Thursday, February 24, 2011

Chatty Southerners

I have missed Southern culture & attitudes so much. I love how total strangers chat and actually want more than a "fine" in response to, "How are you doing?"

At Sam's, a lady stopped me to ask where I'd gotten my shoes. (They're these Onesole things, and I had a picture of Charleston's Rainbow Row on them.) I told her Charlotte; she was disappointed that she wasn't going up there any time soon, but she had actually lived in both Albemarle and Mooresville before, so she knew exactly where I was from and welcomed me to the area. We chatted for 10 minutes, all b/c she liked my shoes.

Tuesday, Annelise & I were having a snack out. I had reprimanded her for making a mess, but said that *she* wasn't bad; we just needed to clean it up. [DISCLAIMER: I am totally not saying that I'm always (or even usually?) so level-headed in my discipline!!! :-P] A man sitting beside us said, "I just have to tell you, you are a great parent. The way you handled that and made sure there were consequences to her action, but you didn't tear her down - keep that up! I work in counseling, and I can't tell you how many kids and young adults I see that could have avoided my office completely with parents like you."

I about burst into tears - what blessed encouragement for a mom trying to glue all our lives back together in a new place! The two other people sitting near us knew this man, so we all four ended up talking, and I got all kinds of info on Will's new school, which lifted me up, too. I love the feel of Southern small town life where everyone knows everyone, like where I grew up.

I'm thankful to have my hometown girlfriend Jamie here, too. We even got to have a double date night last Friday! Which lead to more chatting Southern strangers ending up in a smaller world: at one local place, a guy beside us struck up conversation. He said he knew of Davidson. Wow, I thought. How? He was on the national board of JB's fraternity & knew about the Davidson chapter! After the fraternity brothers & Davidson connection, Jamie & I said that we're from Concord, (which is close by, so he'd be familiar.) He said, "Well, I do some business with a little packaging company there..." *MY* family (my grandfather started it; my mom's brother & his kids run it) owns a little packaging company, and you guessed it - he works with my family business! Finally, it gets even weirder. We talked further about moving around, and he said that he actually lived up north during high school in a place called Naperville. SERIOUSLY?!?!? So then we talked Naperville, and we even emailed our dear friend from church there to ask if she knew him, b/c they had gone to that same high school about the same time.

Now I'm not saying that this kind of thing can't happen up north, but I didn't experience it, and surely not on a daily basis like here! The South is all about connections.

4 comments:

  1. I can so relate! There is a difference and although so people claim to hate it, I love it and I think it all makes us much more connected! LOL

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  2. I think the people who have never lived outside of the South for a little while are the ones who really claim to hate eveyone knowing their business. :-P

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  3. That's something I do miss... Although my family isn't exactly from the south I lived more than half my life there and I miss the southern hospitality... Waving to people on the road as I'm driving by... Saying hi to a stranger... I have to say Kansas is still pretty hospitable compared to say the Northeastern part of the country but it's not quite the same... :)

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  4. I totally understand, Marcie! I thought Naperville (outside Chicago) was the most hospitable place we lived outside of the South. We really enjoyed life there...but it still wasn't quite the same, outside of our circle of friends.

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