For the first time in RHOK history, we are posting a piece from a guest writer! Please welcome Michelle Stinson Ross, an authentic Real Housewife of Oklahoma, but now a transplanted, homeschooling Real Housewife of Palm Beach. She was born in Montana, but don't hold that against her. Her parents are third generation Okies, & brought her back to Oklahoma to raise her as fast as they could. She grew up in Lone Grove, OK and actually went to school for a few years with The RHOK's own Mrs. Hart. She and her husband, who is from Healdton, OK (gasp), have three divas-in-training. They moved to South Florida in December of 2002. Michelle's hobbies include the occasional interior re-do, blogging, an uncontrollable Twitter addiction, and writing her first novel. She's always been a bit of a drama queen, so no doubt the first book will not be her last.
I bet none of you would have ever guessed that there is a way for a Southern girl to go TOO far south. But it seems that's just what I've managed to do. Honey, Texas just THINKS they're a whole other country. It's a wonder I don't need a passport down here in Palm Beach County, Florida! Heaven help me, I know I need a translator. And half the time the translator is needed to make other people understand this SOUTHERN girl!
What cracks me up most about these people are the true locals. There is a tiny minority of people who where actually born and raised here in South Florida. Some of them mistakenly believe that due to the extreme southerly location that they are southern. But if you try to get them talking about fried okra and shellin' peas they look at you like you just walked off a spaceship from Mars. I miss home an awful lot sometimes, y'all.
A friend of mine from Texas (I know, I know, but bless their hearts they're still southern) sent me this list of “Southern-isms” that helps me get through those homesick days.
Only a Southerner knows the difference between a hissie fit and a conniption fit, and that you don't 'HAVE' them, you 'PITCH' them. I don't know maybe it's the tropical paradise vibe with the sun and sandy beaches, but I think it's starting to affect me. I've been here nearly 8 years now and I KNOW I've pitched far fewer fits lately. Tell ya what, though, I can still spot a child's hissie fit coming from a mile away.
Even Southern babies know that 'Gimme some sugar' is not a request for the white, granular sweet substance that sits in a pretty little bowl in the middle of the table. Oh my word, how many times did I hear my Grandmama say just that. “Come here, babe, and gimme some sugar.” Or better yet, how many of your children have had their sugar STOLEN while sitting in Grandma's lap? Not much sugar gets spread around these parts, and I'm fairly certain that may just be what's wrong with 'em.
No true Southerner would ever assume that the car with the flashing turn signal is actually going to make a turn. Around here they have the complete opposite affliction. Instead of leaving the blinker on, they never bother to turn it on to begin with! And when they see me use it, they usually don't know what the heck is going on! Like I said, I really think they need more love and sugar in their lives.
In the South, y'all is singular, all y'all is plural. My darlins, I've moved so far south there ain't a good y'all said for miles and miles. My dear man has gotten so accustomed to the lack of the use of y'all that he rolls his eyes at me if I happen to pull it out. Now I'll throw in an “all y'all” every now and again just to remind him where he's from.
When you hear someone say, 'Well, I caught myself lookin',' you know you are in the presence of a genuine Southerner! Lord have mercy, now's when we'd have to break out the translating dictionary. There's no use even trying to explain that one to the folks down here.
And a true Southerner knows you don't scream obscenities at little old ladies who drive 30 MPH on the freeway. You just say, 'Bless her heart' ... and go your own way. I'm here to tell ya that you don't even have to be on the FREEWAY. This bunch is ready with a good scream and a few flying birds if you so much as look like you might get in their way. Bless their hearts, they missed out on a bunch of sugar in their early years.
To those of you who are still a little embarrassed by your Southernness: Take two tent revivals and a dose of sausage gravy and call me in the morning. Bless your heart! That is not my problem at ALL. I wear my Southernness with great pride. Any time I open my mouth I often hear, “You aren't from around here are you?” Never mind that neither are most of the rest of these folks. Most of them are from so far up north they wouldn't know the first thing about being Southern.
And to those of you who are still having a hard time understanding all this Southern stuff, ... bless your hearts, I hear they are fixin' to have classes on Southernness as a second language!
Hallelujah and AMEN it's about time!
And for those that are not from the South but have lived here for a long time, all y'all need a sign to hang on y'all's front porch that reads “I ain't from the South, but I got here as fast as I could.” Well, that's all fine and good for the folks back home, but my sign out front reads “American by birth, Southern by the Grace of God”
Thank you so much for remembering this small-town Southern Oklahoma girl. We need all the prayers we can get as we continue to live too far south to be Southern.
A note from Mrs. Sinclair:
Guest submissions are always welcome & accepted any time via email, but are not guaranteed to be posted.
All the adorable tee shirts pictured and linked here are from the Southern Belle Store, where they encourage you to celebrate your Southern. Visit them, and stock up. It helps people understand you better! ;-) By the way, the Southern Belle Store doesn't know anything about this post or my love of their tees. That's my disclaimer....Thanks! Mrs. Sinclair