Funny, Yet So True and Endearing

I was born and raised in Southern California. During my life and career, I traveled extensively within the United States (and a few countries), working in, vacationing at or driving through nearly all 50 states. The only states I have not visited are Hawaii, both Dakotas, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama.

But since I now own an Internet Health and Wellness Store, I have customers in all 50 states, and roughly half of my customers prefer to call me either for more information or to place their order. Oftentimes, we have extended conversations on the phone about this or that, and I enjoy getting to know them as a person.

I have a good ear for accents — and am fortunate that I can almost always understand even strong accents — so frequently I can tell what area of the USA they are from. New York and New Jersey have a similar sound, although I find that New Yorkers talk the fastest of all. People from Minnesota and Wisconsin sound a lot like Canadians. People from the south not only sound different, but their pace is slower than all the rest of the states.

And they call me “Ma’am”. The first time I heard it back in the eighties, it made me feel old even though I was only in my forties. Only old people were called “Ma’am” where I grew up.

But I quickly learned it was a name of respect, one also used in the military. Now when someone says that to me I have a very different reaction because I changed what I thought it meant.

The culture and pace of Southern California could not be any more different from that as found in the South, something I discovered when I facilitated a four-day software dealer training workshop in Georgia, a program I facilitated once each month in a different state. As a course developer, feedback is invaluable, and for this particular program I passed out evaluation forms at the end of each day. On the first day, every form said I was talking too fast. So on the second day I thought I had slowed down my speech, but was dismayed to find the same comments on the second day’s evaluation forms. But I finally nailed it down on the third day.

Southern California is a big “fast” city. The Southern part of the USA, no matter where you live with few exceptions, moves and talks at a slower pace.

Nothing wrong with that!

In fact, while I lean toward the faster side of life, I do balance it out with a lot of slow-paced time because I’ve learned that a lot is missed when you go too fast.

And that brings me to the inspiration for writing this note. Today I read an email from a humor list I use for finding funny things for my monthly newsletters. The title is Things a True Southerner Knows. As I began reading it, I laughed a lot because it’s funny (it did come from a humor site). But as I read on, I saw such wisdom in living life with a slower pace, to relax more, to not get feathers ruffled over such trivial things, to let go and get on with being the best one can be as a human being.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Things a True Southerner Knows
(Author Unknown)

Only a True Southerner knows the difference between a hissy fit and a conniption fit, and that you don’t “HAVE” them, you “PITCH” them.

Only a True Southerner knows how many fish, collard greens, turnip greens, peas, beans, etc., make up “a mess.”

Only a True Southerner can show or point out to you the general direction of “yonder.”

Only a True Southerner knows exactly how long “directly” is … as in: “Going to town, be back directly.”

Only a True Southerner knows exactly when “by and by” is. They might not use the term, but they know the concept well.

Only a True Southerner knows instinctively that the best gesture of solace for a neighbor who’s got trouble is a plate of hot fried chicken and a big bowl of cold potato salad. If the neighbor’s
trouble is a real crisis, they also know to add a large peach cobbler!

Only a True Southerner grows up knowing the difference between “pert near” and “a right far piece.” They also know that “just down the road” can be 1 mile or 20.

Only a Southerner knows you don’t scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say, “Bless her heart” and go your own way.

Only a True Southerner knows that when somebody’s “fixin” to do something, it won’t be long.

Only a True Southerner knows how good a cold grape Nehi and cheese crackers are at a country store.

Only a True Southerner knows that there ain’t nobody’s biscuits like Grandma’s biscuits!!

Only a Southerner knows a good dog is worth its weight in gold.

Only a True Southerner knows that real gravy don’t come from the store.

Only a True Southerner knows to never assume that the other car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn.

Only a True Southerner knows that you may wear long sleeves, but you should always roll ’em up past the elbows.

Only a True Southerner knows that rocking chairs and swings are guaranteed stress relievers.

Only a True Southerner knows that rocking chairs and swings with an old person in them are history lessons.

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