There are vast differences between the North and the South. Most of these differences have probably been around for centuries. Perhaps they started with the Civil War, but I’m thinking they began long before that. Life seems to move at a much slower pace in the South.
When we first moved here in 1998, my husband applied for a few jobs. Now, in New Jersey when you apply for a job on a Thursday, you receive a call or an email by the following Monday to let you know one of three things;
- they are not interested in you
- they are interested in you, or
- you’ve got the job
You can imagine our surprise when my husband applied down here and was called three weeks later to see if he wanted the job. Yes, a much s-l-o-w-e-r pace.
If you ask my 82 year old father, all of the worst drivers live in Florida.
I felt it was my duty to tell him that most of them are displaced Northerners. He agreed with me, but still equates bad driving with the South. I have to admit, seeing what looks like a twelve year old behind the wheel is a little unnerving. But there is something to be said for “Southern Hospitality” even in driving. For example, in New Jersey if you step off of a curb in a parking lot and a car is coming you will die. In Florida, I take great delight in stepping off of the curb in a parking lot and seeing cars come to a screeching halt. One day I did this on purpose to show my visiting girlfriend, also from the North. She, too, was amazed. Though I think Florida would do well to have a few “jughandles”, I do realize that this may be pushing things a little. If you’re wondering what a “jughandle” is, I’ll give you a hint. It has nothing to do with a juice or milk container.
I’m fairly certain there are only two seasons in Florida, summer and some semblance of fall that is proudly referred to as winter. The first year we moved here I wore shorts for the entire year. That’s 365 days of having to shave my legs, folks. “No-Shave-November” was sorely missed, as were my socks and fuzzy slippers. On a positive note I am finally, after almost 19 years here, getting used to the idea of opening my windows in winter and closing them in summer. Still strange, but I’m beginning to enjoy it.
As far as the terrain, it’s very flat in Florida. So flat that I’m fairly certain in some areas of the state you can watch your dog run away for at least three days. But, then again, the skies in Florida are unmatched. I pretend the clouds are mountains. They are just as majestic and just as beautiful.
Southern food tastes are also an anomaly.
Deep fried food, though bad for you, is a delicacy. Almost anything can and will be fried; pickles, twinkies, oreos, peach pie, butter, your firstborn. Seriously though, who fries butter? The deep frying thing is only superseded in my lack of understanding by the idea of boiling peanuts. In the North peanuts are dry and roasted and sold at baseball games. They are fun! In the South they are slimy and soft and sold very often on the side of the road. They are icky! Before you think I judge too harshly, I think you should know I’ve tasted one of these and I have witnesses. I sucked on the slimy shell as instructed. I then bit down on said slimy shell, spit it out, and bit into the even slimier, mushy nut. I did not enjoy it. I will leave boiled peanuts to the people of the South.
And finally, there is the seemingly sweet southern phrase, “Bless Your Heart”. I have come to realize that this phrase may not mean what you think it means. In fact, it’s meanings can be as diverse as the North is from the South. This phrase can mean anything from, “I really appreciate something you’ve done” to “I’m angry and may even want to do you bodily harm”. Either way it is said with a smile. One must pay close attention to discern the actual meaning. It is frightening to say the least.
Since I’ve gone above and beyond my word count goal, I will end here. Thank you for visiting with me. I hope I managed to make you smile today.
You may think it’s, not that big a deal, but it is!
Photo courtesy of my brother, Paul. You can visit his website at nuhorizondesign.com