The Old New Me

Originally published in 2008, this Weekend Rewind 
is a peek at a few of the growing pains I experienced during our 5 years in Chattanooga.

It’s only been 2 years since we've become residents of the South. In that short period of time a few parts of my character that made me a Midwestern city girl are being beaten into submission. It makes me laugh that I am slowly but surely blending into my surroundings! Arghhhhh!

Yesterday, as I came home from work, I felt another chunk of the BC (before Chattanooga) me fall away. As I got out of my car, I looked across the street to see my neighbor sitting on her front porch and I immediately waved to her. ?!?!? Before I knew what was coming over me I began a conversation. Huh? As we spoke, I looked down the street and noticed a moving truck at the end of the block. I suddenly had this bizarre notion that I should head down the block and welcome them to the neighborhood. Pretty out of character. It was like a big can of southern hospitality threw up all over me! I spent three years at my last place in St. Louis and couldn't tell you one of my neighbor’s names nor would I recognize one of their faces in a crowd. But we've been in this house just a few months and suddenly I’m the neighborhood welcome wagon???

It got me thinking... what other changes have occurred since our migration below the mason Dixon line?
~ I now know what grits are and sometimes eat and enjoy them
~ I put make up on every time I leave the house
~ I include "ma'am" and "sir" after my yes and no answers
~ When I hear "bar-b-que" I know it means pulled pork and is not just a cooking technique
~ Some of my closest friends are political conservatives

However, there are a few cultural differences that I haven't given in to yet.
~ I don't use the term "y'all"
~ I do not drink sweet tea
~ I don't own a confederate flag
~ I don't use self tanner or have a membership at a tanning salon
~ My hair is far from BIG

By no means am I a Southern belle and there is probably not a chance I’ll ever be mistaken for one. But I’m definitely seeing some of the Bible-belt culture bleed into my personality. It’s fun to watch time, experience and location play a part in cultivating a new me. Who knew in just two short years I might associate personal growth with becoming more stereotypically Southern? Don’t get me wrong, I’m still a Midwestern city girl at my core. But it's been fun to incorporate a little bit of Dixie into who I am.

If you've ever lived in "A Foreign Land" how did it grow and change you?

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