Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Little Southern Hospitality

I may be biased on this subject but I don't care. The idea of Southern hospitality is a part of my dna. I was raised with manners. There are just some things that are as second nature as breathing. I call older people "Mr." & "Mrs." I speak to people all the time. That's just a Southern thing. I didn't realize this until I lived on the West coast. People are seriously different there. Shockingly different to this southern belle.

The only thing I despised about living in California was how rude the people were. Perfect example: I'm walking down the street on the sidewalk. A woman is walking on the same sidewalk towards me. I do not know her nor does she know me. I say hi and smile. I make no attempt to facilitate a conversation. This woman sees me speak to her. She alerts her eyes and walks passed me as if I don't exist. Really? How freaking rude? Does she have no manners or sense of social decorum? Who does that? This was a daily issue for me and my cousin in southern California. Speaking to another human being costs you nothing. How can people be so rude for no reason?

I am not used to that behavior. Nor will I ever be accepting of it. In the South, we speak to everybody. It's common courtesy. It just makes sense. If I see you, I will acknowledge your presence in some way. A smile, a head nod, a wave or saying hello will always do. They all convey my thoughts. As a kid, that was drummed into me. If you see someone, you say hello. In the words of my great Grandmother, "Hello ain't ever hurt no one. Not the person who says it or the one who receives it." In other words, mind your manners and act like you have some home training.

There are just certain things that I learned as a child that I can't shake. Good values never go out of style. So, if you see me, speak. Trust me, whether I'm having a good or bad day, I will speak. That's the way one is supposed to behave. Besides, you never know what that tiny moment of niceness would mean to the other person. Like I said, maybe it's just me. I'm a born and bred Southern girl. Southern hospitality is what we do. No matter where I am in the world, I can't shake that either.

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