Friday, February 12, 2010

Ways I've Acclimated

This one came from Ms. Musings via Noble Savage about America v. GB. I've decided to do my own version: Northern USA v. Southern USA. I've been living in the Northeast for over 20 years. You would think I would have completely acclimated by now, but I haven't.

Ways in which I've acclimated (shudder) to the Northeast:

When I'm out for a walk, I don't wave at every single person who drives by me.

I call a "soft drink" a "soda."

When waiting for something, I stand on line instead of in line.

When I make plans with someone a week in advance, instead of just showing up at the designated place and time, I call or email the day before to confirm.

I get really, really annoyed -- in fact, almost murderous -- when I am stuck behind a slow driver.

I talk really fast (okay, my brother will tell you I did that before I moved north, but I'm pretty sure it's gotten worse).

A two-hour-long drive is a HUGE ordeal that takes lots of planning and preparation.

I have to think when someone refers to an "ABC store."

Ways in which I doubt I'll ever acclimate:

I want grits and biscuits with my fried eggs at breakfast. What are these hash brown things? Potatoes are for supper, not breakfast.

I cringe when I hear "yous" (it's just plain wrong), have learned to say "you guys," but still prefer "you-all" and its contraction "y'all" (those two are plural, btw). "You-all" doesn't ignore an entire gender.

When I go swimming in the ocean in August, I still want it just cool enough to be refreshing. I do not want to think that, any minute now, I am going to bump into an ice flow. (I don't do much swimming in the Atlantic once you get north of Maryland.)

I like to wear colors other than black, and I especially like to wear hats.

Even though, rationally, I know I don't need to, I always ask for "hot tea" when ordering in restaurants, convinced that if I don't, I will get that beverage I have never liked that comes in a tall glass with tons of ice cubes and too much sugar.

Although I can barely drink two martinis without doing so, I can easily drink two mint juleps without passing out.

I am still very insulted when people make "dumb Southerner" jokes around me. I have not noticed that Southerners are any dumber than any other population I've encountered.


Rebecca H. said...

I could probably do this about moving from western New York state to Connecticut. They aren't so many miles apart, but the cultures are VERY different. The "in line" "on line" thing drives me nuts -- it's "in line"! I dropped "pop" pretty quickly, though, to take up "soda." It's a much better word, I think. What's an ABC store?

Anonymous said...

What is this whole 'in line' or 'on line' thing? I wait in a queue! And, seconding Dor's comment, what is an ABC Store?

Emily Barton said...

Dorr, once, when my mother was visiting, and someone said something to her about "waiting on line," she (someone I do not normally think of as being very tech savvy or aware) thought they were referring to the Internet. It's an Alcoholic Beverage Control store (a.k.a. "liquor store" to anyone who doesn't live where it is a "package store").

Ms. Musings, I would prefer to "queue up" myself, but no one would have a clue what I meant. I also prefer "you lot" over "yous", "you guys" and "you-all" but again, am afraid of getting dumb stares (you can get away with such things if you happen to have a British accent, but not if you don't).

Anonymous said...

Definitely "in line," and waving at everyone you know. I guess that's because I'm in the south, for Canada that is!

Stefanie said...

Oh this is fun! I could do one about the difference between southern California and MN! According to my family, I now have an accent that suggests I could have been in the movie Fargo. They think it is absolutely hilarious.

Anne Camille said...

I should have done this a few years ago when I was commutting 2x/month to NYC. It's definitely not like Indiana, although I prefer NYC. Still, I'll never get over that a "regular" coffee is 2 sugars - or whatever it is. Where I'm from, regular is not decaf and there is NOTHING in it! And I've always called it soda pop, which is a weird amalgamation of my Chicagoan father (pop) and Philadelphian mother (Soda). Guess I don't talk like a hick (warter, warsh for water, wash) and I did feel like I was in a surreal landscape when I came home after a 3 week stint to take my son to college. I knew I wasn't in New York when I saw a parking lot full of "God Bless America" license plates at Wal-Mart. It's always been "you guys", although I struggle with it as I know it confuses the 3 non-native English speaking women I work with.

Emily Barton said...

Lilian, proof of what I've always gathered: "North" and "South" translate in countries all over the world.

Stef, I would imagine CA would be completely different from the Midwest (actually, every thing is completely different from the Midwest, isn't it?).

Cam, I used to think that there were a lot of people who called it "soda pop," since it seems the term comes up a lot in books. Maybe they did, and then the NE shortened it to "soda" while the MW (and obviously places like Upstate NY where Dorr is from) shortened it to "pop."