I am a Northerner living in the South. 

This shouldn't be a problem, right? 

Most days it's not.

Well, except for the nasally accent ...

...and the loud mouth ...

...and the brusque, business-like attitude with which I approach life ...

...and the fact that I provide opinions ...

...opinions that aren't sugar-coated or dripping with honey, because, well, I'm a Northerner. 

In the North ...
  • We live by the an economy of words.  In the wintertime, there's no dilly-dallying.  Spit out what you need to say and move on before you freeze to death.
  • We are a hardworking, blue collar, live-and-let-live group of folks. 
  • We play just as hard as we work.  Winter or summer, we are out enjoying the outdoors.  And by the way, we've EARNED the right to complain about the weather.  Until you've attended a football game where ALL FOUR SEASONS are experienced at one time, you have no room to talk.  Period.
  • We are raised to value a person's opinion, but to also recognize that opinions are like butt holes; everyone's got one.
I have lived in Kentucky coming up on nine years.  It's min-boggling that it's been that long, by the way. I can still remember my first day in Kentucky.  My sister and I had stopped at a Thornton's.  While Ann got gas, she tasked me with getting directions to the post office so she could get a registered check.  I went inside, asked the clerk politely if he could point out the post office, and then proceeded to be completely befuddled by his answer, mainly because I couldn't understand a word the man was saying.  Poor dude!  I had to ask him four times, and I really never got it the fourth time.  Saving myself and him from further frustration, I just pretended I had it down and headed for my sister's car. 

Ann was less than thrilled with my lack of getting directions.  I believe the conversation went something like this:
Ann: "So, where's the post office?"
Me: "I'm not sure.  Near as I could tell, he said right some where in there."
Ann: "Oh for heaven's sake!  I will go in and do it."

Only, she couldn't, ladies and gentlemen. She had no earthly idea what he'd said either!

I can translate most Kentuckian dialect now.  It doesn't take a person very long, and truth be told, I am probably sounding more and more like a Kentuckian every day, or so my Northern friends and family would have me believe.

Still, some things will never change.  Like, apparently, my knack for bunching people's britches when I ask questions or state an opinion. 

Honestly, y'all, I don't have one earthly clue what I do that makes every one think I am being hateful.  I really don't.  The fact of the matter is that my momma taught me that if you don't understand, ASK!  And so I do.  Somehow, my questions get misinterpreted as being hateful, argumentative, and undermining. 

My momma also taught me that if you have an opinion about something, don't be afraid to share it.  Be kind; be thoughtful; be diplomatic, but share it.  And while you're sharing it, use your vocabulary!  Articulate appropriately.  Help others to understand that you know of what you speak.  That isn't being haughty; it's putting your best foot forward.

Because I use my vocabulary, I am mistaken for being in a social caste that is far above from where I actually came.  It is assumed I came from wealth and privilege. 

Ummm, nothing could be further from the truth.  I just came from a hardworking family (on BOTH sides) that valued a job done well, a job done correctly, and a job done using your best abilities. So, I am gob-smacked at the idea that I am attempting to be mean. 

I don't think I will ever have the ability to lace whatever I am asking or whatever opinion I am trying to make in honey.  It's an art form of which I have no ability. 


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