Tri-City Ledger -

By Stephanie Cunningham
Ledger Staff 

Can't take the 'Southern' out of the girl


October 24, 2019

Ohio. In the grand scheme of things, it’s really not that far away, but I’ll tell ya, boy, is it far. Those people up there don’t wear crimson and white to support their good, God-fearing football team. They wear this strange shade of red and begin sentences with things like ‘O.H.’ Weird.

Stupid southern girl that I am, went into that country and tried to navigate the streets and suburbs of Columbus with nothing but a built-in tour guide...Folks. Up there it ain’t the same- they drive like crazy (who ever heard of going 5-miles over).

They don’t even use the same words as us folks down south of the Mason-Dixon line( “aintyagonna” is foreign to them). They don’t know what pickled watermelon rind is up there. And don’t even get me started on how often I was asked about our boiled peanuts. Seriously? They don’t know that we can make a nut have bean-like texture and it tastes wonderful? It’s their loss.

But, to my main point, I am a southern girl. I like my Saturdays spent in front of a television screen yelling for my favorite team. (I’m sorry Auburn folks, I’ll never cheer for those Eagles or Tigers or whatever ya’ll yell for winning).

Sundays are spent doing hair, painting nails and getting the kids ready for church, with some good eating in between services. Then comes the long dreaded hours before sleep when everyone hates knowing they have to wake up on Monday morning to return to work.

Well, I discovered something on my voyage across that dreaded boarder into the north,- they aren’t that different from us.

Yes, they speak really quickly and sometimes it’s hard to understand, but it’s forgivable because they just don’t know about our relaxed and nonchalant way of going about life.

And ya’ll God Bless’em, they put chili on spaghetti noodles. If anything, someone needs to head up there and show them a real bowl of chili or a real plate of spaghetti and put an end to this madness. I know they can’t help it because for the most part, I’m convinced that they’ve never really cooked with butter.

However, while there I was invited to a home of a lovely couple that have tolerated each other for a remarkable 36 years.

I should note that they are Irish. They laugh loud, tell stories with emphasis and are pretty much suspicious of everything. (Not that different from us southern folks, actually) But, Lawd, ya’ll I about fell out when I saw a good old fashion southern dinner.

Here I was expecting some crazy northern meal that wouldn’t hit my stomach quite right, and then I smelled the wholesome aroma of a home cooked pot of vegetable and beef soup. What? Seriously? They have that up there? It was immaculate and just so you know, my stomach was A-Okay.

So it turns out, on my venture into the northern territories wasn’t that scary. They are a lot like us. They value family, friends and adventures the same way we do. But I will say this, they need to learn our accent. I feel like communication would be a lot easier if they could learn to speak ‘southern’, but then again, you can’t take the southern out of the girl.


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