Southerners Got This Right

When it comes to cultural differences, the world is definitely shrinking. The country is shrinking, too. Heck, even the state of Texas is shrinking. When I was growing up, the stereotypes of people from different regions of the US were so prominent. You could peg people not only by their accents, but also by their mannerisms and attitudes. In today’s much more mobile society, it’s a lot harder to typecast people.

I’m a midwesterner, thru and thru. Except for one grandfather who hailed from New York, I come from at least four generations of midwestern stock. And then I moved to Texas. And then I married a southerner. And then I gave birth to two native Texans. And then I stopped saying “you guys” and “pop” and started saying “y’all” and “soda” (I don’t, however, call every soft drink Coke – I think you have to be born saying that). Still, I’m usually more than happy to laugh at Texas and the south (and myself), because, really, everyone knows that the midwest ways are actually the NORMAL ways. EXCEPT….

Southerners are right about slowing down.  I used to mock the way people from the south t a l k  s o  s l o w l y. Then I learned to appreciate the melody and rhythm in southern speech and now I am a total sucker for a southern storyteller. I even read southern writer’s books slower because surely that is how they are meant to be read, w o r d   b y  w o r d. But really, the reason southerners are so right about this slowing down is because of the oppressive heat.

When it is 100 degrees day after day with no cool front in the forecast, there is just no good reason to rush. Hurrying only gets  you sweaty and flushed and tired (and at my age there’s enough of that going around). If it’s important, I’ll get to it…eventually. Summer means a few more hours of daylight, I plan to use them all. In the south, cardiovascular exercise, like professional sports, has a season (and it’s not June-September). Don’t even bother to put urgency in your voice, I’m moving as fast as summer intended me to move.

Forget “slow as molasses in January” – think “slow as a southerner in summer”. I’ll rush to accomplish things again in October.

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