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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

geography influences the things I say and do...

I'm so grateful for the opportunity have lived in a few regions of the US (mainly Colorado and Massachusetts since high school) and then Baltimore for three years after grad school. I've picked up phrases like "y'all," "hon" and "wicked." Those are words that don't often find themselves in the same sentence, yet if occasion calls I just might say "I don't know about y'all, but my trip was a wicked good time, hon!" 

I'm half kidding. When I find myself in a new place, I usually stick to the motto of "when in Rome..." and do my best to blend in. If I'm in Kansas City, pile on the BBQ. When in Baltimore, lemme have more crab. When in the South, I drink sweet tea. I want to try the local favorites, but I know they won't always be "my taste." Being married to a man who was born and raised in Tennessee, I've come to learn I can't handle a few things my southern counterparts appreciate ((disclaimer: I'm not making fun of the South in anyway; it's a unique place, just like New England)). I'm not a southerner because:

But deep down, I'm actually a bit jealous of my southern friends and relatives. They always look so put together and they have the cutest accents! I don't have an accent, which is probably why I pick up on using words like "y'all." I also appreciate their hospitality and pace. They ask me questions and make me feel like I'm the only one around, when I'm just going through the checkout line at the grocer.

I could stand to learn a lesson from my southern friends like slow down and take the time to get to know those around you. I could give more than one example, but when we were buying peaches and a melon at a farm stand, the guy was so friendly. He acted like he had all the time in the world and he even taught me how to thump a watermelon to see if it's ripe or not!

Northerners are often known for their hurried style, but I'm fighting against that lately. I am telling myself to slow down and enjoy each moment for what it is. If I'm with a friend, enjoy it. Even at the grocery store, I don't need to make it my objective to be checked out faster than the person who approached the checkout line next to me at the same time. Life isn't a competition. And maybe if I slow down enough, I'll be able to walk without tripping properly in my cute heels (because I own several pairs I rarely wear)!


  1. I can relate in that I tend to adapt to where I live..When I talk to friends here in Minnesooota I draw out my O's. But I've noticed when I'm home alone with my kids I still sound a bit southern. Oh and the only time I like gravy is when my mom, grandma or myself makes it. Gravy from a restaurant is almost always gross, in my opinion :)

  2. I never picked up the southern accent when I lived in Texas, but every time I go up to Chicago my 'northern accent' comes out a bit stronger.

    And I agree with you and Julia... DQ gravy is just not that great. :)

  3. But according to the Beach Boys we're good kissers up north ;)

  4. I grew up in Minnesota and moved to Tennessee, which is where I call home. And right now my husband is stationed in upstate New York. So all I have left to experience is the West Coast! I would have to say, Tennessee is my favorite, but I'm not the best Southerner. I can't do white gravy (biscuits and gravy - blech) or sweet tea either. I have the funniest accent because I've now lived half my life in MN and half in TN. I talk fast like a Minnesotan with the funny "o's" (like dontcha know), but have a bit of a drawl because of TN!

  5. I think living in Florida is a mix of north + south. I have southern manners, but no accent!

  6. i think southerners are just the sweetest! i was blown away by the friendliness of the people in nashville. i don't really remember what new englanders are like.. bit i'll find be finding out soon :) us michiganders definitely rush around too much. i've been told we have a distinct accent. for instance, we pronounce mom like mahhhhhm. it's very nasally & pretty obnoxious.

  7. I don't have an accent either, or so I thought until I moved from my home state of Indiana to Baltimore. My students tell me I have an accent and when they point out the words they tell me I say different (caaffee instead of coffee is their favorite) I realized that I have a slight Chicago accent. Makes sense since I grew up not to far from. I completely agree with you about the pace of life. In the midwest things moved slowly. I moved out to Syracuse for school and I had to adapt to the high speed of things. But moving down to Baltimore after college felt a bit like home because it definitely has a bit of the southern pace to it!

    1. caaaffee! Heidi I can hear that in my head! So midwest!!

      And then New Yorkers are like COUGHHHH-FAY.

      I love accents-- so great.

  8. um what is white gravy?

    also born & raised on the west coast what are we like? Nerdy? Relaxed? I know I definitely have no accent. I may even have lack of an accent and I'm super jealous of accents... I want a Georgia one. A very soft Georgia drawl.


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