What Happens When A Southern Girl Heads North

When I started this blog I knew that I would be embracing my Southern roots but boy oh boy I had no idea how much I would be reflecting on them until now. Let me start by saying this is not a “Let’s bash the North” post but rather a comparison of the things I’ve encountered since we left on our journey last Saturday.

Just a little background as to the reason why I would even CONSIDER an extended stay in the north, let alone one during the winter. My husband’s job ended in Texas and his most solid job offer was in North Dakota. So after much discussion, prayer, and consultations from Nate’s dad, we decided to purchase an RV and head north. The RV was a must have for many reasons, mainly from a financial stand point and because of our dog. Hotels for some reason welcome little annoying yappy dogs all day long but intimidated by a large dog…whatever!

Back to our journey…we left Texas last Saturday after a very long day of prep. Nothing like taking your car for a front end alignment and finding out yet another tire is bad (Goodyear is the worst tire made in my opinion). After a lot of hustle we got that fixed. Then it was on to getting the brake system on our truck fixed before we started towing the RV. 6:00 pm rolled around and were finally on our way. We only made it 150 miles before exhaustion kicked in and we stopped for the night. Bright and early the next morning we left out of Brady, TX and continue on. Lordy Texas is a BIG state! We made a stop in some little town in Texas for lunch and to celebrate our little man’s 4th birthday. In the midst of all the chaos surrounding this huge decision we still made time for the important things in life. So on through Oklahoma, Kansas, Colorado, and South Dakota we go. We stopped for the evening in Rapid City, SD. The next morning we made a stop by Sturgis and visited the Full Throttle Saloon…LOVE IT! We continued our journey to Watford City, ND and could not find a decent RV park anywhere. Tired, exhausted, and stressed beyond belief we decide to head for the closest “big” town, Williston, ND. This is where things went south (no pun intended) and my opinions of the north begin.

Besides the obvious Southern draw, the overly used expression “bless your heart”, and the embedded manners of using the term ma’am and sir when addressing folks (yes, we call them folks, not people) the South is just nice. We’re nice to folks whether they’re our neighbor or enemy, we’re nice to our family, we’re nice to our pets…we’re just nice. The folks in the north seem to have missed that memo. When we hit about the Kansas state line it was like a switch was flipped. You can walk into a gas station and say hello and the cashier looks at you like you’re speaking a foreign language. Even my just turned 4 year old said “Thank you sir” to a guy that held the door open for him and the guy looked at him like he had just said a cuss word. Since we’ve been in North Dakota we’ve dealt with nothing but rudeness. No sense of customer service, no sense of compassion…nothing but attitudes as cold as the weather. Now I’m not saying that every single person who lives “up north” is rude or lacks compassion…this is just what I’ve experienced in 4 states in the last week. These people need to loosen up…smile every once in awhile…develop a sense of humor. It’s really kinda bumming me out.

Who knows how long we’ll be here but one thing’s for sure…I’m not going to let the Grumpy McGrumpy’s change my Southern way of life but rather give me greater sense of pride of how I was raised. I will continue to use my Southern twang when saying my ma’am’s and sir’s and not deter my son from being polite even in the face of someone who hasn’t ever been introduced to the wrong end of a plum switch. At the end of the day all I can do is walk out with my chin up and just shake my head and say “bless their hearts”.