People say Nashville is the south. But it's not.
If I were to move here from Boston, then yeah- I can see how I might be confused.
Not to mention the whole "Country Music Capital of the World Thing..." But even country music doesn't necessarily mean anything. Hell, half of the famous country music stars aren't actually FROM the south.
What makes the south the south?
Culture. People. Fried Chicken. Sweet Tea. Sorghum.
Yes. Sorghum. Sweet, earthy goodness made from the hard work of a... mule.
A client sent me a bottle of sorghum today and no one at my office knew what it was.
My mother used to always tell me she loved me more than "homemade sorghum." I never really understood what this phrase meant until today. As I explained to my work people what Sorghum is, I realized how far from my roots I really am.
Here's how sorghum is made:
The term "slow as molases?" Get it now?
A little town outside of Auburn even had a festival dedicated to the making of Sorghum. It was called the Lochapoka Syrup Soppin'. We went every year.
I went home over the weekend. I've been pretty homesick lately. And it's mainly because of my teeth. Stay with me, here. Growing up I always had this ghastly gap between my front two teeth:
Soooo not cute, right? So, finally, by the time I hit highchool, the gap had to go. I got it sealed up. Well, high school has been a few years (no, I'm not telling you how many) and that sealant needed an upgrade. My dentist convinced me a few months ago to take the sealant out and get invisalign. When I take the Invisalign out, my gap is back. This has brought back so many memories of my upbringing. I really started to think back to what life was like the last time I had a gap between my teeth. I was 17, thin, in shape, a cheerleader, state champion tennis player, gymnast, etc... I was healthy and happy. But then I went and "fixed" what I thought was totally wrong with me: my two front teeth. Then somewhere along the line I got fat, even after I "fixed" myself.
Here I am again, self-conscious about my teeth, and spending thousands of dollars to fix them. My teeth are the last thing I need to be worried about, but yet I've put more thought, energy, and money into them in the last month than I have in my efforts to lose weight.
As silly as this correlation sounds, it DOES all make sense.
Being outside of the true "dirty south" has made me realize how unhealthy my eating habits really were growing up in the south. I will stand my ground against anyone who argues that Auburn, AL doesn't have the best chicken finger and BBQ restaurants in the country. I don't know what's in the batter down there, but nothing beats a combo meal from JimBob's or Guthries. When I think about the restaurants from home that I miss the most, it's all food that's bad for me: Niffer's corn nuggets, Momma Goldberg's Doritos nachos, Wild Willy's cheese tots...
So as thin as I was, and as athletic as I was, that gap toothed cheerleader I once was, was not as healthy as I thought she was. But I looked good! And I was worried about a little gap in my teeth. Man, what I wouldn't give to go back in time and slap the shit out of myself. I would explain to myself what is really important.
I am proud to be from the south. I am proud to know what sorghum is, and where I can find the best corn nuggets in the world. But I'm not proud of all the habits I just can't seem to break. I'm being "as slow as molasses" when it comes to losing weight! Just because everything is in slow motion in the south, doesn't mean my weight loss has to be!