1. No matter the relationship, we’re gonna wave at you.
Do you know the jogger passing in front of you at the crosswalk or the frazzled woman in the Sedan pulling out of the Piggly Wiggly? Maybe, but probably not. As a Southerner, you feel a type of obligation to stretch your hand out for at least three seconds and give a nod to every person you see passing by. We like to acknowledge your presence, even if we don’t know you.
If you don’t wave first, you’re weird. If you don’t reciprocate a wave that you receive, you’re just an asshole.
2. Food is actually our way of life.
Cajun shrimp, creamy grits, and thick andouille sausage marinated in a cajun butter sauce; doughy dumplings soaked in chicken broth; fried green tomatoes dunked in cajun remoulade; sweet, buttered cornbread; pecan pie held together by Karo syrup; biscuits covered in peppered white gravy; juicy peach cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream; Sweet Baby Ray’s slathered ribs; fried chicken and waffles with hot syrup; sweet tea.
3. We believe Snowpocalypses can happen with just a few inches of snow.
A simple weather forecast that goes something like: “Well, we’re not really sure we know what we’re talking about, but there’s a chance there may be three inches of snow this weekend…” results in the grocery stores turning into post-apocalyptic wastelands and the roads being abandoned in a chaotic mess of slush.
Whenever we get a few inches of snow in the south, someone has a baby in their car while taking 18 hours to drive 3.5 miles to the hospital. And Chick Fil-A will send the National Guard to deliver fried chicken meals to stranded passengers. But then again, what do you expect when the city only supplies three salt trucks? And two of them wreck on their way out of the parking lot — into each other.
4. And we don’t take religion or football lightly.
With a church always in a rock’s throw, there’s a reason it’s called the Bible-Belt. But you won’t fully get the experience until you drive past a tent with snake handlers drinking strychnine or overhear a prayer group blessing the football game later that night. Roll tide?
5. Our cologne is OFF!
Unless you want to pick gnats out of your eyes or slap yourself every five seconds to keep mosquitoes from feasting on you during the humid summers, you better douse yourself in bug spray like it’s Chanel No. 5.
6. We actually drink moonshine.
Peach, blackberry cobbler, apple pie, pumpkin spice — there’s a flavor of high-proofed distilled Southern spirit for everyone to get drunk on here. And you don’t even have to look for a sketchy hermit hiding in the mountains to find some. You’ll probably get it served to you in a mason jar at your work’s Christmas party.
7. We monogram everything we own.
Everything in our possession must absolutely be personalized with the exact same curly script.
8. We can stretch any single syllable word into at least two syllables.
We’re native speakers in the language of diphthongs.
9. We react to every misfortune with a casserole.
Death in the family, a nasty divorce, a flat tire — there’s no tragedy that doesn’t warrant a casserole. However, discovering that your fridge won’t close because it’s slammed full of chicken and green bean casserole dishes, that you have to eventually return, kind of feels like a tragedy in itself. Not to mention the hand-written thank you note you’re now expected to mail.
10. We don’t road trip without boiled peanuts.
Off just about any exit in the South, you’ll find a vegetable stand with the plumpest, juiciest boiled peanuts in a bag for $5. Bite into the cajun seasoned shell, slurp out the peanuts, wipe the salty juice off your chin, and toss the husks out the open window. Repeat.
11. There is nothing that can’t be deep-fried and put on a stick.
Vegetables, oreos, beer, butter. I’ll try two of each.