1. You’ve realized that dinner is technically the main meal of the day while supper is served in the evening.

Ever had a table decorated by deviled eggs, fried chicken, cornbread dressing, sweet potatoes, fried green tomatoes, green bean casserole, hash brown casserole, brown sugar glazed carrots, pimento cheese grits, fried okra, fruit salad, biscuits, pecan pie, and three pitchers of sweet, iced tea before one o’clock? That’s dinner, y’all.

2. You’ve pumped gas and petted an emu within a five-minute timespan.

Because half-assed petting zoos of questionable ethics connected to shitty gas stations along the highways are totally a thing here.

3. You believe black-eyed peas and greens on New Year’s will bring you the best luck.

Eat a pea for each day of the year with a side of greens, and you’re pretty much guaranteed a year’s worth of unlimited prosperity and wealth.

4. You can sip moonshine like it’s not moonshine.

If you’ve ever shared a mason jar of blackberry cobbler or apple pie flavored moonshine with your boss at a work Christmas party, you’re officially Southern. Cheers!

5. You’ve become a native speaker in the language of diphthongs.

So every single syllable word is now at least two.

6. You’ve learned to not mess with the worship of college football.

One minute that batshit crazy, tent church down the road is handling snakes and drinking strychnine, and the next, they’re organizing a prayer group to bless a football game later that night. You’ve learned to just roll with it and try not to plan any unrelated events on Game Day because you know that no one will come.

7. Your diet has become centered around fried food.

Fried green tomatoes and deep-fried okra are still considered vegetables, right?

8. You’ve witnessed at least one Civil War reenactment.

Even if it’s completely unintentional, at some point in your southern life you’re bound to encounter a group of hobbyists who just can’t let it go. You’ve learned to prepare yourself for a pretty repetitive outcome every time.

9. You wave at complete strangers on the road in passing.

Because if you don’t wave first, you’re weird. If you don’t wave back to someone, you’re a total dick.

10. You have a pantry shelf stocked with canned goods in case of a catastrophic event.

Mind you, a catastrophic event means snow and snow means half an inch of slushy mess.

11. You’ve become accustomed to asking if that vegetarian dish is really vegetarian.

Green bean casserole loaded with bacon bits, broccoli cheddar soup and creamed spinach boiled with chicken stock, home-style butterbeans soaked in pork fat – it’s a dangerous world out there for Southern vegetarians.

12. When you order tea, you expect it sweetened and iced.

“I don’t mean to be rude, but is this unsweetened bullshit a fucking joke?”

This story was produced through the travel journalism programs at MatadorU. Learn More

13. Wading through thick humidity like a swamp has become your daily workout.

It’s like a regional sauna.

14. Coarsely ground corn kernels boiled with water or milk gets your taste buds all hot and heavy.

Shrimp and grits, catfish and grits, fried grits, smoked gouda grits, lemon garlic grits, berries and honey grits, grit cakes, pimento cheese grits, spicy grits, sweet grits, grits everything.

*Drools*

15. ‘Y’all’ is obviously something you say now.

It’s a freakin’ contraction. Why not use it?

16. You’ve become hospitable as fuck.

“Sure, one of you threw up in my laundry basket and let my cat outside while she was in heat, and the other ate all of my leftovers, but y’all are more than welcome to come back any time! …dickheads.”