Thursday, August 07, 2014

"I had friends and home, your Honorable Strawness."

 Wherein Jack lists things she has learned over the past month

 I don't think I mentioned where I was actually going during most of July. It was kind of a last minute trip, something which was supposed to be a bit of a holiday and turned out to be anything but. Not that I am complaining, I was planning on being a little busy, which is why I worked so hard getting all the beta reading done before I left.

 Getting dropped in the South when I am definitely a Western countrygirl has been a little hard to get used to and I've learned some interesting lessons, though unlikely life altering and helpful. I thought I would share them, because I have nothing else to write about right now.

 Ants in the South are vicious. I am so tired of them. They are tiny, so you are lead into a false sense of security around them because you think they will not care to do anything to you. Then if you step too close to them they swarm your feet in the blink of an eye and chew on your toes and legs. Give me my Western ants who don't care about people any day.

 Southern accents are a myth. I have met SO many Southerns this trip and only about five of them have had accents. (Those with accents do say Y'all which I was hoping was true) But overall, the whole Southern accent thing, it is made up. I am convinced of it. Put into movies so everyone in the South will appear more British as they sip their lemonade. (That is also a myth. Hardly anyone drinks ice cold lemonade while sitting on their porches.)

 Jude Law is British. I kind of learned this before I left, but it was re-enstated when I watched Sky Captain again. I've seen him in a good many movies. Not a ton, but enough where I should have caught on because he did a lot of talking in them. (Sherlock Holmes. A Series of Unfortunate Events. Sky Captain.) He's not a quiet actor who only gets three lines like Sebastian Stan. But it didn't hit me till I was watching Sky Captain with my friend that in all the movies he's in, he has a British accent. The things you learn.

 Possible reasons I am still single
 Painting. I noticed, while I was joining in the fine art of painting, the other girls I was with got dabs of paint in cute places - like on their cheeks or freckle splatters on their arms. They somehow kept their clothes clean on top of that. Me? I dropped paint in my hair and backed into a wall. (I won't go into details, but leave you to assume where I got paint backing into a wall and how awkward that turned out to be.)
 Dirt. This is my like painting. The the girls I was with were nicely dusted in dirt until they looked like they'd gotten a nice tan. Their faces turned a pretty shade of red and wisps of hair escaped their pony tails. (Like adventure girls in the movies.) I, on the other had got dirt raccoon eyes, a sweaty - bright red face, and two layers of dirt covering every inch of my body till I looked like I'd joined the seven-year-old playing in the mud.
 Having MASSIVE red bites all up and down my legs probably didn't help things either. I don't know why no one else was getting the life chewed out of their legs.
 Added to that is the time I stabbed myself in the lip with my pocket knife while licking peanut butter off of it.
 (All of this is said in joking. I spent most of my time playing in the dirt and trying not to get eaten alive to worry about how Western and wild I likely appeared to the Southern men.)

 Southerns really consider people from the West as Yankees and have trouble grasping what the West really is.
 I tell people I am from Wyoming and there is this moment of panic in their eyes which I snicker at. You can see the wheels turning as they fly over the States, trying to remember where exactly Wyoming is before the time is up where they have to speak.
 "Wyoming. Right. How's the weather there?"
 I should give them credit for at least trying, but the evil side of me is not all that nice.
 "Fine. We had a blizzard on Mother's Day."
 *Gasping look of horror and I have just succeeded in making sure we are never invaded by Southerns.*
 The whole Yankee thing is what gets me though. The history nerd side of me blisters.
 "Yankees fought on the side of the North during the Civil War. I am from the West. Wyoming was a territory at the time, do your research!" I am starting to believe that when it comes to any history past the Civil War the South just kind of slept. (Wait...I just insulted Southerns. That came out wrong. Really, I think most of it has to do with Wyoming itself. No one KNOWS where it is. They have this general location but no one can ever really place it. Mostly I end up by Montana. So those jokes I make about being from a State no one knows about, they aren't really jokes.)

 Dorm rooms
 I don't even know what to say about that. Except that I don't think dorm room living is for me. I need time alone to recover from people, and dorm rooms don't offer that. I did get a top bunk though so I felt like Hawkeye.

 Nipping from one State to the other is no problem
 In the west everything is spread out and huge. Going to another State can take days. Down south everything just calmly drives to neighboring States in a matter of hours. I am still in awe over that.

 The giant bug
 Or small mouse.
 I really don't know and I am scared to ask. But I saw something creeping across the floor while watching a movie. It looked too big to be a bug but too small to be a mouse. I considered going after it to see, but I am really fond of my toes...being on my feet. I opted in the end for hiding up on the couch and hoping some man would come by and get rid of whatever it was. (Not that it stayed around to be found. It vanished and I've been concerned about my toes ever since.)

 And there it is, my Southern Adventures.
 I am now going to stop writing. I feel off a rock yesterday and badly skinned my knuckles, therefore, writing and moving my fingers hurts. And I am going to stop because I am a wimp when it comes to pain.

 Come back on Saturday, I have a surprise!

 Quote is from the book The Tin Woodman of Oz.




  1. Jack, you must have been in the wrong part of the south, because the accents ARE a thing. I have one. (You may or may not have noticed the frequency that I use the term "Ya'll" on my blog.) They're becoming rarer, especially among younger people, thanks to TV and the cliche that says that people with suthun' accents are stupid. Talk to older people, however, and it's most definitely there.

    Yes, ants are horrid here. Part of everyone's education is learning to avoid fire ant mounds. And that mysterious creature you encountered was probably a waterbug. It's like a roach, but bigger. MUCH bigger.

    And yeah, a lot of us Sutheners are hung up on the civil war issue. (I own a confederate flag shirt that I wear with pride) We may have lost the war, but we don't like to admit it. (Though I do hear you on the fact that Wyoming was just a territory at the time. I do understand the difference.)

  2. Neither of my parents are from the South so I don't really have a strong accent. I say, "Ya'll" for plural "you" and "you" for singular "you." ;) But beyond that? Nothing much. I've heard accents so heavy it's almost painful to listen to.

    I never knew that people thought lemonade was a Southern thing? Iced tea is though. My family doesn't drink it, and when I was younger I always found it weird that everybody else drank it. At all my friends' houses, at every social event. I've never liked the taste though, and ever time I try to drink it I feel like it's immediately staining my teeth. :P

    The Civil War. Yes. That's still an issue over here. And it's insane. I know people who don't believe the Civil War even happened. Full-grown adults who blank-face deny that it happened.

    Hehe, the bug/mouse makes me laugh. :) Only because it makes me think of when my Dad told me why he moved to Texas. He said he was stationed here once when he was in the air force. He said there were cockroaches four inches long and giant tarantulas crawled across the road. He liked it so, he came back. Except the place where I live doesn't actually have bugs that big? Oh, well.

  3. Yeah, come visit my area - lots of Southern drawls here.
    If you're not from the South, you're a Yankee. That's just how they view the world...

  4. I think the Hawkeye allusion would have helped me with dorm life too - I couldn't take being that crowded for very long.
    Love the way Southerners seem to think of everyone else as a Northerner.
    And ugh, swarming ants! And large bugs! I love living somewhere cold enough to ward of most critters.

  5. LOL Now I am super curious about where in the South you are/were?

    If you were in a highly populated/growing area, like Raleigh, NC, then you are right, no accents to be found (this is because approximately 80% of the people you'll encounter in that type of area are actually not FROM the South).

    However, if you get out in the sticks, you will definitely hear plenty of accents. There IS such a thing as a Southern Drawl, and it's not just in the movies.

    Being a relocated Northerner, living in the South (semi-reluctantly), I totally feel your pain. (I have embraced the "y'all" because it's fun to say, and it's useful... but I get very excited whenever I hang out with a fellow Northerner who won't take offense because I referred to them as, "You guys.")

    Lemonade is a movie-thing. The real drink of the South is Sweet Tea (and it's NASTY).

    It's okay to make fun of Southerners, but you have to make sure to add, "Bless their hearts." at the end of your sentence. This lets you get away with murder, while letting them know that as much as you LOVE them, you think they're idiots.

    The War is not really over, down here. And it's not the Civil War, either. It's the War of Northern Aggression... and if you didn't fight with them, they have no way of knowing you might not have fought against them.

    The bug/mouse... was probably a giant cockroach. Shudder. Every time I see one (or even think I see one) I want to pack my bags and head towards Alaska as fast as I can!

    As far as not knowing where Wyoming is... the first people that I met in the South... when I told them I was originally from Illinois gave me similar blank stares and then asked, hesitatingly, "Illinois.... is that... in Chicago?"

    Not. Kidding.

    And I thought I was bad at geography. Bless their dear little hearts!

  6. Bahaha!! "Fine. We had a blizzard on Mother's Day." I'm from Michigan so I understand THAT completely! We almost had snow in June this year. I personally think the South is hilarious, because when they get a mere two inches of snow, everyone panics and everything shuts down. Whereas, up North, we get two (and more) FEET of snow and merely shrug and grab an extra shovel on our way out the door.

    Top bunks are awesome. I'm hoping for dibs on a top bunk when I go to college this fall. For some reason, I can imagine I'm somewhere in Lothlorien.

  7. This post amuses me far too much.

    I don't know where in the south you were, but I'm from the deep south and, trust me, southern accents exist. Goodness gracious do that exist. o.o Everywhere. I probably have one myself. I use "ya'll"...a lot. I always avoid it on the internet though because I don't really like sounding southern. XD I'm a bad southerner.

    Ooooh my, the ants. You know, I didn't even know ants weren't a problem in other places. o.O Wow. Yeah, ants here are bad. Bugs in general, really. Australia has us beat, obviously, but we still have our own problems. And don't even get me started on the snakes! *shudders*

    Actually, I see people sitting on their porches all the time. You just need some more time in the south. All the cliches you hear about will eventually come true, I promise. It's quite funny, really. XD

    I would loooove to move farther north. I hate the heat and bugs and snakes and a billion other things here. But, really, I'm extremely fond of the south and southerners in general. I've been a southerner all my life and I can't imagine anything different.

    (And I be perfectly honest, I'm racking my brain and scrambling around trying to remember where Wyoming IS. XDDD)

  8. Kiri, it doesn't take 2 inches. It only takes about a quarter inch to freak Southerners out... even just the FORECAST of a quarter-inch tends to wipe out all the grocery stores of milk, bread, and eggs. I'm not sure what they think they need those three particular things for... in the North if the apocalypse is coming we stock up on bottled water and non-perishables... the only thing I can think is that all Southerners must crave French Toast at the mere mention of snow. [shrug] :)

  9. It's the trees. Northern trees are built for snow, but southern trees aren't - snow starts piling up on their branches, and the branches snap, fall on powerlines, and THEN we have problems. And yes, it can happen with just a quarter-inch of snow. (Especially since most of the time, snow is preluded by icy sleet, which is just plain nasty.)

  10. Jenelle -- You are so right!! My parents used to live in the south, so I've heard lots of stories about the French Toast craze. Pretty funny, but then again, it's an amazing edible staple. :D

  11. Hehe, the bit about the ants was funny. FIRE AAAAAAANTS!!!!!!! 8-P


    I lover Nerdie you. I have problems with History. My knowledge of the Civil War is basically ... well there was a Civil War. And a thing about the blacks and slavery. ..... and that it about it.

    History and I weren't friends in school. *giggle*

    Tin man 8-(


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