Wild turkey, fun-fetti cupcakes, and invisible elephants (OH MY!)

In an effort to reclaim my youth, I’m finally on Facebook. Facebook is great because it allows me to be connected to other people in my life that I might not otherwise be connected to–especially now that I’ve joined the ranks of the mid-west.
It’s funny because on any given day, I give relatively little thought to the fact that I spent the vast majority of my life in the southland. At times (such as these) I feel a little guilty. Have I renounced my southerness? Why, in fact, have I abandoned the accent that returns so quickly when in the presense of only those who would understand?. So I surfed onto a facebook group all about being from the great state of ‘Bama and found a list of “You know you’re from Alabama when…” I feel it is my duty to educate some of you yankees on the basics so here you go:

***

You have a party or a barbeque whenever Alabama plays Auburn in football. (I don’t like football–but I still want to throw a party anyways!)

You go to Gulf Shores every summer.

You call the Atlanta Braves baseball team “us” like they’re actually from Alabama.

A soft drink isn’t soda, cola, or pop, it’s Coke.

You call it a “buggy” and not a shopping cart.

You’ve said “fixin’ to,” “might could,” or “usetacould” during the last week.

You can properly pronounce Arab, Eufaula, Opelika, Loachapoka, Bayou La Batre, and Oneonta.

You think that people who complain about the humidity in other states are sissies.

You aren’t surprised to find rental movies, groceries, ammunition and bait all in the same store.

Asian food is always “CHINESE” regardless of the fact that it may actually be Korean or Japanese or Thai.

People actually grow, eat, and like okra.

Mamanem means the whole family. (“Are mamanem comin?”)

You measure distance in minutes.

You’ve ever had to switch from “heat” to “A/C” in the same day.

You know what “cow tipping” is.

The local papers cover national and international news on
one page but require 6 pages for sports.

You know all four seasons: Almost summer, summer, still
summer, and Christmas.

You know the difference between redneck, hillbilly, and southerner.

You think everybody from the north has an accent.

Y’all is a word.

There is no such thing as tea.. it’s sweet tea.

If a single snowflake falls, the town is paralyzed for three days, and it’s on all the channels as a news flash every 15 minutes for a week. All grocery stores will be sold out of milk, bread, bottled water, toilet paper, and beer. If there is a remote chance of snow, and if it does snow, people will be on the corner selling “I survived the blizzard” tee-shirts, not to mention the fact that all schools will close at the slightest possible chance of snow.

Your directions include “when you see the Waffle House” or “turn on the dirt road.”

You say “sir” and “ma’am” if there’s even a chance someone is even thiry seconds older than you.

The falling of one rain drop causes all drivers to immediately forget all traffic rules; so will daylight savings time, a girl applying eye shadow in the next car, or a flat tire three lanes over.

There is nothing but country on the radio.

A tornado warning siren is your signal to go out in the yard and look for a funnel.

Almost everyone you know is Baptist or Methodist.

A Mercedes Benz isn’t a status symbol. A Chevy Silverado Extended Bed Crew Cab is.

You know everything goes better with Ranch dressing.

Krispy Kreme doughnuts are the only doughnuts that exist.

You know at least one Bubba, and maybe a few guys named Bo.

You don’t assume the car with the blinker light on is actually going to turn anytime in the near future.

***

As summer comes to a close, I realize there are things I miss–Gulf Shores, those afternoon thunderstorms that feel like the end of the world for about 20 minutes, Carpe Diem, avenues lined with oaks, fried shrimp, gumbo…

I have this habit of nostalgia, see. And ‘Bama haunts me like the heart buried under the floorboards. And yet, if I ever left Cleveland, it would haunt me too. I’d miss putting on a coat when it drops below 60 in the fall and putting on short sleeves when it rises above 50 in the spring. I’d miss the wonderful mix of pride and “grass is greener” syndrome people here have. I’d miss the diversity, the commonality, the hospitality, the family ties. Both these places pump through my veins. Makes me wonder if that’s why some elderly people go mad–the sound of their own heart being drowned out by the others pounding away in drawers, closets, and boxes in the basement.

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