Friday, February 24, 2006
Allow me to be a bit naive

Okay, so last night (this morning) I was listening to my new favorite station as I did my paper route. It's a classic country station (with less commercials, and more of your favorite country music from the 70's, 80's, and 90's!), and it takes me down memory lane. It reminds me of my childhood, mostly of hanging out in bars with my dad, and eating pistachios from the machines and drinking 'real' cherry cokes. I, alarmingly, know many of those songs wayyyyy too well.

So anyway, back to the subject at hand...

So this song was playing...something about "If Heaven ain't a lot like Dixie, then I'd just rather stay home..." something like that. Something about if they don't have a Grand Ole' Opry, then he'd rather go to hell or New York, which are pretty much the same thing (yeah, I should know the words, right!). There are many, many, MANY songs praising the wonder, pride, greatness of living in the South, etc. Gotta love Dixie.

I totally agree. I love Dixie. I love living in the South. I've thought at times, when I was younger of course, that I would like to live up north sometime. That was mainly b/c I find the accents to be fascinating...but that's about it. I really have no desire to live above the Mason-Dixon Line for any other reason, and really, I'd probably come home pretty soon after being up there a short time. SC is not exactly my favorite state in the Union, and the overbearing conservatism is not a highlight for me, either. Nonetheless, I'd rather live in the South than anywhere else on earth.

Which leads me to my uninformed naiveness. Okay, I've never heard a song, that I can think of right off hand, that praises a state up north. Like, okay, well, there are a few, I guess. Let's see...New York, New York, blah, blah...and something about Chicago. Then there's "We Love LA". I'm sure there are a few more, but really, overall, I don't feel like there's quite as much overwhelming spirit and pride in being northern as there seems to be in being Southern. I mean, there's Southern rock, but I don't think I've ever heard of northern rock. So yeah, I've heard of people being proud to be from a certain city, like Chicago or something (mainly from the Drew Carey show), and Detroit City, or whatever, but not so much just to be northern.

I was thinking about it (I have a LOT of time to think on my route!), and I realized that the north is a bit different than the South. Like, it's much more of a melting pot than down here, even in today's times. I mean, sure, we have foreign Americans (is that pc?), but not in the mixtures and stuff that you see up north (I think, of course, not having spent an enormous amount of time up there). I'll be honest, until we moved to Lancaster and spent a lot of time in Charlotte, I hadn't seen too many hispanics in my life. I can't remember any in any of my classes while I was growing up, and I'm quite sure I wasn't friends with any (not b/c I chose not to be, but I just didn't know any). I had a few friends that were part Japanese and part black (it was one family), but they were about as unique as it got for me. My friends were either white, or black. That was it. To be honest, in the town I lived in, there were even very few blacks, and I didn't know a whole lot of them, either.

That's not really an uncommon thing down here in the South. Sure, some cities have more of one ethnicity than others, but overall, it's those three with a few scattered Chinese, Japanese, Americanese, Look at these! in between. I remember when we went to Washington, DC for a field trip in high school with the band. We ate at a cafeteria on the trip, and I didn't understand a single word that came out of the mouth of a single person I saw there. I was convinced that everyone there was speaking an entirely different language than the person next to him, and I may not have been wrong. I saw a lot of people on that trip that did not speak English, and it blew my mind. I mean, I took German in high school b/c I didn't see a point in taking Spanish (which could really come in handy now). I didn't know any Hispanic people, and I just figured everyone in the world spoke English, and especially in our country. What a HUGE eye opener to find out sometime later that so many languages are spoken in our country! Shoot, even in the English language itself there are so many dialects that you could be speaking English to someone and have no clue what they're saying back in English!

I have so dragged on with this, but it really is interesting to me. I understand if I've lost you already.

Anyway, I see a lot of Southern pride. It's like a lot of Southerners identify themselves with their Southern heritage (for instance, how I capitalize it at all times, and not northern). I would never deny being from the South, even if I do disagree with a lot of the stuff that goes on here, and actually would probably fit in (at least politically) more out west or something. I don't fly a Rebel flag (anymore), but I have owned many, and didn't hang them outside of my house just b/c I didn't feel like people judging me and jumping to conclusions that just aren't true. I won't lie, I've often imagined what it might be like if the South had won the war. Sometimes I wish we had. Now that my life has become so hectic, I sometimes wish I could go back to a slower and more laid back life, such as is the Southern way. Going to church on Sundays ain't such a bad thing. Loving your wife and your dog equally, well....but still...

So, the question I pose to you that do not (or do) live in the South is this: Do you have that same pride for where you are from? Is it common where you are from to be proud of your area? If you've moved from where you are from, do you proudly tell people where you are from, or are you just glad to be gone? I feel like perhaps I'm only seeing the world from my point of view, and I'd love to hear yours.

Okay, this has gone on long enough. I hope you have a great day, and I'll see you soon!
posted by Christi at 7:04 PM | Permalink |


  • At 8:43 PM, Blogger gina

    you had rebel flags?
    i like it here there everywhere- i did enjoy going to NYC because i love the melting pot- i find it fascinating. i also loved europe and learning that we are not the only people in this world and it doesnt revolve around us.
    SC is a stretch for me. i like it but i aint flying no rebel flag. (lol)

  • At 9:52 PM, Blogger Lisa

    I live in Maryland and I absolutely love it... we have the mountains and the ocean along with all 4 season. I am very proud of where I live! :-) Nice blog topic!

  • At 6:54 AM, Blogger Julia

    I love the Charleston area, but I don't feel southern pride. Maybe it has something to do with being raised with Southern pride by your parents, and I didn't move here until I was 7. When I first moved here I had a hard time understanding some people. My brother almost failed second grade because his teacher was a black lady with a strong accent and he didn't know what she was saying half the time, especially during spelling tests. This area has grown so much. It seems like most people are meet lately are not originally from the area. I just saw in the paper the other day that the town you grew up in grown 28% since 2005, and they're expecting a lot more growth. Remember that Rage Againt the Machine Song that said, "Fight the war, f*** the norm." I remember you thought it said f*** the north and I thought that was so funny.

  • At 8:31 AM, Blogger Anvilcloud

    I wonder if the South got rather clanish and insular after having lost the war and therefore developed more of a family feeling. Those probably aren't the right words, but it's early.

  • At 1:20 PM, Blogger Kurt

    I never thought about it, which I guess means I don't feel that way about my "region."

  • At 12:27 PM, Blogger Carrie


    There is NO doubt in my mind that pride exists in different regions. ask any new yorker, bostonian, or Yuper... or this feather-ruffled girl from jersey.

    as for the south being a melting pot... I kindly disagree. strongly.

    I am from NJ, and have lived in florida, seattle, nevada and now NC, and the south is... well... pretty much a little time warp.

    don't get me wrong... I LOVE it here in Charlotte, but socially, fiscally, and urbanly speaking... it is a bit behind the times of thriving metropolises (metropoli??) like NYC.

    ANyways... I SHUDDER to think of the indecencies that were (and in some areas) still ARE happening when it comes to prejudice and segregatioin. To hear women in the food store refer to someone as 'colored' in this day and age.. IN CHARLOTTE (!!!??!!) ... it really boggles my mind. I CRINGE when men look at me with a blank stare when it comes to discussions of a mechanical nature, because 'their women ain't good for nothin but birthin babies and cookin supper'. but those are stereotypes. I just happen to see a LOT of stereotypical southerners in these parts.

    I think there are a lot of wonderful things about this area, and I am delighted to have my child have the opportunity to grow up in a clean neighborhood, in a fairly large house, and in a generally gentile community. But don't think for a second that my baby won't know that she is the daughter of a jersey girl. More importantly, I hope to raise my daughter to understand that despite my jersey-pride and what not... that she is AN AMERICAN, and has many freedoms that citizens of other countries only dream of.

    and just for shits and giggles... the NORTH WON!!! :)

  • At 1:21 PM, Blogger Mel

    I am proud to be from the Pacific Northwest.

    You are right, though. It's not the same as the Southern pride thing. Also, I don't think we have a negative name for Southerners like you have for us ("Yankees"). My husband's from the South but I could never stand to live there. (I know. That's bad. But I'm being honest.)

    When I lived in the South (Charlotte, NC, two summers), I really noticed the racism and segregation. It made me really uncomfortable, but Southern people didn't seem to notice it--they took it for granted, in my opinion.

    You wanted honesty. :)

  • At 11:42 PM, Anonymous Anonymous

    I hate to burst you people's bubbles, but there was just a report on the news this past weekend which stated that CALIFORNIA has the MOST segregated schools of any state in the U.S. And if you check the history books, when they started forced integration in the 70's, it wasn't the people in the south who turned over the school buses and didn't want to let the black children in the schools, it was the people in the NORTH! Baltimore was one of the worst places--right there close to Washington, DC!

  • At 2:40 PM, Blogger Cara

    Nice post!! I, being from Arkansas, am very proud of where I'm from... It's the only place I've ever lived so it's hard for me to relate to the north!!

    Don't feel bad about TJ having a country accent.... You should hear Dawson... "momma luk oovr thar"... Girl, it's BAD!!