But, as I began writing this, I stumbled upon a resource which I believe to be PURE GOLD. I'm so excited about it! I was going to link "bless his heart" for you, in case you're not from the south and are confused as to what I mean when I say it. Really, its all in the context, but it means anything from "aren't you sweet" to "what an idiot", with the occasional "don't think I'm a bad person just because I told her she was a waste of air".
Anyhow, what I found was this little dictionary of Southernisms, and as I said, I'm super excited about it!! I could have used this last night when I made dinner up at H.'s fire house. The southern lingo was bouncing off the walls so fast, I think I even started rounding my words and softening my syl-a-bils. The examples in the dictionary make the speakers sound dumb, talking about coon dogs and opossums, but really, most everyone talks like this, even well-educated people. Its sort of like comfort food.
A friend of mine from up North didn't understand this wonderful way of speaking when she first moved down here. It was a comical situation, where she and some other girls were talking about a young lady in their class who was driving them up the wall. Little Miss North was just unloading on her, and then one of the southern girls pipes up with, "... something-something-not-very-nice, bless her heart," and caught LMN totally off-guard. She was suddenly uncertain if they were all on the same side, or if she had been bashing the friend of this southern girl. This dictionary really could have come in handy then.
Today I'm heading out to the lake with some newfound southern friends of mine, most of whom are in fact well-educated, and I know I could really use this little dictionary. I also know that as I bask in the hot hot sun (although its going to be a "fair" day, at only 93*), my words will get softer and rounder like a middle-aged man, and I may even throw out a "bless your heart" or two. Because I'm acclimating. Finally, after near-on 3 whole years in these here parts, (he he he he...), we're settling in. Hitting our stride, if you will. We're getting to the point in some friendships where if I needed my car pulled out of a ditch, I have a few numbers to call. If I have too much cake/steak/ice cream and need to share it with someone, I have a few numbers to call. If I'm bored and sitting at home and need some distraction, I have a few numbers to call. Not a ton, but a few.
I've been wondering when a person is truly "settled" in a place, and as I examine the above paragraph, I believe its a combination of when you have a few numbers to call, and when you see people at the grocery store that you know. Perhaps when you've got a "usual place" to go eat. I'm not convinced on that one, but the other two, for sure. I still miss PA, but we're here for now, and I think I'm finally figuring out what it means to be here.
If you're bored this weekend, check out the southernisms. Let me know which one is your favorite. I think I'm still in love with "bless your heart", but "wore him out" is another good one, as well as "fair piece" and "over yonder".
Getting 'down with the southern vernacular,