Tuesday, August 14, 2018

10 Best And Worst Things About Living in the South

Even though they're in the same country, the north and the south are two totally different worlds in a lot of ways. (And by north I mean midwest and by south I mean southeast US). The following are some comparisons that have really stuck with me over the past three years since I first became a resident of the south. (How has it only been three years??)

1. There are monograms EVERYWHERE.  If you like monograms, that is a definite plus, but y'all, I can't stand monograms. They don't make sense to me.  I'm a very logical thinker, and it just does not make sense to write your initials first-last-middle.  But also it would be dumb to put them in order first-middle-last and make your middle initial the biggest. Therefore, no sense.

2. The weather, obviously. Hello, mild winters! (And also hello a week's worth of snow days when it snows >1".) Tornadoes, however, am I much less of a fan of... But I do love having a pool that I can swim in six months out of the year!

3. The drivers.  Growing up, we made fun of Wisconsin drivers, but I would take Wisconsin drivers any day.  Originally I thought it was just where I had moved to, because both places I have lived in the south have a pretty transient population, but after enough road-tripping, I've learned its definitely just a southern thing in general. It is rare that I make an hour long drive without seeing at least one small wreck. (Looking at the stats from 2016, I found the following info for Deaths per 100,000 Population- Minnesota: 7.1, Wisconsin: 10.5, Illinois: 8.5, Tennessee: 15.7, Alabama: 21.3.) It's no wonder car insurance costs so much down here!

4. This is specific to Tennessee, but NO STATE INCOME TAX. The downside- sales taxes are twice as much and there is sales tax on food.

5. Recycling is virtually non-existent. There is no roadside recycling like there is for garbage and very few public places offer recycling receptacles.  I've been here for three years now and it still makes me cringe every time I have to throw a soda can in the garbage.

6. Cracker Barrels err-where! I will pass on the over-hyped Chick-fil-a for Cracker Barrel pancakes and cornbread any day! Also add the fact that I can get a Sonic water (or slushie or popcorn chicken) 17 hours a day.

7. The sense of style. My absolute favorite fashionistas to follow are my Nashville blogger girls! On the other hand, I do not understand the southern obsession with Matilda Jane and Vera Wang.  The first time I saw a Vera Wang bag, I assumed it was a like a $5 bag from Wal-Mart.  Then I saw them EVERYWHERE and I thought it was so bizarre that people here were so obsessed with these Wal-Mart bags.  I soon found out they did not come from Wal-Mart... Cue the exact same thoughts for Matilda Jane.  And don't even get me started on adults wearing those ruffly pants... Some things I just don't understand.

8. Smoking.  First off, smoking in bars is still legal down here.  The first time I was in one it really threw me off considering it has been illegal in Minnesota for over a decade, well before I was even able to get into a bar.  Also, there are more smokers in the south in general (and I've found they typically aren't very respectful in regards to where they are smoking), which unfortunately means more interactions with secondhand smoke and the stench that comes with it. (Curious, I looked up the stats from 2016 and found that the national average of adults who smoked was roughly 16%.  In Minnesota it was 12% and Tennessee was 25%.)

9. There is so much history in the south! I am a self-declared dork (though a lot of other people have declared it to), and I love visiting the places that have helped to shape our world today.

10. Nobody in the south knows what duck, duck, grey duck is. When I showed my friend a duck, duck, grey duck t-shirt from Target (shout out to my favorite MN based corporation!) she asked me if it was a FRIENDS reference... *facepalm*

There ya have it! Though there are tons of differences, these are definitely the ones that have stood out the most to me!

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