My South

I have been posed the question “Why do you live in the South?” a lot lately. As someone who is gay, married, and raising a family; I can see how people would struggle to see why I would chose the south. It is often considered to be the opposite of who I am.

I have written a handful of posts specifically about living in Louisiana here  that will paint a picture of the south through my eyes.

The quiet silence of a small town

Trying to put into words what the south means to a southerner is difficult to do, so I will start at the beginning.

Being a southerner is like being a part of a secret club that everyone knows about. You have to prove yourself to get invited in, but once you are in you are in for life. Of course unless you do something crazy. In which case, you need to openly ask Jesus for forgiveness and we will let you back in.

The south is the people. Sure you could say it is something about those long hot summers and never ending glasses of sweet tea that do something to you, but down here it is about the people. The whole town may talk about what crazy things you did last saturday night and how they cannot believe you are dating so and so, but if you are sick the whole town shows up with a hot meal. The first words children are taught is please, thank you, and sorry. Yes Ma’am and No sir apply to everyone out of respect. It is not about your age.

And then there is the food. It isn’t simply food. It is bacon cooked in brown sugar, pecans, and cayenne pepper. Food is not something you do to get the best body or help you finish the race. It is a ritual, an event, and a time to catch up with family and friends.

As the suns sets on a warm summer evening with the breeze blowing past you full of memories of times past, and you sink into your porch swing, you can feel the soul of the south wrapping its arms around you whispering sweet nothings in your ear.

Listen carefully

34 thoughts on “My South

  1. Awesome. Love this post. I love my house but sure wish I lived in a small town or at least a street that made me think it was a small town. And maybe I’m the confused one, but I think who you are stands for the South.

  2. The South is so misunderstood and stereotyped. Being a military brat, I grew up all over the world but settled here. Hmmm, I wonder why?

  3. I was born & raised in the south but have worldy views of people & life..
    It is a nice, slow, melodic lifestyle for sure 🙂
    What part of La? I am flipping a coin to move to NOLA in the very near future…

  4. I read a lot of books that are based in the south and I absolutely love the lifestyle. I find myself daydreaming a lot about moving onto an old plantation and the long summer nights. Sigh….. 🙂

  5. You are a lot further in to your reconciliation with being a southerner than I am. I still have quite a love/hate relationship with the south. But it really is a case of “it’s not you, it’s me.” I think you summarized it very nicely when you said that being a southerner is like being a part of a secret club that everyone knows about. Everyone thinks they get this place, like the instant you fly into any southern airport you immediately start hearing Dueling Banjos. But it’s a lot more complex than that. The south will always be who it is – warts and all – and once you’re in, you’re in. And it’s up to you to reconcile yourself with it.

    • I do not know that I am over the love/hate bit yet. I wanted to showcase the love bit, since I have had a lot of questions about it lately. Maybe one day I will write about the hate part. Maybe. I am trying so hard to focus on the positives in life.

  6. I grew up in a small town in Alabama. When I went to college in the Midwest, I found myself having to change the way I talked. My professors were offended when I called them sir or m’aam. The y’alls were met with laughter. Twelve years later, I sound like every other Midwesterner.

    I miss a lot of things about the south, my family, the bbq, swimming in March, the humid nights…but I miss my accent the most. It was the one thing I could bring with me and now it’s gone. I look forward to the days when a word slips out like it used to and I have an extra, long drawl. It reminds me that whether I sound like it or not, I will always be Southern. And that makes me smile.

  7. Born and raised here in Fayetteville, North Carolina, I never wanted to live elsewhere. In fact, I’ve never been more than three houses away from the house I grew up in. It’s a nice little family neighborhood. If I run out of sugar, I know I can just “have” a cup instead of “borrowing” one. Sandy

  8. I always say I am Californian by accident. My Grandfather was born in Louisiana. I could never understand the over whelming feeling of being “home” when I was there. A sense of belonging I never feel any where else. I didn’t know where grandpa was born till daddy died a few years ago. Then I understood.

    New Orleans is my home, it just doesn’t know it yet…

  9. Pingback: Favorite Posts From This Year #4 | nevercontrary

  10. You do paint a nice picture, but remember that the south is not all small country towns. As some others have mentioned, New Orleans is also part of the south, and is also often misunderstood. It is my hometown and though I no longer live there, it will always be a part of me. It is the little city that tries to be a big city. I also have family and fond memories in the “lower lying” parishes of Louisiana, and though I have my own love / hate relationship, I can say that when I go home it is mostly love.

    • I actually do not live in a small country town thanks. I never have, in fact I have only lived in the bigger cities all over the south. New Orleans is no where near as large as the cities in the south that I have lived in and to be honest New Orleans is nothing like big city living. I have spent a great deal of time in the wonderful Nola.

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