Photo: Matt A. Claiborne/Shutterstock

14 Signs You Were Born and Raised in Charleston

Student Work
by Baker Manning Feb 9, 2015

1. You’ve had hundreds of pet fiddler crabs.

You didn’t even have to go looking for them, somehow they found a way into your home. Eventually you probably got bored with them and used them as bait.

2. You talk with that lowcountry twang unique to Charleston.

You understand Geechee Gullah, and can even speak it. You know and use the word “kooray,” but you’re not sure how to spell it. You know the proper way to pronounce Vanderhorst, Huger, Legare, and Gaillard.

3. You love the smell of pluff mudd and the color “Charleston Green.”

4. You’re never in a rush, and you’re always polite.

You walk slowly and you talk slowly, because it’s too damn hot to over exert yourself. You smile and nod at everyone you pass in the street, whether you know them or not. You always hold the door open for people, and saying “yessir” and “yes ma’am” is second nature.

5. You can navigate through the marshes, cricks, and rivers with your eyes closed.

You learned to drive a boat way before a car. Depending on the tide, you know the best places to get shrimp, oysters, clams, crabs, and fish.

6. The sight of dolphins no longer excites you.

And seagulls are nothing but pests.

7. You’re accustomed to spending long periods of time in damp clothes.

You know that the moment you step outside in the summer you will be hit with a wall of heat and humidity so thick your sunglasses will fog up and you’ll start sweating profusely.

8. You don’t throw away worn-out tennis shoes.

As a kid you’ve suffered lacerations from oysters, clams, and other sharp objects in the mud. You probably have a pile of old tattered muddy shoes tucked away somewhere to have on hand for venturing out into the marshes. You’ve unintentionally made several shoe sacrifices to the almighty pluff mud god.

9. You know where the Mason Dixon line is located.

You refer to anyone hailing from above it as a “yankee,” and you think the South is better off without them. You don’t trust democrats, or anyone who prefers their iced tea with no sugar. You also have a slightly negative sentiment towards Savannah, because you blame them for being the reason we lost “The War of Northern Aggression.” You know all of the words to the old confederate song “Dixie.” You, or someone you know, is a member of the patriotic organization “Sons of the Confederacy.”

10. As a child, your biggest fears were: hurricanes, driving over the old Cooper River Bridge, and being in houses that didn’t have “Haint Blue” porch ceilings.

Your recollection of life events is either dated “before Hugo,” or “after Hugo.” You know how to board up windows, and probably have a special emergency supply of food stowed away somewhere just in case. You probably held your breath and crossed your fingers as you crossed the river on the ancient 2 lane bridge that looked as though it could collapse at the slightest breeze. Blue paint on the ceilings was intended to keep away wasps, evil spirits, and nightfall.

11. You’ve witnessed people kayaking, or even wake-stating in the streets.

You know to stay away from downtown if there happens to be a heavy downpour during high tide because the city can quickly flood several feet in minutes causing terrible traffic, and houses and cars to flood. But it can also be a good excuse to call in late to work and bust out the water toys.

12. You always dress to impress.

Ladies- you know the difference between heels, wedges, pumps, and stilettos and most likely own at least one of each, in every color. You are an expert at walking in them thanks to years of maneuvering though cobblestone streets, 200 year old cracked up driveways, and crooked porches and houses. You also own a pearl necklace, and multiple accessories containing your monogrammed initials or a palmetto tree. Men- you own a seer sucker suit, and multiple bow ties, pastel shirts, croakies, and visors. All of your visors are discolored and stained from sweating profusely.

13. You were surprised to learn that not every house has porches.

As a child you thought that crooked, 2 story high porches was the norm. You thought that all docks were at least 100 ft. long, and that all yards had a joggling board.

14. You don’t eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you eat breakfast, dinner, and supper.

Sunday dinner always included rice and Bloody Marys. Grits is not just for breakfast, and you drink sweet tea with every meal. She Crab Soup is only one ounce of sherry away from becoming a cocktail. You have eaten oysters prepared in every way possible, and you know that peanuts are way better boiled. You know that the best place to get boiled peanuts is on the side of the road, where you can also buy baskets weaved out of sweet grass from the Awenda Basket Ladies.

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