Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The North and the South

I was born and raised in New Jersey and spent all of my life there until right after college.  I grew up loving any Philadelphia sports team, water ice, and the jersey shore, (not the one you see on tv).

I pronounced that clear liquid you drink "wooder" and if I referred to you, it would be in the form of "you guys." 

Then I moved to Atlanta. And I spent ten years in that city where my Southern girl friends worked very hard to "Southernize" me.  I started using the word "ya'll" in a context that didn't include making fun of southerners.  I ate petit fours at baby showers.  The fifth grade curriculum that I taught included the Civil War- and the Southern perspective of how it all went down seemed MUCH different than what I learned in elementary school.  I had always thought that the war was over.   

I feel that since I have spent a good portion of my life in both parts of the continental U.S., I now have the authority to explain some differences between them, in case you weren't aware. 

1.  Baby and Bridal Showers

Northerners LOVE to throw surprise showers.  In fact, surprise showers are the ONLY kind we do.  We hope to catch you looking as nasty and unshowered as possible, surround you with thirty of your closest friends looking their absolute cutest, and then take as many pictures as possible.   And we love Tulle.  We especially love to decorate that "special" chair you sit in to open your gifts with tulle.  Lots of it.

Southerners LOVE to throw "Teas."  You must be wearing a dress and heels and eat lunch before, because the amount of cheese straws and petit fours you will have to consume to fill up is just not lady-like.  Southerners also love to throw "Couples Showers," in which everyone gets to come!  It's a guarantee that the husband will try really hard to find ways to get out of it because no man enjoys watching a woman open gifts that include spatulas or baby wipes. 

2.  Football

Northerners, especially where I'm from, care about one kind of football-- the NFL.  Most people own a jersey and sport it proudly on Sunday.  Going to football games involves wearing the most clothes as possible to keep warm and wearing gloves that allow for you to enjoy that hot dog and ice cold beverage.  (In the case of Philadelphia Eagles fans, most wear gloves that allow them to throw their beer easily at each other, too.) 

Southerners care about one kind of football--College Football- specifically the SEC.  At birth, before the baptism or naming of the child, it is bestowed on them which team they will pledge allegiance to and some children are then subsequently named after said team.  Going to games involves looking as cute as possible in your team colors.  The most preferred attire is a strapless dress or skirt. Big, chunky necklaces and earrings displaying your team logo is strongly suggested.

3.  Cuisine

Northerners call it Cream of Wheat.       
Southerners call it Grits. 

Northerners refer to grilling hamburgers and hot dogs as a "Barbeque"

Southerners refer to pulled pork and chicken as "Barbeque" 

Northerners have never seen nor eaten one
Southerners call them cheese straws

There has got to be some things that can unite us, right?  

One thing for sure is that no matter where you live, a live television news report will only interview the person with the least amount of teeth, the craziest hair, and the smallest vocabulary.  

Speaking of hair..... it seems the North and the South DO have something in common...

The North has the "Donald"

The South has Bama Bangs (aka The Southern Swoop)

In either part of the country,  it's just a bad combover. 


  1. You.Crack.Me.Up!! Ha! Thanks for the laugh and for sharing your wisdom. I feel incredibly prepared now to live in either part of the country.

  2. HA! this is GREAT! Thanks Leslie. I love how you put it all.

  3. Love your blog. I, too, am a transplated New Jerseyite, living in the capital of the Confederacy - Richmond, VA. Oy, culture shock - even nearly 20 years later.

    Two comments on cuisine - #1) I explain the barbeque issue as the difference between a noun (South) and a verb (North). We barbecue up north. We don't eat barbecue. It's like saying you eat picnic. #2) I love both Grits and Cream of Wheat, but I find them to be different foods. Am I imagining this? Cream of Wheat is much finer in texture I think...

    Have never had cheese straws, but I feel a trip to Atlanta coming on... :)
    Thanks for the chuckles!

  4. Hahahahahahaha...I'm not a native either. I LOVE living here and don't ever want to move, but wow you pegged the bridal showers and football PERFECTLY! Love it. Thanks...i needed a good laugh!

  5. Leslie, You have us Southerners figured out all right! But I have a question, what is "water ice"? I know what "ice water" is but not the reverse. My brother just started working in New Jersey; my sis-in-law bought him a fake pinky ring to help him fit it! Too funny!

    Glad to have you in the South!

  6. Please also make fun of boys in baby gowns, white patent shoes- or no shoes until they are 3- and smocked/monogrammed/or embroidered tailored outfits. Unless it's a baby baptism: BARF!

  7. I wasn't born in the South, but I GOT HERE AS FAST AS I COULD!!

  8. We say Barbeque in England, UK lol