A normal friend offers to split up the driving on road trips.
A Tennessee friend offers intense moral support as you drive over Monteagle.
A normal friend will introduce you to someone while at a bar in Nashville.
A Tennessee friend will introduce you as “Glennis Pattywacker” because they know that the chances of either of you seeing that person again is slim to zero.
A normal friend found it strange that you had to go to church with your family every Sunday in High School.
A Tennessee friend was probably hungover and sitting in the pew in front of you.
A normal friend’s parents treat you with hospitality and always offer for you to join them for dinner.
A Tennessee friend’s parents immediately adopt you as one of their own, calling to check in every other week, liking all your Facebook posts, and sending you care packages of Reese’s, toilet paper, and shaving cream.
A normal friend will want to catch up with you over coffee after a year or two without seeing each other.
A Tennessee friend will already have a cup of coffee ready for you when you wake up after letting them crash on your couch for five days.
A normal friend will listen as you cry over a recent breakup, botched job interview, or fight with a family member.
A Tennessee friend will listen, understand, and offer advice, which typically involves sucking back tears, moving forward with your chin up, and flipping the rest of the world a metaphorical bird.
A normal friend knows something is bothering you after you bitch about your problem for an hour over the phone.
A Tennessee friend takes one look at you and says “Okay, who do I need to fuck up?”
A normal friend rolls their eyes while you get into another heated debate with your climate-change denying uncle over Fox News.
A Tennessee friend is smack dab right in the middle of the heated debate with you.
A normal friend will suggest getting a mimosa at brunch to make your hangover a little more tolerable.
A Tennessee friend will call the Jack Daniel’s Distillery to make sure they’re open for tours and sampling before rolling you out of bed and pushing you in the car.
A normal friend keeps plans as-is when the forecast calls for a dusting.
A Tennessee friend builds a fort out of your couch cushions and sheets since you’ll most likely be off work for the next week and a half.
A normal friend will brew you a cup of hot herbal tea when you visit.
A Tennessee friend will brew seven Lipton tea bags, pour over a mound of sugar in a gallon pitcher, and dilute with water. And a true Tennessee friend won’t let you have any until it’s cooled for about 45 minutes in the fridge and mixed with a handful of ice in a mason jar beaded with condensation.
A normal friend asks what your alcohol preference is for the night.
A Tennessee friend asks how much gas money you’re willing to throw in for them to drive to the bordering county for some booze.
A normal friend wouldn’t miss your housewarming party for the world, regardless of it being Game Day or not. They’ll even bring a fruit salad and a 2 liter of Coke for everyone to share.
A Tennessee friend wouldn’t miss your party either, but will show up decked out in orange and immediately flip your TV on the game, turning it up at ridiculous volumes and aggressively yelling at the refs. They’ll even bring hot wings and a pint of whiskey for themselves.
A normal friend will post articles on Facebook speaking out against or in favor of certain laws during election time.
A Tennessee friend will have brought over two bottles of Rex Goliath to celebrate the law passed for grocery stores to start selling wine. And, of course, to mourn the passing of Amendment 1.
A normal friend roots for their state team.
A Tennessee friend religiously roots for the Broncos solely for their undying loyalty to Peyton Manning.
A normal friend chases their Vodka with orange juice.
A Tennessee friend takes a swig of moonshine from a mason jar like a goddamn badass.
A normal friend has a preferred type of sauce for their barbecue.
A Tennessee friend knows that rubbing it dry is the only way to do it.
A normal friend has at least heard of Nashville.
A Tennessee friend works on the set of Nashville and has accidently tripped Hayden Panettiere on more than one occasion.
A normal friend mocks the idea of deep fried oreos even if they secretly want to try one.
A Tennessee friend drops a MoonPie in the deep fryer for dessert after a meal of fried vegetables and chicken.
A normal friend calls ahead for lunch reservations to avoid a 45 minute wait.
A Tennessee friend shows up on your front porch and rushes you out the door like beating the Sunday church crowd is some sort of Mission Impossible game.
A normal friend gets drunk and makes a DiGiorno pizza for the two of you to split.
A Tennessee friend gets drunk and orders a sack of soggy, square steamed burgers from Krystals, and if you’re lucky, you might get a corn pup.
A normal friend gives you a heads up when they think something is too spicy for your taste buds to handle.
A Tennessee friend convinces you that Hot Chicken is just a name to attract tourists and laughs as you desperately chug sweet tea while your eyes stream regretful tears. But then they’ll hand you a cup of heat numbing pimento mac n’ cheese and a pickle slice because what else are Tennessee friends for?