Saturday, April 17, 2010

Southern appreciation...

The other day I had the sweetest conversation with a woman from Georgia. She was purchasing a few things in my store and I happened to be the one to ring her up. She had the thickest southern accent and I just couldn't resist asking her where she was from.

For those of you that don't know, I spent about a year living in South Carolina and really embraced the southern culture. It's so different from my Midwestern upbringing. Not different in a bad way, just different.

What makes the South so different is the people and the hospitality. Now, I know everyone says that and everyone has heard the term "Southern Hospitality" but it is soooo true. The people there are so sincere and thoughtful. In my opinion, Southerners have the best manners in the country and they're just so refreshing to be around.

It took me awhile to get used to children calling me ma'am and it even took me a long time to start using the terms sir and ma'am regularly but I did it. Sometimes I still do, but here I get funny looks. Here it's almost condescending to call someone ma'am. Sad, huh? I knew that if I didn't use those terms down there that I would be seen as rude. There I had to get used to making conversation with literally almost everyone. Southerners are talkers, take my word for it. They love to talk! So, it didn't surprise me when this woman stood and talked with me for quite awhile about the difference between her hometown and mine. It was sweet, and she totally made my day.

When she turned to leave she said thank you to me and said she really enjoyed talking with me. I could tell that not many people here had not struck up a conversation with her and I knew she was lonely. Luckily, she was with two little girls so I know she has a family and probably moved here with her husband.

I don't think either place is better than the other, they're just different. The Midwest is my home and always will be, but we are skeptical people. Most people aren't nice until the other is nice first. In the South it seemed that everyone is good until proven not and everyone is just so... friendly. That's what I miss the most. The friendliness.

I truly hope she comes back into my store because I could talk with her all day.

14 comments:

Holly said...

This post makes me SO happy as I'm from the South :)

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I lived in the south for some time and I completely agree. Nicest people ever.

littledaisymay said...

Southern hospitality is one thing I love about being from the south!

Amber Tidd Murphy said...

Y'all come back, now!

Heather said...

I grew up in the Midwest and live in Georgia now and my biggest shock was growing up we always called our friends' parents by their first names. THEY told us to call them that way. When I moved here, it was Mrs. So and So, Mr. That Guy.

Shoshanah said...

I didn't think people actually said ma'am and sir in real life still until I moved to Louisiana. Boy did that make an awkward time when I first met my boyfriend's parents!

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

I have never visited the south - but it sounds like I would love it there. You are so right - saying ma'am is sort of derogatory around here. I think it's because it's often used with a sassy tone & isn't genuine, you know?

Everyone talks about "Minnesota Nice" but I don't know that I totally agree that people are all that nice around this part of the country... they can be, but I have also experienced plenty of rudeness in Minnesota. I had a conversation about the whole "Minnesota Nice" thing with someone once and we kind of agreed that MN people can be a little passive aggressive, so they will act nice to your face or agree with you, but then turn around and talk about you behind your back!

p S h A o R t A o said...

I grew up in the South and I'm so used to saying ma'am or sir, especially when trying to get someone's attention. I would do this often at my old job.

Now that I have been living in upstate New York for the last few years, it's been different. I work at a different store and I still say ma'am and sir. I don't think people are negative about it (at least they don't show it), but they definitely don't respond as often.

I miss the south on days where people can be just plain grouchy. I can't wait to visit in a couple months :)

Shannon said...

I'm a Southern girl (born and raised in Arkansas) and I love to hear that the compliments of the South. I agree - we're generally a friendly and sincere bunch most of the time. When visiting Northern places, I tend to forget that people are just more fast paced and might think I'm a tad weird for talking to them out of the blue!

Suz said...

Yay for Southerners! I think it espicially cute when little kids say sir and ma'am.

BUT I hate being called ma'am. I like Miss, but Ma'am makes me feel like a grandma!

Lesli said...

Do you know that your Twitter link on the sidebar of your blog now links to Amber Adset? I think somebody else has your LilMissAmber name now that you changed yours. I just thought you might want to know!!

i'm no miss said...

I'm pretty sure you made her day too :)

On my side of the earth, we have "ma'am" and "sir" as a sign of respect, or of being civil, to both young or old. It's not derogatory at all.

Tiffany and the Munchkins said...

I can't even begin to tell you how it warms my heart to hear people not from the South speak so fondly of it. I was born and raised in the South and I love it but I am most definitely biased. I am so glad you enjoyed your time in the South and that there are thing you miss about it.

I was born and raised in SC. I currently live in Charleston, SC. What part did you live in when you lived here, if you don't mind my asking?

Pursuit of Matching Accessories said...

Southern hospitality is definitely for real! It's what I miss most about my home state. I've adjusted to the Midwest, but it will never be home.