When I was little, my family was stationed in both Texas and Alabama. At first, I thought southern culture was kind of ridiculous. Sweet tea. Lots of churches. Religious attitudes out the wazoo. Bleh. It just seemed so phony. Every corner I turned, there was a voluptuous woman in a spring, floral-print dress with too much makeup, telling me, “Bless yer heart.” But over time when living there or seeing family friends who are from the south, I’ve grown to love southern culture. I’ve realized there is more than meets the eye to the Confederate states. There is rich history and a hard work ethic. There is humility and faith. There is a strong loyalty to family and town and an appreciation for what we have and where we come from. Why is the south an ideal place for someone to live? Well, I have a few reasons for crossing the Mason-Dixon line and if you’re interested, keep reading for 58 reasons why you should definitely live in the south!
1. You understand the peace and serenity that only the rustling branches of a Weeping Willow can bring.
2. You know the feeling of peeling your sticky skin bit by bit from the boiling leather seats of a car in July.
3. You know, with absolute certainty, that anything can be fried, eaten, and enjoyed.
4. Honey, sugar, dumpling, pumpkin, and sweetie pie are words usually not referring to food.
5. You understand the feeling of complete and utter satisfaction when successfully getting a big drop off the end of a honeysuckle.
6. You know that good food is even better when combined with other good food to make a casserole.
7. Talking to complete strangers in public is not weird — in fact, it’s just good manners.
8. Speaking of manners, you were grounded multiple times as a kid for forgetting your “yes ma’am”s and “yes sir”s.
9. Just because you asked for a Coke doesn’t mean that you want an actual Coca-Cola. We meant Sprite, damn it! Fine, we’d like a soda.
10. You’ve felt like you were actually suffocating from humidity. Is death by mugginess a real thing?
11. “You guys” and “you all” are just incorrect ways of saying “y’all.”
12. You feel completely OK talking shit about someone, as long as you follow it with a heartfelt “bless their heart.”
13. The squeak of a porch swing and the slam of a screen door will always make you feel at home.
14. It is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a snow day and the Apocalypse. Gotta get bread and milk before that one inch of snow falls!
15. You’ve tried and maybe even successfully fried an egg on asphalt.
16. Sweet tea is the only kind of tea. Get out of here with your unsweetened crap.
17. You’re able to orient yourself based on which church is on what corner.
18. Telling off other people’s kids when they’re pitching a fit is acceptable.
19. Summer nights as kid were spent catching lightning bugs (fireflies to the non-Southerner) in mason jars.
20. You or someone you know reached true Southern Belle status when they got dolled up for a debutante ball. Lots of white dresses, lots of antiquated rules.
21. Nowhere else in the country does biscuits better. And don’t even get us started on chicken biscuits. Sometimes you dream about them.
22. You know that all BBQ is not created equal. Do NOT, under any circumstances, get Texas and Carolina BBQ confused.
23. “Red on black, venom lack; red on yellow, kill a fellow” has saved the life of someone you know. Or it was just fun to say as a kid.
24. You’ve used monogrammed towels, napkins, bags, pillows, wallets, and pens too many times to count.
25. It’s not a purse, it’s a pocketbook.
26. You call anyone from above the Virginia line a Yankee, or when they come down for the Summer or to go to Duke, a “damn Yankee.”
27. You never, ever forget to write a thank-you note after attending a social gathering or receiving a gift.
28. What the hell is a remote control? Pass me the clicker or the changer, or don’t pass me anything at all.
29. Taylor Swift ain’t real country music (but we love her anyway).
30. The struggle of craving Chick-fil-A on a Sunday is so real.
31. You don’t leave the local pool when a summer thunderstorm rolls in, you just wait it out it out about half an hour until the sun (and humidity) is back in full force.
32. You take your whiskey and bourbon very seriously.
33. It’s not a shopping cart, it’s a buggy.
34. You can’t see a bottle of pink wine without singing Deana Carter’s “Strawberry Wine” in your head and smiling to yourself about Summer love and simpler times.
35. College sports rivalries are a religion to you. You’re a Tarheel or you’re a Blue Devil. It’s ‘Bama or Auburn. There is no in between.
36. You feel like it’s only proper to dress up when flying or going to the doctor’s office.
37. You’re still not sure what Alan Jackson meant when he sang that “way down yonder on the Chattahoochee, it gets hotter than a hoochie coochie,” but you definitely hear the song differently now than when you were a kid.
38. You know that sororities and fraternities mean something completely different in the South than anywhere else in the country.
39. You’ve caught a crawdaddy with your bare hands.
40. You know someone of nearly every denomination. You’ve got your Lutherans, your Catholics, your Baptists, your Presbyterians, your Methodists . . . seriously the list goes on and on.
41. The music from a banjo, acoustic guitar, and a fiddle playing all together is a sweet and perfect fusion of your favorite sounds.
42. Backyard bonfires are your idea of a perfect nighttime get together.
43. You don’t realize how strong Southern accents are until you move somewhere else. Sorry, was that darn? Dern? Dernit?
44. Fried chicken and waffles were sent from heaven straight to the South.
45. You know that no matter where you are in the world, if you run into a fellow Southerner, you’ve got a true friend in them.
46. If you don’t have something monogrammed, you can’t sit with us.
47. You have to learn to accept camouflage as a wearable print.
48. No newborn baby girl is complete without an obnoxious bow or flower strapped to her head.
49. There is no greater hangover cure than Bojangles’.
50. There’s something about a man whose name starts with “J.”
51. The bigger your hair the closer you are to God.
52. There’s only one kind of tea…sweet.