I work at a global organization. Daily I speak to people in three or four different countries. I talk to high end type-A folks in New York and Chicago. I talk to Technical people in India and I talk to upper middle class folks in London. They all know who and what Jinksto is. I talk to people with Masters Degrees and Ph D’s and they respect me with my incomplete BS. I know what I’m talking about and I’m 24×7 balls to the wall at what I do. With my caints and aints and general redneck lingo i compete… and I win. I send them pictures of crawfish boils and pig roasts and then send them a 23 page treatise on why what they’re doing is ignorant, stupid and wrong.
Folks often say to me, “man you always make a big deal out of being from the south… why?”
That’s hard to explain. It’s nice to know who and what you are that’s for sure. I take comfort in who I am. I am confident that I can… and will… win in pretty much any situation that you put me in. I am American. I am Southern. I am rural. For me, that’s all I need and it explains it all.
I learned to shoot guns when I was 10 and I learned to drive dirt back roads when I was 13. I learned to hunt and fish during that time and at 14 I learned to fight because a friend of mine had a big mouth. I learned to grow everything that I eat in the garden not because it was the “back to nature cool” or “green” thing to do but because it was required to eat. I learned to build things with my hands not because it was nice to have a self dependency skill but because it was required if we wanted nice things. I had true friends… friends that would do anything for me. Friends that had values like mine.
I got one of those emails that gets forwarded around to folks. You know the ones that say “forward this to all of your friends that you know”. Oddly, this one fits me pretty well. The email was specifically about people from Louisiana but I think it applies generally to the south and to the southern culture. Maybe to the rural culture in general but I can only speak for those that I know.
As you read the following lines realize that this isn’t a kitsch repetition or a forwarded email. Realize that I have done everyone one of these things and would do them again. It’s about culture. It’s about love. You have to have lived it to understand.
Friends never ask for food.
Southern friends bring food.
Friends will always say hello when they see you.
Southern friends will give you a hug… and a kiss usually… when they see you.
Friends call your parents Mr and Mrs
Southern friends call your parents Mama and Sir.
Friends will sit beside you silently while you cry.
Southern friends will cry with you and give you a hug.
Friends will eat at your table and leave with a hearty handshake.
Southern friends eat at your table, help you wash the dishes and then hang out for three or four hours just to spend time with you.
Fiends will stay for a couple of hours and leave.
Southern friends will take their shoes off after about 2 hours.
Friends will leave if the rest of the crowd doesn’t want to do what you want.
Southern friends will hang back with you and kick anyone’s ass that has something to say about it.
Friends always knock first.
Southern friends open the door, come in and yell, “hey! Where ya’ll at!?”
Friends will join you in the living room or on the patio.
Southern friends will join you in the kitchen.
Friends will sometimes visit you in jail.
Southern friends will share a cell with you.
Friends will come to your mothers funeral.
Southern friends will tell the funeral director that they don’t care if the funeral home closes at 10… they’re staying the night.
Friends will visit you in the hospital or send flowers.
Southern friends will cut your grass, clean your house and then come spend the night with you in the hospital so that someone is there when you wake up. They’ll then cook for you when you come home.
Friends have your number of speed dial.
Southern friends can recite your number on demand… and your social security number.
Fiends will tell you when your children have misbehaved.
Southern friends will spank your kid and tell you that they were angels.
So that’s it I think. Where I come from there is love that you can never know until you’ve seen it. I’m proud of that and, really, I don’t care if you don’t get it.