1. You talk pretty.
Everyone will think your Alabama accent is a sign that you’re from some backwater slum where shoes were optional and electricity was a luxury. Thanks to the media, you’ll have to take care to shatter that stereotype on an individual level with every person you meet.
2. You grew up without basic amenities.
Except you did, just like everyone else in the United States. You know: Power, paved roads, running water, basic housing, socks or shoes, the Internet.
It might shock people, but yes, we have all of those things. We’re not an uncontacted tribe in Peru. We have an electrical grid. Some of us even understand Internet memes.
3. You come off as super religious without trying.
Even if you’re not a practicing Christian, compared to everyone outside the Bible Belt you’re a religious force to be reckoned with. You probably know more about religious culture than people who studied it, and it’s really easy to drop those overtones into a conversation without much effort.
This is a surprisingly good people deterrent when you don’t want to talk to anyone.
4. You’re obviously a slayer of wildlife.
Though every Alabamian doesn’t love to hunt, many of us do. The problem is that the stereotype often depicts us as hunters riding off to war on the back of a camouflaged pickup with one hand on a spotlight and the other brandishing a rebel flag while we holler, “Yee-haw!”
And, of course, you wouldn’t do that. It would scare the deer.
5. You must have all the guns.
You don’t even know why you have so many, but you do. A couple of handguns, at least one shotgun and a rifle. And if you could get a bazooka, those deer wouldn’t even know what hit ‘em.
The reality? Gun culture is a big deal, sure, but some of us don’t own a gun or see much of a point in it. Most of us don’t sleep with a handgun under our pillow or go to the supermarket fully strapped.
6. You can Sir and Ma’am someone to death.
Alabamians can be polite to a fault. It’s just part of the culture here. Gender pronouns aren’t a comment on your age so much as a way of showing respect, something that’s been ingrained in most Alabamians from a very early age. But damn, if you can’t “politeness” your way out of a tricky situation. It’s like fencing with niceties.
So don’t be surprised if we call your seven-year-old “sir” or a “nice young man” even if we think he’s the terror of the earth. The brat child gets a pass in the face of impropriety.
7. You must never leave the state.
Honestly, why would you need to?
You’ve got mountains and caves in the northeast. The Gulf Coast down south. Decently sized cities. A rich state history with plenty of museums. Good, country cooking, and like-minded people to share it with. And, most importantly, nobody looks at you funny when you go back for thirds at the buffet.
8. You’re pretty conservative, one way or another.
Traditional values are big in Alabama. A strong moral compass and a good head on your shoulders can take you a long way in the Bible Belt.
But even if you’re socially liberal, fiscal conservatism may ring a bell with you. Lower national debt and taxes and a deregulated economy means greater opportunities for the capitalist market to run its natural course.
Because everybody’s a capitalist at heart, right?
9. You don’t do cold.
Is it below 60?
It’s time to get out the heaviest coat you have no right to own. Don’t forget the gloves, scarf, and beanie with the pom-pom on top. Just make sure the beanie has an Alabama “A” or an Auburn tiger paw and that the colors are Iron Bowl-appropriate.
10. You bleed crimson and white or orange and blue.
Alabama or Auburn. It’s just the way it is, and every year at the Iron Bowl, it’s do or die trying.
Even if you’re not attending, you’re probably wearing the team jersey and may have the team logo painted on your cheek or tattooed on your body. And permanent fixtures like that are okay because choosing a side is a lifelong choice, and you wouldn’t be caught dead going over to the other side. Those heathens.