Carpe Diem

Rambling snobbery - books, music, food, knitting and sewing

Thursday, September 01, 2011

My own Southern Self

I am - by birth & therefore consequence - a transplanted Northerner to the SOUTH, and sadly will never ever be really truly 100% Southern. I cannot comprehend on any level little girl "beauty pagents" (seriously? - WTF!!! - IMHO they are nothing more than little whoremakers) nor some of the funky pig parts that appear out of nowhere - all deep fried, pickled or briney - BUT I sincerely adore the people I've met and their sincerity and unique look on life. They have such a unusual perspective that is so different to the northern way of thinking. The south does things so very very diametrically opposed to the north that actually challenges me - and I love that. BUT there is a down side.

I'm white. I'm not Korean and only speak enough Spanish to know I should be offended when called a white bitch. The South here is a hard conflicted very bipolar South. It's filled with bigots - haters and bitches. But also a Shit ton of great people and therefore worth exploring. Maybe this is true everywhere in my America - but I am not a hater - I love those who should be loved and don't put evil back into the world as best I can.

I love Virginia for so many personal reasons and not just because this is where my family has landed and started to put down roots but because this place - State - "state of mind" - Historical Juggernaut - has such presence it's almost otherworldly. Don't get me wrong. People here cannot fucking drive to save their lives. To say they are bad drivers is like saying Andrew Zimmern likes to eat assholes. REALLY? who freaking teaches drivers ed here? Mr. Paulson is pissing himself as I share some of these horror stories. But as a Midwestern girl I can a) drive stick and actually would prefer it to automatic transmission. b) sail through a snow storm with my car still on the road. and c) change my own oil but that's another blog post. But the south has that strange allure for me since the very first time I saw a magnolia in full bloom. It was a transplanted variety to the north - but it was gorgeous and I was 9. I knew there was a world outside of the complete hibernation that I knew was Wisconsin. I felt there was more to what I knew to be the 5 months we knew as warmth and the rest relegated to construction and snow. My quest for all things warm and not the north began. I began to loathe the cold. No actually it was started as loathe and ended at full on I FUCKING HATE BEING COLD!!!!!!!!!!!!! It took a few years to ramp into that particular sentatment - but there it is. I remember one particular winter - no kidding - 80 below fucking zero with the wind chill factor. Driving to work - at night - having to plug in my car so that my engine would not freeze. Those of you truly southern will have no idea what I am talking about - google "block heater" yes I own one. I hate winter. Sooooooooooo I love Virginia. But straight up - I'm not far enough south. This state is gorgeous - yes yes yes - it is for lovers - but for all the talk - it's still cold. A lot.

As much as there are differences there are Burger Kings and Applebees and if I wanted to just live "in the north" "in the south" I so so so
could. But that is so not who I am and I PERSONALLY live and bloom where planted so I live - truly LIVE Auntie Mame style - and embrace what I live in - so this is a nirvana of sorts for me. Fresh produce in cheap places. Korean markets - Live seafood for crazy prices - yes please. Why is it always about food for me? well, we need it to live. And more than exist. LIVE! I always come back to this - Food is fuel at it's most basic but it's life at it's most glorious. We have to eat. WE HAVE TO EAT!!!!!! We have to feed ourselves and our children. If you are a feeder you get this - man or woman - you get it. I love it here for the wider - nay, epic expanse of possibilities open here. Lemon grass. check. Cassava. yeah. Ginger. duh? good Garlic - ya think? OMG yes please! So much to pick from if brave enough to tough it out. I have my sights set on farther south some day but for now Virginia is sweet home enough that I am a happy Yankee Rose!!!


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