Isn’t that called alliteration? Let me just check that. Yes, yes it is. I learned proper grammar in school, but they didn’t really drill it, so I get confused on things like past participle or onimonipea, which I believe that last one is like “POW!” “BANG!” and the like.
Anywho, this post isn’t really about grammar, it’s about an Only In Your State article that I read, entitled, 10 Sure-Fire Ways to Make a Mississippian Mad. So, I’ll talk about my experiences with this list of ten things.
01. Displaying Bad Manners. This is certainly true. Manners are a pretty big deal in Mississippi. They can be helpful, but can also be hurtful. But it doesn’t matter, Mississippians are sticking with manners; the born and raised here one’s, not the people who move here later. Not that these people can’t be nice, it’s just that for the most part Mississippians don’t understand their version of nice. I don’t get Kentuckian niceties, to me they seem mean. And they are also southern-ish; because it depends on which side they fought for in The Civil War.
The Civil War actually dictates more than one would think. Maryland fought for the side of the south (not D.C., just Maryland in general), yet any other southern state sees them as Northerners, but they technically can be classified as southerners (and some of them will get really mad if you say they aren’t), because of their fighting choice in the Civil War. I’ve also known a lot of other southern state people who don’t count Virginia as such. Because of their close approximation and ties to D.C.? I don’t know, but considering they were the Confederates version of D.C., they are a southern state. Anyway, I’m just trying to say that the government and textbooks classify these states as southern… even if they were to vote primarily Democratic now a days or try to distance themselves as far from the Civil War as possible, it wouldn’t matter, because history remembers that war and which way you fought in it. Which brings me back to Kentucky. They were a divided state, so as far as textbooks and the government goes they’re the south. As far as other southern states or Kentuckians are concerned, it depends on the person as to whether they’re a Yankee or not.
But, getting back to manners. I see Kentuckians and Marylanders as Yankess, because they’re manners and niceties are clipped and seem really rude. I don’t really understand that they’re not being bitchy. Because well, for the most part Yankee people are clipped and they come off, to me, seeming really mean and rude because I don’t understand their version of manners. I’m learning and trying to, but not many southerners will go out of their way to learn about yankees. Our local news actually had to read a missive on air about people displaying bad manners and how it wasn’t nice. People who weren’t from Mississippi. Mainly these were people from New Orleans. But when you volunteer to shuttle cars at a church and scream, “Get outta the fuckin’ way you fuckin’ fuck” and there are kids present, well, you’ve kinda gone too far, ya know? (I secretly laugh about that, but still, that’s in poor taste, man.)
But good manners can, and does, tip over into the hurtful and unhelpful categories. “You can come over anytime.” It’s good manners to say this. Do they mean it? Absolutely not. Do I mean it? Yes. Well, sorta. It not meant to mean that you can come over at four in the morning. It’s supposed to mean, “my door is open, you don’t need to call or arrange to come over before hand… and absolutely drop by because we want to see you”. So, when I say it I actually mean that you can drop by and we don’t have to make plans first or you don’t have to call first or wait to be invited. When others say it, they only mean, “I’m just displaying my good manners with not intent behind it because everyone knows you should still call first or you must wait to be invited.” It’s hurtful when you don’t know or realize this apparent universal concept and figure that they actually mean it and think of you sorta like family, only to show up and they don’t want you there and how dare you. There’s some yankee friends of ours that live here and they say this and actually mean it the way it’s supposed to be meant. Yankees – 01 / Southerners – 00.
Or how good manners are used to disguise racial hatred. Oh, you get those people that shout the N word at black people or any other derogitory word to any person of colour, no matter which nationality they are. Or the people who have no qualms about telling black people they should still be slaves or some other such horridness right to their faces. But really all the racial tension is hidden. “Oooh Hi! Denise. So good to see you! chat chat chat.” to white friends, “Can you believe that uppity N, thinking she’s too good for us.” and you want to say, “Really? Are you serious?!?” Not that either is agreeable or good, and not that I’m the official spokesperson for a race that I am not, but I much prefer (if they aren’t actually going to kill me), the people who tell me to my face that they don’t like me, than the one’s that are lulling me into a false sense of security by making me think we’re friends only to slam me later. To me that’s not “good manners”, that’s just back-handed bitchery, and it’s not cool at all.
02. Schedule Something During Football. God, football. It’s the bane of my existence next to warm dressing rooms and ill-fitting garments in said dressing rooms. I will agree all day long that Mississippi, and the south in general, are absolutely ga-ga for football. My family, thankfully detests everything to do with it. But, if you do happen to schedule something during football, you might get chewed out, though I’m not sure how Mississippians can claim good manners if they do that, or people won’t show up and it’s all your fault because you too don’t worship the football.
03. Not Liking The Blues. This one doesn’t bother me because most Mississippians like this weird type of blues, I’ve found. It’s like a mix of country and western, blues, and zydeco that’s preformed by white men. To me, this is not the blues. The blues is preformed by black people. It can be upbeat, but it is mainly soulful and sad or just something with the feels. Ya know, like THE blues that all the white Mississippians are always proclaiming to love from all the great legends like Son House, Skip James, John Lee Hooker, Ledbelly, Bessie Smith, & Mississippi Fred McDowell, etc. Sure they might buy art depicting these people and they’ll tell anyone within ear shot that this is THE Blues Trail and The Blues started here, but do they actually listen to THE blues? Nope. So, I don’t really listen to Mississippians and they’re talk of The Blues… and perhaps one day I will be surprised to find one that actually likes the real thing.
04. Not Liking Comeback Sauce. Comeback sauce is disgusting. Yeah, I said it. Big deal. Wanna fight about it? Anywho, I’ll stop referencing telly shows. But seriously. It’s gross. Apparently, however, most Mississippians rave about the stuff. But, then I also don’t like remoulade sauce either. And New Orleans people get in a tizzy over that if you don’t like it. I may get weird looks and scoffs, but this Mississippi girl says nix on the comeback sauce.
05. Having To Be Friendly & Welcoming. This is a double edged sword. Some people really are friendly and welcoming. Sometimes the most unlikely of people… ya know if you judge a book by it’s cover sort of deal. I have found in life that some people who seem scary are the nicest people you’ll ever meet and the super pretty and polished people are the most hateful and deceitful… like those girls in the picture for the main article. They might be nice, sure (I can’t really judge those particular girls as I haven’t met them). But from my experience those girls are never truly nice. They’re only fake nice, friendly and welcoming and don’t mean it. So, there are genuinely friendly and welcoming people here, but not every Mississippian is honestly this way and you might be surprised by who actually is the nice sort and who isn’t.
06. Complain About The Heat. This one doesn’t bother me. If you complain about the heat, I’ll complain along with you because it’s beyond the sun fucking hot down here. And it’s humid to boot. It can get really gross down here, weather wise. What bothers me is that born and bred Mississippians will complain about the heat, but then complain about winter once it’s arrived and bundle up for an Arctic expedition when it’s 75 out and blast the heat at 98 in stores. Look, I get it. With the high humidity levels here the cold really is cold. It’s the type of cold that sinks into your bones and won’t really let up. But, that’s on certain days. And it’s not like winter even really visits here, and when it’s 75, for the love of god and all that is holy, please stop wearing a sweatshirt unless you were born and raised at the equator, because you look like an ass and honestly you really can’t be cold enough to wear that when it’s 75… or even 85. This is the thing that gets my knickers in a wad. You can’t complain about ALL the weather and come out looking good. And again, there’s just no way in hell you are cold enough for a sweatshirt on the day that I see you wearing it.
07. Not Liking Mississippi BBQ. This one bothers me, but not in the way that it would bother most Mississippians. I have had excellent BBQ in a lot of places & lots of different styles. Pork BBQ, as I’m not a fan of beef BBQ. I’m sure you do it well, Texas, but it’s just not my thing. I love the pig. Anyways. What would bother me would be to end up in the middle of a pissing contest argument over who’s BBQ is better. I would roll my eyes and think it was ridiculous. What does bother me is that people, Mississippians or not, will say they LOVE Mississippi style BBQ and then claim that Stricks BBQ is better than Leatha’s. Umm… y’all… Stricks does St. Louis style BBQ. It’s great, it’s fantastic, but just because they are IN Mississippi, does not mean they’re doing Mississippi style. Leatha’s, on the other hand, does do Mississippi style BBQ. So, when basically I hear a pissing contest of Mississippi style is the best, yet they pick Memphis, St. Louis, etc over the Mississippi style, I have to wonder about the BBQ cred.
08. Skipping Dessert. This won’t make me mad or upset, but people do love dessert here and I’m not exception. But have I skipped dessert before? Shootch yeh, I have! Do I like skipping it? Not really. But sometimes there’s just not room for dessert. And I’m a fat girl that loves dessert. So, surely I’m not the only Mississippian who’s pretty OK with skipping it, or who wouldn’t get mad at someone for foregoing it?
09. Skipping Church. We’re not really a church going family. My mom’s parents were, but they weren’t southerners and weren’t crazy southern about it. My dad’s parents weren’t big church goers. My mom and dad tried to be church goers, but it just wasn’t really their thing and so was more effort than it was worth. Honestly it was all about acceptance in the community and nothing to do with the Lord Jesus bit. So, we wouldn’t care if you went to church or not. Other (probably most) southerners? Yeah, it’d be kind of a problem for them.
10. Saying Stuff In That Cute Southern Accent. I suppose it could get annoying, but I don’t really know anything about this. I do have an accent, but apparently it depends on where you’re from as to how noticeable it is. Southerners (especially Mississippians) think I’m from Canada or out west… sometimes a yankee… sometimes a European. Apparently I don’t sound southern enough. I have literally, no joke, gotten then “You’re not from around here are you?” (and also, ‘not from around these parts”!) line from many a southerner. I honestly thought that line just from Hollywood films! Anyone else, though, from the north, the west, Canada, Europe, etc, pretty much know I’m from the south… somewhere. But then sometimes I’ve had encounters with people from those groups and they just know I’m not from where they are, but they can’t actually place where I’m from.