Friday, January 18, 2008

Friday Five

We have a lot of transplants that move from up north down here to the south. Everybody talks about how different it is, and there a quite a few southerners who wish some of the "Yankees" would go home. The northerners think the southerners are backwards hicks, the southerners think the northerners should shut the hell up and go home if they don't like it here.

But I got to thinking (as I have a tendency to do), and the truth is, things are very much the same down here as they are up there. You just have to do a comparison.

Five Things that are The Same Up North as Down South

1. Grandmas/Nanas spoil their grandchildren with sweets.

Granted, the sweets may be different. Down here we get red velvet cake and banana pudding, up north it was more likely to be apple pie and chocolate chip cookies. But the motivation is the same. There is always some grandparent pushing treats on their grandkids, "just because". That may be a universal thing, of course. Omas, Grannies, and Nanas like to feed people no matter where they're from.

2. Football

It's a bit more of a religion down here, and pro-football usually tops college football up north, but either way, there is a rabid contingent of body-painting fools on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line. I, personally, don't care for the sport, although I'm beginning to at least understand the rules a bit more thanks to my husband.

3. Everybody bitches about their local politicians

This is also universal. There is always someone complaining that their taxes are too high (even when they aren't as high as up north, or in the city, or wherever), that the government doesn't do enough/does too much, or that everyone in office is incompetent. I think I'm noticing it a bit more since it's an election year, but it seems to hold water both up north and down south. Our politicians down here are just a bit more likely to wear seersucker suits and bow ties. Otherwise, it's pretty much the same.

4. Rednecks

I used to think this was just a southern thing, but if you go driving around rural Michigan, you will see almost as many Confederate flag bumper stickers as you do driving rural roads down here. A guy I used to work with wrote a great book about this, Redneck Nation, by Michael Graham. Now, I don't always hold with all of Michael's opinions, but he makes a few good points in the book. The truth is, I think the term "redneck" (and it is derogatory), really applies to anyone who fits this definition. Some folks wear it with a mark of pride. It's really not a southern thing anymore, you can find them everywhere. And I know it's not because so many southerners are moving up north. Either this is a universal human trait, or northerners are taking the culture back with them. I have not included pictures here, because I think you'd have more fun Googling the images for yourself.

5. Everybody drives like a**holes

And you know this is true. I think, deep down in our hearts, we all think we're pretty good drivers, even though we know our neighbours are not. Each area has it's own little quirks. Up north, people get mad if you don't drive 80 mph in the right hand lane. Down here, people block two-way traffic in order to have a conversation at a stop light that's turned green. We never do those things, of course, it's everyone else. But you find these people all the way up and down the country. I have the benefit of living near a major north-south corridor, Interstate 95. It's one of the main arteries from New York down to Florida, and I've seen every type of license plate and every type of driver come through here. And most of them drove too slow, drove too fast, changed lanes without signalling, or drove erratically. And I'm sure they said the same thing about me.

Okay, those are my five. You see, we're not so different after all. So what if we eat grits down here, and you all eat...well, whatever it is northerners eat for breakfast (oatmeal? cream o'wheat?). Yeah, we've got houses and cars up on blocks in a few of our neighbourhoods, but I imagine you can find that up north, too.

Have a lovely weekend, y'all.


Mya said...

Hi Jen,
Belated birthday greetings to TFYO! Hope she had a good day. Has she whooped you at chess yet?

The North South divide is a funny thing isn't it? We have it here in France - the Northerners consider the Southerners to be hicks. And in England it's the other way around - the Southerners consider the Northerners to be unsophisticated. But in fact, we're all the same really, aren't we?....I've come over all philosophical..whatever is happening?! Have a great weekend you guys!

Mya x

thegrandview said...

Hi Jen,
Your five are all true but I bet you struggled to find five? While there are a few similarities, I would bet there are far more differences. What do you think?

laurie said...


these made me laugh. and you are absolutely right. it's like that old saying, "everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it."

i bet you guys complain about how hot it is, while we complain about the cold.

Dumdad said...

No. 5 is true the world over. Especially in Paris where all the drivers are a**holes in my humble opinion.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

While I agree with you, I'm not sure they'd be all that receptive if you shared your thoughts at the Piggly Wiggly.

Jo Beaufoix said...

Hee hee. Like Mya said, in the UK it's southern softies and Northern gits. But really, we are kind of all the same. I think our chavs are probably now more closely related to the redneck idea, and again, some folks are proud to be chavs, others would see it as derogatory. The others are all true over here.

Mahala said...

Well said!

Jen said...

mya She hasn't whooped me at chess, but she's figuring out the rules at an astonishing rate. And your philosophy is always welcome here *grin*

grandview After once comparing my rural Canadian relatives to rural Southerners and finding the liked exactly the same things, I don't think we're all that different. Maybe it's a rural vs. city thing, rather than a north versus south thing. Given some time, I could likely come up with more.

laurie LOL, oatmeal, then. I complain about the heat, but most folks down here don't too much. But then, they also run the air at 68 degrees, which drives me crazy.

dumdad Having never driven in Paris, I'll take you at your word, but I've heard the same thing from others!

RC They wouldn't like it at the Piggly Wiggly OR the local Farmer Jack, Wegman's or anywhere else.

Jo I've only recently begun to understand the "chav" thing, thanks in part to Little Britain. It's been an education.

Hey, Mahala, thanks for dropping by! Since you're in the mountains of NC (I lived in Raleigh for a bit), you know a bit what I mean.

my two cents said...

What a wonderful, funny list! Thanks for getting my Friday evening off to a much better start than my Friday!

Sam said...

You are right when it comes to this list. I know that folks in New York call Rednecks anybody from New Jersey.

I hope your cold gets better. :)

Diana said...

Yup, we really are all pretty much the same under the skin (and on top of the skin, too). I loved reading your take on this. Upon moving from liberal Portland, Oregon, to small town Illinois (and then to rural Wisconsin) I was surprised to find very little differences aside from food (very few of my 'born and raised' rural Midwest friends are not skeptical of food that isn't what they've eaten all their lives. I have to choose what I cook with care when we have friends over. But that may be more a rural vs city thing, come to think of it. That and the prevalence of church in society.