I was recently visiting friends and family on the East Coast after my ex-husband moved away from the area. I have a restraining order against him, as suggested by a lawyer, and I was excited to visit my old friends and neighbors. I have to say, Southern Hospitality is as real as the stars y’all. I’m not saying that I am an exceptionally hospitable person, but I’m sure you know how a friendly wave or a quick “hello” can be expressed on the streets without stopping the show. It’s meant to be in passing and is a simple acknowledgment that the other person exists. Why not try to make things pleasant and just greet a stranger in a casual, positive manner?
Up there in the north, people look at you like you’re crazy if you so much as hold the door open for someone right behind you. It’s almost inconceivable to them how anyone could be in a good mood or wish a stranger a “good afternoon.” While I was riding the train into D.C., I was sitting in my chair as people walked down the aisle. I asked a mother and her two young boys, “How do you do?” and she gave me the nastiest look and grabbed her kids closer and scurried off to another car on the train. As my grandfather used to say, “It don’t make no nevermind to me.” But I just wanted to say: listen here lady, it doesn’t make a bit of difference to me whether you respond or smile, but don’t be so afraid of a simple hello. It’s absurd to me that such a greeting has become almost offensive to some of our fellow Americans, and believe me, she was not the only one that rejected the friendly hellos coming from our group of southern-blood tourists. That’s why I love the South; we have good natured folks that understand how to be friendly to a stranger. You can bury me under a peach tree because I’ll be here until the day I die.
It must be their amygdalas, that part of your brain that recognizes danger and sends signals throughout the body to react to fight or flight. I suppose it could be something in the water that is causing these Yankees to carry a disturbed perception of their fellow citizens. Eh, it’s probably not their fault. Everything’s better down here anyway. The food is tastier, the tea is sweeter, the weather is more beautiful, the people are friendlier, and it all shows in the community.
Up there if you get lost or want to ask a local a quick question, you might as well put a steering wheel on a mule—you’ll have better luck. I’m glad I got to see New York, and Philadelphia, and D.C. in that week-long trip because now I can say I’ve been and I never have to go back! It was an interesting trip because there is a lot of history up there, where the founding fathers first landed. I think that whatever their problem is up north, I’m glad to be in the South where people seem to get it. Do you know what I mean? The lemonade down here is made with my kinda lemons!Read More