praying for me... I said I'd talk to him on the 22nd of May.

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  15. So you've actually spoken to one of these people? Ooohhh...

    I intend to stay up all day on the 21st. Just so I don't miss the Rapture happening. I want to take pictures of the people floating up into the air!

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  16. Hahahahaha and post them on the blog!

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  17. Yes! I want to see them too! Becky, it will be the next day where you live first, so you get the pics for us, OK? :)

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  18. Deal! But I was wondering, does this mean I should stop writing bachelors project and enjoy the last 10 days?

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  19. Only if you realllllllllllly think you'll get pictures that day! ;)

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  20. Becky,

    Do you think your professor would take, 'I was waiting for the Rapture' as a valid excuse for it not being completed?

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  21. I think we should all make a pact. Assuming that we ourselves are not of the chosen few (which I think is pretty well guaranteed for this particular 'rapture'), if we spot any people being raptured or anything else apocalyptic-y we will take pictures and post them! Just to keep a record of the events! :D

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  22. Sounds good, Amber! Please remind me later this week to charge my batteries so my camera will be ready. :D

    This will be fun!!!!!

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  23. Will do! Do you think the apocalypse understands timezones?

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  24. maybe Becky can ask her friend for us.

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  25. Unfortunately I don't think they would care for that excuse, and since it counts for half of this semester's GPA I don't think I should mess with it... and my group members would kill me :P haha

    And is not my friend, is some random stranger on Twitter :P

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  26. In that case, definitely not! :)

    Well, but you know everything!

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  27. haha I wish. Actually, no, I don't wish, cause then there would be nothing left to discover.

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  28. You also drive slowly, unless it is pre- and post- work hours, then its NASCAR, baby!

    You "warm up" to subjects through small talk.

    Your mama is the most important person on earth. Unless you are daddy's/Paw-paw's girl.

    Punctuality is a Northerner's trait. Church actually starts at 10:15, didn't ya know?

    ;-) all observations of a transplanted Northern chick. I actually prefer the South now.

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  29. And the "saying goodbye takes half an hour, minimum"? Oh, yes. I was rolling laughing because I realized that no matter where I go, especially if it's with my mom, we always take half an hour to leave, for exactly the reasons you said. The same applies to being on the phone. :)

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  30. Heather,

    It's just polite is all. You can't just *leave*!

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  31. Hi Anna,

    *lol* Actually, it's NASCAR all the time with me. I'm bad...

    How else are you going to get to the subject? Jumping straight to the point is unfriendly and boring!



    Yeah. And? ;)

    Time moves differently in the South! :D

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