It's no secret. I hail from Minneapolis; I spent a total of 26 years of my life there. But I happily carted off to the Deep South for graduate school in Savannah, GA. Then when hubs was offered a job in Dallas, TX, I more or less screamed at him, "TAKE IT! I want OUT of this frozen hellhole!"
So alas, I find myself permanently placed below the Mason-Dixon. Overall, I'm quite happy with it. I'm all about these mild winters and hot summers; well-mannered people everywhere I go; soft accents; and the best tacos I've ever had.
There are some things I just can't get into, try as I might. So I thought I'd explain the can's and cannot's of a Northern woman transitioning into a Southerner.
I can get into sweet tea. Why anyone drinks iced tea unsweetened is beyond me. Cold, bitter tea does not taste good!
I cannot get into chicken fried steak. That stuff is nasty! Why on earth would you pound, batter and deep fry (read: cook to death) a piece of steak?! Steak should be marinated/well seasoned and cooked to medium/medium rare. Deep frying beef is plain disgusting, no matter how much gravy you put on it.
I can adapt to saying y'all. It's so much easier than "you guys"! After a long convo with a Minnesotan girlfriend, I reverted back to "you guys" and stopped dead in my sentence... And laughed. No no. It's y'all now.
I cannot get into Lily Pulitzer. Those loud prints are best left for girls under the age of 10, and smocks are flattering on no one.
I can drive as fast as y'all on the interstate! I would say this is a Texan thing, but I spent some time in Atlanta and it was the same way. 80-85mph is completely reasonable. In fact, it might just be a Minnesotan thing to only drive 45mph in a 55, ESPECIALLY in the left hand lane. Add that to the list of things I don't miss...
I cannot understand why schools are cancelled at the threat of snow. Get it together, South, an inch or two of white stuff isn't going to ruin your day.
I can get into all the diversity in the South. It makes for a far better, more interesting community that promotes well-rounded individuals. Minnesota is called the Great White North for more reasons than just snow, if you catch my drift (so many puns!)
I cannot get into Texas chili. It's just over-seasoned meat... No veggies, no beans, just beef. Like, can I have a tortilla or some sour cream to go with this? Texas, your tacos are ON POINT, but your chili sucks.
I can get behind how social everyone is. I've had no problem making friends, both in grad school and in Texas. Everyone wants to hang out! People call you to do things! There are invites galore! In Minnesota, if you didn't have your crew from high school or college, good luck. You might get some after work happy hour invites, if you work real hard at making friends. Super clique-ish, that place.
I cannot understand why farm-to-table restaurants aren't the norm here like they are in Minneapolis, or that I can't find a co-op/farm share for produce or meat. WTF, Dallas? Furthermore, if you go to a conventional grocery store, good luck finding organic/preservative free/actually healthy food. I mean damn, Big D. You are YEARS behind here.
If you've never left your hometown, even for just a year or two, do yourself a favor and do it. It shapes your prescriptive and opens your eyes to new cultures and ways of life! Moving South (twice) was the best thing I ever did for my happiness.