Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A Statement of Southern Legitimacy

My good friend S sent me this link, from a Southern literary journal, The Dead Mule Society, which requires submitters to offer up their statement of Southern Legitimacy along with their literary submissions.  S wondered what my statement might be.  I am not a writer who submits things to journals of poetry or fiction.  But (of course) I loved the challenge of drafting my Southern Legitimacy Statement.  So I set to work.

Being southern means looking for daffodils in February, magnolia blooms in May, and lightening bugs in July, a month that you pronounce as jew-lie.

Being southern means having a front porch and a rocker.

Being southern means having your picture made as in "Y'all stand still while I make your picture with my camera."

Being southern means that when you walk through the door to the steamy outdoors in the morning you expect to have your glasses fog up .

Being southern means understanding the difference between "y'all" (a group of people) and "all y'all" (a real big group of people).

Being southern means you understand that all soda is known as "coke."  From there, distinctions may be drawn, as in "Yes, ma'am, I would like a coke.  I'll have a Dr. Pepper."

Being southern means understanding that macaroni & cheese is a vegetable.

Being southern means an expectation that homemade corn muffins or biscuits will be served hot and fresh with most every meal.

Being southern means eating supper, not dinner.

Being southern means knowing the difference between bourbon and Tennessee whiskey.  And having a preference.

Being southern means there is a fresh pitcher of iced tea on your counter all summer long.  It's called the tea pitcher.

Being southern means you can make fried chicken without a recipe.

Being southern means that grits and cornmeal are staples in your pantry.

Being southern means your baby calls you mama and when that child is a handful you sigh and say, "child, you wear me out."


Shark Butt said...

Well done!

Nichole said...

I'll never forget the first time I ordered a soda in Georgia. I was maybe 7 years old. The waitress said, "What kind of coke do you want?" I said, "There's more than one kind?" My dad says, "Yes, regular and diet. All you have here is coke??" The waitress laughed at us.

Shelley said...

Out. Stand. Ing.

Truly, so nicely done. Especially like "And having a preference."

Paula said...

Honey chile...let me tell you a thing or two about being Southern...

1. Being southern is saying "yes mam and yes sir" to everyone whether you know them and no matter their age.

2. Being southern is learning to drive when you're 12 on your granddaddy's tractor..a John Deere

3. Being southern is learning to shoot at tin cans and coke bottles as soon as you can aim, but knowing better than driving around with that same shotgun in the back of your pickup truck

4. Being southern is the realization that you can say anything about someone as long as you add, "bless their heart" to the end...that Stacy, she thinks she southern, but bless her heart, she's just aiming too high...

5. Being southern means that you know all the words to Dixie but you were raised right and that's just not polite

6. Being southern is knowing the difference between your daylilies, zinnias, magnolias and camelias...

7. Being southern means that you can go crawfishing in a ditch, pick your corn out of the field and add some taters you dug up this morning into a big ol pot and eating your supper on newspaper out back on the picnic table your "papaw" built

8. Being southern is knowing that you will have sweet tea with breakfast, dinner and supper and will drink "co cola" only if the tea pitcher has run dry

9. Being southern is knowing that the 4 seasons of the year are: dove season, squirrel season, deer season and duck season...it's also knowing some really good ways to cook all of those things (with no recipe of course)

10. Being southern is knowing that nice folk don't go to pool halls or juke joints

11. Being sothern is knowing the difference between a slough and a bayou

Any more questions...that Stacy, bless her heart, she tried