Reasons I Suck at Being A Southerner

A couple weeks ago, Mel made a post about all the things that make her un-Southern, despite living in a Southern state. It cracked me up, in a funny-'cause-it's-true way, and also in a what-coincidence way. And then yesterday Paige shared some insight on what it's like to be a Texas transplant (which may have helped confirm my longtime suspicions that I was born on the wrong side of the Mason-Dixon line) and I thought, well, I guess now is as good a time as any to finish a similar post I've had sitting in my drafts. In all of my 27.5 years, I've never lived further north than southeastern Virginia but I've never felt like I truly fit in in these parts. Here's why.

I don't believe that Virginia is really the south.
 I mean, let's just get this one out of the way. I'm Virginia-by-way-of-South-Carolina-Southern.  The idea that Virginia is part of the real south has confused me since the day I moved here from Charleston. But just because I don't believe it doesn't mean I can't find a pickup truck with a Confederate flag flying on the back with a driver who is happy to tell me differently. Maybe that makes the rest of this list moot? We'll continue on anyway.

I can't stand hot weather. 
Who are all you freaks who enjoy walking outside and feeling like you've stepped into an oven? You can get out. I actually used to like hot weather when I was younger, but some flip got switched in my brain several years ago and now I loathe it more with each passing year. And in the south, it's not just the heat that'll get ya, it's the humidity. I've lived in Florida (which is not the south even though it's geographically to the south, just so you know) and I'm telling you, Virginia summers easily rival Florida summers in terms of yuckiness just on the humidity factor alone.

I despise country music. 
Another thing I used to love as a kid but grew to completely hate. When I was little my dad would take me to country concerts, but today just accidentally switching to the country radio station in my car makes my ears bleed. It's generic, the lyrics are recycled or silly (or both), and it all sounds the same (this coming from someone who favorite genres include screamo). Pass.

I don't believe that cowboy boots are or were ever fashionable. 
Seriously, one of my least favorite fashion trends of the last decade. I would gladly trade in cowboy boots for Crocs. That's right, I said it.

While we're on the subject of shoes, I don't own a pair of Sperrys. 
My dad even used to have a boat and I still never owned a pair of boat shoes, which means most people probably don't need to either. 

I don't drink sweet tea. 
In high school I basically lived off Chick-Fil-A chicken biscuits and sweet tea. These days, I'm not one for sweet tea or really any sweet drinks for that matter. I will, however, concede Paige's point that if the tea is iced, it should have sugar in it. I just don't really drink anything other than water on a normal basis so y'all can keep your sweet tea. I do like some Southern foods, though, and I love grits. The real thing. No self-respecting Southerner uses instant grits.

I wouldn't be caught dead in Lilly Pulitzer. 
Believe me, I was nowhere near a Target during the whole Lilly fiasco last month. If you've followed my capsule wardrobe at all it's probably no surprise that I'm not a huge fan of Lilly's loud, multicolor prints. Let's just leave it at that before feelings start getting hurt.

I'm not into college football
I'm from the land where everyone has a college football team - whether they went to the school or not. College football isn't quite the religious experience here in Virginia as it is in some for other states even farther below the Mason-Dixon line, but it's still one of our favorite pastimes. And by "our" I mean people who live here who are not me. Even as a Hokie, with the biggest college football program in the state, I'm lucky if I sit down to watch one game a year. And that's on TV. Don't even ask me about the last time I stepped foot in the stadium. 

I don't say y'all.
Ignore the fact that I just typed it like 4 sentences ago. The actual word hasn't left my mouth since circa 1997. I don't really speak Southern at all and don't have much of an accent...provided I'm fewer than 1.5 beers deep.

Now which of my friends hailing from the North wants to adopt me?


  1. Haha I'll adopt you! I think I might be a little farther north than you're thinking though. I've never lived anywhere you can run outside year round, although some people try. That can't be healthy! It's funny because I'm getting to the point where I can't stand cold weather. It didn't bother me growing up, but I've been such a baby the past few winters. On the prairies we actually got crazy hot summers the sticky ones with mosquitoes and all. Here in Halifax it's a bit more mild and no bugs, so I'll take it! Sometimes I put on some Garth Brooks or something for old times sake, but I'm so out of the loop with country music. I also don't have Sperrys, anything Lilly Pulitzer, Cowboy boots or watch college football and say ya'll....but then again, I'm not from the South! I did want to try sweet tea while I was in Charleston, but didn't get around to it.

  2. Can I just say I can relate to all of these?! I live in the midwest currently and most of these trends are a thing here too and I just don't get it haha

  3. Ok, so we can agree that Lily is the most hideous thing on the face of the planet and cowboy boots are ridic on EVERYONE. But Sperry's are the $h!t. Seriously, cute and comfy, and they make sandals too! Yes to grits - real grits, with a pound of butter in them! I can't remember if I told you, but I take my iced tea half sweet, half unsweet, because Southerners go cray-cray with that sugar. 100% sweet tea is too thick and nasty.

    Now, VA is DEFINITELY the South. However, the state needs a new boundary line. Northern VA, up near DC? Not the South. Richmond? The South for sure. So it depends on where you are! And FL is in no way, shape or form the South! Not even close. I'd even go so far as to say west Texas isn't the South. Dallas, Waco and Houston qualify. Austin is too liberal/hippie and west TX is just that - the Wild West. So my state needs a new boundary line too!

  4. Haha! This is greatness. I love reading these.

    And uhh... I'm totally raising my hand on the "I don't like hot weather". Me neither!! Ugh.

  5. Me me me! I'll adopt you! We have humidity here in Jersey, but it starts later than the south and the temps don't get as hot as in the south either. And not that I'm southern or anyone in the world could ever pretend to consider me such, but in solidarity, NO TO LILLY. Also no to monograms, and I just seriously don't get the appeal. Especially for an unmarried girl who plans to get married and change her name by the time she's like 22. I do like some country music, but not the "real stuff," (though I agree with your assessment of it; it's a total guilty pleasure for me) and I agree, you don't sound southern to me. I vote to keep Virginia as part of the North.
    Oh but I should confess that there are confederate flag-bearing pick-up trucks here in some parts of NJ (no joke—but I think we talked about that) but not in my part. I quite think you'd do rather well in a city like Hoboken or Jersey City, NJ. Just saying...

  6. Having grown up in Florida, I can identify with nearly all of your check points here. Dislike sweet tea, true heat & humidty, not a fan of college football even though I went to an SEC school (GO Gators!), and y'all has never been in my vocabulary. But, like you said - Florida is not really the true south. I think some days I identify more with Latin culture, but I'm really a mid-western girl at heart. I do kind of like Lilly though. I like some of her prints on smaller items, but definitely not plastered all over my body.

  7. While I've never owned a pair of Sperrys or cowboy boots... I sure do love my country music (the fun kind!) and sweet tea! This post rocks ;)

  8. I'm totally half-and-half with this post haha. I don't drink sweet tea, really care about college football, own cowboy boots, and I HATE this damn heat. Cheers to being you ;)

  9. This is so funny. Since I'm a KY gal, which I think is the 'top' of the South, I feel safe in knowing I'm about half & half on your list. I do love cowboy boots... I do love sweet tea, but girl, you will NEVER see me in Lily P either.

  10. Yay! So glad you posted this!!!!!

    No to heat. And I mean a big, southern, HELL NO! The humidity is the worst. Like the devil. I'd rather hold a snake than step outside and feel like I've been locked in a sauna.

  11. Hey now. Don't hate on country music! It's my favorite! :)
    Jordan hates sweet tea with a passion. Like, sweet tea vs. nothing? He chooses nothing. But he says y'all a lot. And weird stuff like "you fixin' to go to the store." What on earth!?

  12. hahahaha!!!! Living in Georgia for 13 years, and now Alabama...I have picked up some "southern things" but there are some things I will never get. Cowboy boots with dresses, sweet tea, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, grits, y'all, wearing Lily, and the unbearable heat are all things I can do without!!!

  13. I love this! I'm from the suburbs of Chicago, but somehow I ended up following more southern bloggers than yankee bloggers. I love them, but there are some things I just DON'T get. I've lived in Florida for over a year (and you are right - it's not THE south here) and I still CANNOT understand the big deal about Chick-Fil-A. I just don't get it.

  14. I don't own Sperrys, I don't drink iced tea, and Lilly Pulitzer makes me want to vomit. BUT, I do love my cowboy boots, I say y'all, and I'd rather have a hot day than a cold day. So...I'm stuck somewhere in between.

  15. I don't own sperrys but since I've moved into the country a little more, I've been listening to more country music. guilty as charged! But I'm with ya on the LP no way. I didn't even have a clue that whole target situation was going on and everyone was already searching for items on ebay. I will take my sweet tea syrupy and you will hear me use the word yall if I'm talking but not usually when I'm typing. Sometimes it slips out though but I feel like I give people a false impression of my voice when I use that word over the computer because people tend to hear a Blanche Devereaux like sounding voice when they see "yall" written out when actually people tell me I have no accent at all! Oh. and I'm also one of those people who needs to get out of here because they love hot weather haha! ;)

  16. I'll adopt you! Though I don't know if the Great White North is as north as you were thinking... haha

    With my love of country music (how can you not like it?!), hot weather, and the word y'all I think I would love the South! But definitely no to Lily Pulitzer. It's okay on kids but on grown women? Not so much

  17. Girl I feel ya on a lot of these, but you dont like college football...oh no!!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  18. HAHAH! This is so spot on. I may have to do one of my own! We agree on so many things. Except I DO own several pair of Sperry's - I can't wear ballet flats, but I love Sperry's for work. And I LOVE college football. I'm a color/pattern lover, but I have only seen a few Lilly Pulitzer things I would even wear. And I would neverrrr drop the cash on it. Ugh.

    Otherwise? Spot on. I've lived in Tennessee my whole life, and I've never even wanted to own a pair of cowboy boots. I only like hot tea. I hate hot weather. I don't like country music, and I don't say y'all.

    Funny story about y'all though.. y'all is NOT said in my immediate family. When my brother moved to Oregon, he started saying it all the time, which I found weird. Turns out, he realized girls were into the "southern" thing, so he uses y'all to pick up girls. hahahaha.

  19. i LOVE this post.
    first off, it confuses the shit out of me that florida is not southern, but it's in the south. so confusing. and i get confused with Kentucky as well, because some people say it's southern and others don't.
    i write y'all but i'll never say it. sperrys - ew. i don't understand them. i rocked cowboy boots like 3 times in my life in the attempt to feel more american (because all americans wear cowboy boots dontyaknow) and got rid of them shortly after. they don't look good on people with big feet, that's for sure! lilly pulitizer is gross too.
    HOT WEATHER FOREVER.yep, I'm a freak. whatevs.

  20. Just going back from being in the real south, this makes me laugh. I don't care for iced tea at all, but at dinner one night there was tea being served and everyone was upset it wasn't sweet tea (saying we were in the south, of course it should be sweet, haha). And one of my husband's cousins from Georgia went on and on about how Virginia (and Maryland) are not the real south, so you're definitely not alone on that one, haha. And I saw soooo many people wearing Lily and Southern and something or other at the airport-- I don't mind it, and it was cute but it made me wonder if we wear things that suggest where we're from geographically.


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