Thursday, September 4, 2014

Redneck Overload

A couple of nights ago, I was up late, flipping through the channels when I came across this show called "Mud Lovin' Rednecks".  I had to watch it because curiosity got the best of me when I saw that it was filmed in my neighboring state, Alabama.  Oh, I know the good and decent people of Alabama must be so very proud.....bless their hearts. 

As I sat there on the couch, I was having the same kind of inner conflict that you have when you don't want to see the wreck ahead, but find yourself looking anyway.  You know you'll be sorry.  I knew with that title, it couldn't be a portrayal that we'd be proud of down here and I was correct.  It joins the ranks of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo" and "My Big, Fat, Redneck Wedding" in painting southerners as lazy, backwards, ignorant, unsophisticated, crass, uneducated, crude slobs. 

Just in case any of you get your ideas about what the South is like from these shows....or the news (we can't forget our flattering news coverage) let me set the record straight...
  
We don't make wine for our weddings by stomping on grapes from Kroger in the kids' wading pool out in the front yard.     

We don't all pick our noses while on television....most of us can wait, at least, until the cameras aren't rolling no matter how difficult.

Bodily noises lose their humor for over 95% of Southerners after adolescence and their intentional use in public is frowned upon in almost all circles..... and if our children replicate those noises using their armpits at the table, we'll snatch them up so fast, it will make their heads spin.    

Despite the fact that national news reporters go out of their way to find southerners who have trouble with subject verb agreement, most of us can communicate effectively without subtitles.  We are known to drop our "g" when talkin' to each other, but try to tack them back on when communicating with those outside our geographical area.    

Most of us would never dream of our wedding being held in a mud bog or in a tree stand and I personally don't know anyone who would consider camo to be a wedding color.  No, our weddings are quite elegant affairs.     

I'd dare say that well over 90% of us, southern ladies, get up and put a bra on every single morning along with pants that don't start with the word, sweat, and yes, we do wear shoes to the grocery store. 

I like to think that if real life had beeps to drown out curse words that, unlike the "Mud Lovin' Rednecks", which was a thirty minute long beep, the more average southern woman would just need a beep every now and then in the event of a little toe hitting a door frame and other rarities that occur in hormonal time periods. 

If our children ever acted like Honey Boo Boo, we'd slap them into the middle of next week as our grandmas used to say and then rinse their mouths out with soap.  

When stirring up a pitcher of lemonade, we always try to use a spoon even though we know we could use our hands.  We're fancy like that, I guess.   

Most of us don't answer to nicknames such as "Knot Head", "Sugar Bear", or "Fat Legs", but instead simply answer to the names which our mothers gave us. 

Not one man in my life drives a truck that requires a ladder for entry.  Not one. 

I've never heard lyrics that included the words, "pick up truck" or "beer", at any of the southern weddings that I've attended in all  my 46 years.

I would venture to say that very few of us have ever yelled, "work it, baby" to our daughter while she was on a stage for any reason.....maybe when she's starting the dishwasher without being told, but never, ever while on a stage.

While we're not perfect and we certainly have our exceptions, let me tell you about the South that you won't see on "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo"........                         

We're just good, hard working people who know how to garden, hunt, and live off the land if we ever had to.  Dads teach their boys to fix cars, till a garden, hunt, and clean a mess of fish, because those are good things to know.  Our great grandmother's cornbread dressing recipe finds its way to our table each Thanksgiving, because she taught our grandmother how to make it, who taught our mother, who taught us, and we'll teach our daughters.  Summers are busy with canning and freezing vegetables.  Yeah, they sell all of that in the stores, but it's just not the same.  We teach our girls to set a table and make a roux.  Church on Sunday is the norm not the exception.  Our children will yes ma'am and no ma'am you to death and if we ever catch them getting up from your table without telling you how much they enjoyed it, there will be a talk when we get them home.  We speak to strangers when we pass them in the street.  If you come to our house, you will eat or drink something because we'll insist on it.  We teach our children to look you in the eyes and our sons to have a firm handshake.  We like for our visitors to feel at ease in our homes and stay and visit for a while.  We know all the etiquette rules.....our mothers and grandmothers saw to that.  Silver and china are passed down through the generations and are used on special occasions.  No kind deed ever goes without a thank you note.  We've got our "funeral recipes" in the front of our books and can have those piping hot and to the church before you can turn around good.  Tailgating tents are adorned with chandeliers and silver trays.  And a southern man hurries to open the door for a woman and she is never offended.....it means his parents taught him to respect women and we enjoy being treated like ladies.

There's a big difference between being southern or living in the country.....and being just plain crude.  The south stands for gentility, hospitality, resourcefulness, and warmth.  Slapping the word, redneck, in front of anything these days seems to give a license to lose all sense of decorum, respect, dignity, and pride. 

That's not who we are.....no matter what you see on television.

Have a good weekend.....and come back now....you hear?    

                           



   



       













25 comments:

  1. Beautifully said. You make me feel pride in being a Southerner! You go girl!

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  2. Thank you! I have always lived in Kentucky and I wonder where they find the people they show on the news or reality shows because I don't know anyone who acts or talks like what is presented.

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    1. I know! It's so frustrating, Krysten, to see us portrayed that way over and over again!

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  3. We hoped to love to the South and I was concerned. We live in a really big city and I was afraid that my nice teenagers would be viewed as fire spectrum when we arrived because they don't say yes ma'am. They say yes and yeah depending in who they are talking to. We haven't moved to the south yet and might never make it but I do love it!

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    1. I hope you make it here one day, Beth! I think you'd like us and we'd like you, too :)

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  4. We moved from upstate NY to Nashville 12 years ago. I don't like to see Southerners portrayed so silly and I don't like to see Northerners stereotyped either. It's always easy for TV to hype those things though and then people that have never lived in those regions believe it. Great post! ;)

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    1. Thanks, Marie. Didn't know you were a NY girl!

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  5. I am a Midwestern transplant to the South and have lived here for twenty years now. I'm grateful that my Daddy was raised by a Southern woman, because I came quite prepared and proud to pass that heritage along to my own little ones. My Midwestern Mama instilled a hardiness that I sometimes find lacking in many southern ladies, but I love the hospitality, gentility, warmth and general courtesy along with tradition. I must admit, I know and can relate to a few rednecks and some hillbillies....it's a whole different culture!

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    1. I bet the Midwest is a good place to be, too! Glad to have you down here now though, Missy June!

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  6. I second Mary Lou's comment -- you make me even more proud to be a Southerner, despite whatever redneck TV trash may portray. I was born and raised in Georgia, and also married a Georgia boy (believe it or not, we're an anomaly around here). We'll raise our son with the same values and sense of respect that our parents instilled in us; "please" and "thank you" were among his first words, and he'll know "yes sir" and "no ma'am" before too long. Let others say/think what they will about the South...I think they'd all come to love us if they really knew us. There's just no place like home.

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    1. Amen, Amanda!! Can't add anything to that! You said it all :)

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  7. I like to say "American By Birth, SOUTHERN BY THE GRACE OF GOD"! I'm proud of my Southern heritage and wouldn't trade it to live anywhere else in this world. I don't know where "they" get some of the people they portray on television as being "southern" they are just plain tacky! Being Southern is a privilege!

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  8. I absolutely love this and I totally agree! Thank you for saying what so many of us are thinking.

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  9. I have Southern roots and these are the things that I love about the South! Good manners, kindness, generosity.

    Deanna

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    1. It's a good place! Thanks, Deanna!

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  10. Thanks for putting us straight. : )

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