Friday, September 09, 2005

Guide to Georgia

One of my blogger friends posted her concerns about recently moving to Georgia. She was worried about not being a traditional religion found in the Bible belt and about generally fitting in. I thought I would share my advice to her:

Here are a few more things to help you transition to the South:
  1. If you haven't developed a tolerance for insanely high quantities of sugar, don't order sweeten ice tea (more commonly known as Sweet Tea). Order 1/2 sweet tea and 1/2 unsweetened tea. This will avoid you going into a diabetic coma.
  2. You may trash anyone as long as you end the trash session with "Bless her heart." or "Poor thing." For example, "She tries so hard, but her house looks like hell, bless her heart." or "She has a knack of attracting men who are losers, poor thing."
  3. Don't ever say, "Where I use to live, we did it this way." No form of this statement should be used. Southerners don't give a damn how they do it elsewhere. Saying this statement will mark you as a "Yankee," which is spoken with the same disdain as bitch.
  4. When dealing with people, ease into real conversation. Don't ask the repair man when he is going to get the satellite dish installed. Ask him how his weekend was. Then you may ask about the installation. Southerners know that if you don't make polite conversation you are one of them those Yankees mentioned earlier.
  5. Buy and read Southern Living magazine. It is the Southern woman's second bible. It has great recipes and gardening tips. If you are in a clump of women, one will mention an article in the latest issue and all the others will nod knowingly. Read it to fit in.
  6. Going back to your Bible Belt concern, the true religion of the South is college football. 65 year-old-men still talk about games they saw when they were in college. In Georgia, Vince Dooley is a god. He was the coach at University of Georgia for 40 years. (BTW, he can't walk on water, but I bet he can walk on sweet tea!) Pro football isn't that important in the South. If you are trying to sound like you know what is going on in the world of sports, don't talk about the Atlanta Falcons, talk about the University of Georgia Bulldogs. Actually, nobody calls it University of Georgia, we call it by the sound of its initials, UGA (pronounced ug-gah). I know the first time you hear it, you'll think they are speaking caveman, but they are in fact talking about an institution of higher learning. Also, we don't call them bulldogs or even dogs. They are dawgs.
  7. You will be asked a strange question by people who have lived in your area for generations. It is, "Who are your people?" This is a question that is asked to determine how much of an outsider you are. If you have ANY Southern relatives, use them as weapons. For example, "We just moved here, but I have a dear aunt in Atlanta. I have the fondest memories of visiting her as a child. Would you like more sweet tea?"


Blogger Simon Langer said...

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8:35 AM  

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