You can count yourself lucky if you grew up in the American South
You aren’t getting out of here without learning a few manners first
I have lived in the South my whole life. I was born and raised here, and I think I was pretty lucky. Growing up in the South is so different from growing up anywhere else.
“Yes ma’am” and “no sir” are spoon fed to you until it’s an automatic response, playing outside is not an option, it’s a must, and home-cooked meals are meant for more than just good food, but also good company (you don’t miss family dinner).
I think the key difference in growing up Southern is the strong connection to family. Yes, family is important to most everyone, but to us, family is a lifeline. They’re your go-to, can’t-get-rid-of-them best friends. Family comes first.
You grow up in church, no questions asked. Sunday morning church just becomes another part of your week. I honestly think that’s where we get our structure from down here. The people at church also make sure you mind your manners – you aren’t getting out of the South without learning manners.
Can’t forget about debutantes
Yet another way to learn manners, but also an interesting way to learn how to act like a lady in society, how to be social and how to be respectful. Girls are debutantes for years and the boys just come along later to dance with you.
You most definitely learn where good food comes from: the ground. God was not playing when he made fresh fruits and vegetables. The South just has better food – I mean, the rest of the world orders their food from our farms, right? Or am I just being conceited? It might just be that people have more time to cook a good home meal here in the South opposed to anywhere else, but you can’t get sweeter tea, more buttered biscuits, or saltier grits anywhere else.
Also, football. Sure, there’s pro football that all Americans watch, but NO ONE gets as pumped for college football season as we do. Tailgating is a lifestyle we take pride in. The food is unbearably unhealthy, the beer is unlimited and the fun is endless. People come to football games with their best TVs, George Foreman grills and a truck full of ice cold beer.
Football season is best celebrated in the South because there’s so much pride involved. We aren’t just Clemson University fans because we go here, we are Clemson University fans because we are the mighty tigers who protect the South via Deshaun Watson. I mean WE ARE the football team. College football is a close second to most popular religions in the South, the first being Christianity, of course.
Staying inside isn’t really a choice down here. If the sun is out, so are you. I have always felt like I was wasting my day if I wasn’t outside when it was nice. Growing up, every weekend we would either have to work out in the yard, be at a soccer tournament, or doing something with nature. I wasn’t always happy about the yard work, but I grew to love being outside.
Growing up Southern is what you make of it. Count yourself lucky.