1. You cook or eat fried chicken for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

It’s always a good time to have fried chicken, period.

2. You make sure your refrigerator and cupboards are fully stocked with eggs, milk, and bread — even when there’s only a chance of snow.

As soon as the weather forecast predicts even the slightest potential for snow, you’ll go to the store to get any and everything you think you need. You’re not going to drive if the roads have any snow or ice on them. This is because you know that often the forecast is wrong, and you still remember the time it was and you were stranded in the house for three days.

3. You love the Crimson Tide. You hate the Crimson Tide.

S.E.C. football is the only football that matters in the South. The Alabama Crimson Tide is the one team that, regardless of where you grew up in the South, you either love them or hate them. There is no in between when it comes to Bama.

4. You don’t give any other information than “up North.”

Even though “up North” isn’t an actual place on a map, it will not stop a Southerner from using the phrase to explain where someone is from or going to. When someone says they are going up North it is understood to be past the Mason-Dixon line, and that’s all the information needed.

5. You say “hello” or “hey” to everyone, whether you know them or not.

Actually speaking to people is Southern hospitality. In the South, it is considered to be good manners to greet someone in passing with a verbal “hello” or simple gesture like a hand wave, tip of a hat, or a chin nod.

6. You give directions using land marks, not street names.

When someone asks you how to get somewhere in the South your response will not involve a street name. In most cases it will involve counting traffic lights, intersections, and Wal-Marts.

7. You feel horrible if you don’t go to church on Sunday.

A direct result of living in the Bible belt is the guilt one feels for missing church, no matter what the reason. So it doesn’t matter how long you may have been out partying on Saturday night, you will be in church on Sunday morning. If you don’t go but don’t want to feel that you’re going to hell, you try to find a service online or on television so you can at least get the “word” and not feel like a heathen.

8. Poke salad is the one dish you are afraid to prepare, especially on your own.

This dish is delicious when mixed with scrambled eggs for breakfast and is served a lot in the South. When you get older, though, you find out that it’s poisonous and shouldn’t be eaten it at all. Now, the only time you can actually eat it is if you’re lucky enough to be visiting relatives who found some on the side of the road, stopped the car, picked it, and cooked it while you’re in town.

9. You no longer order sweet tea in restaurants.

When you order sweet tea, you actually expect it to be sweet and not have your server point to the sugar on the table for you to add more if you want it. Everyone knows that once the tea is already cold the sugar doesn’t dissolve. Sweet tea can only be sweetened properly while the tea is warm.

10. Words like “ya’ll,” “fixin,” and “tarnation” are part of your vocabulary.

Saying these words with either a soft or heavy accent when you travel out of the South will more likely than not have someone ask you if you are from Alabama.

11. Under no circumstance will you wear white shoes after Labor Day.

The fashion world may have decided wearing all shades of white year round was acceptable. However, in the South only winter white and off-white are okay. No matter where you are in the world, seeing this will make your skin crawl and you will not dare put on white shoes until Easter Sunday.

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