Southern Legitimacy Statement:
I learned all about living in the North the hard way. I lived there. Lived in a little lake-effect town south of Erie where recreation consisted mostly of scraping snow off your car in the morning, at lunchtime and when driving home from work. Then donning your mukluks and walking to the tavern for a sandwich and a beer just so you didnâ€™t have to scrape snow again.
Also lived in Pittsburgh where things were marginally better. Finally figured out that the South is the place to be. Moved to Key West, which is the ideal spot if youâ€™re independently wealthy. Iâ€™m not, so for the past 15 years North Carolina has been my happy home. My Southern Legitimacy Statement is mostly this: I hate winter. Iâ€™m writing this as we get seven inches of snow. Considering that this is the first measurable snowfall weâ€™ve had this winter, I can live with it.
I am perhaps not as legitimate as the real Southerners. They will not drive in the lightest dusting of snow. They close schools and cancel events when a winter storm cloud crosses the horizon. They buy milk and bread and clear out the supermarket shelves when snow is predicted because, well, theyâ€™ve been told thatâ€™s what you do when it snows. Doesnâ€™t occur to them that in two days it will be 50 again and the snow will melt and theyâ€™ll be feeding bread to the birds and pouring milk down the sink. But I am a Southerner because this is a darned nice place to live and because itâ€™s actually nice to see snow when itâ€™s not a steady diet. And â€œyâ€™allâ€ is such a genteel and sweet collective pronoun compared to â€œyouâ€™unsâ€ and â€œyouse guys.â€