I’ve been home visiting my family for the last week, and I must say that there are aspects of the South that I miss. My mother and I had lunch today with a lady she has been friends with since college. Probably one of her first adult friendships, actually, those friendships that go beyond the childish bonds of who went to school with, and who was at church. The two of them have drifted in and out of contact over the years, but when they get together, it’s as if they never quit being friends. This lady is quintessentially Southern…and Greek, for that matter. That comes with living near the ocean. She has a self-deprecating, homespun humor that had me laughing the whole time we were at lunch.
I like the idea of Southern friendships. They are comfortable and warm, and usually come about because we are willing to open up our lives to each other more quickly than in other places in the country. It is our open-ness that defines us and draws us closer. Of course, we have our moments. A well placed “Bless your heart,” is enough to put someone in their place in a nanosecond…or longer, depending on what type of Southerner has spoken it. These things can take time, you know, when words pour out like molasses. Heh… sometimes I don’t wonder if we are more like the Pringles of Anne of Avonlea fame: “The Pringles have always quarreled a great deal among themselves. But we’re always polite in public.”
Out of my time home, I have decided that the Southern wisdom and tradition of friendship needs to be preserved in some way. I’m thinking of writing a book of sorts, with quotes, short stories, maybe even some recipes. Because what is a Southern woman without her recipes? I don’t live here anymore, but since I’ve moved away, I feel like I have gained some perspective. I’m one foot in, and one foot out, making the it the perfect observation deck to take in all the rare and wonderful gems of the Southern lexicon.