Living in a city, you often get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life. On a 55 mph hour interstate, you drive 75 and curse anyone going slower than that. On the sidewalk, you stride past tourists as fast as you can, quietly cursing anyone taking pictures or getting in your way. At a fast food restaurant, you quickly order before having a chance to decide what you really want, fearing you’ll get stuck behind an indecisive person. You hurry just to hurry because that’s what you do.
I forget just how busy Chicago is until I get out of it for a few days. Since Sunday, I’ve been in Jackson, Tennessee spending time with my mom at my family’s favorite getaway spot. I’ve realized there is one thing that is opposite of a city: it’s called the South.
As I’ve said before, I just love it here. In the South, it seems no one’s in a big hurry. They drive slower and wave to you as they pass. They say darling things like “y’all” and “full as a tick.” They eat amazing dishes like chickin’ ‘n dumplins and wash it down with sweet tea. The men hold doors open for you, and with a nod of their head say, “m’am.” In the South, people are friendly and kind because they don’t know any other way.
Two of my favorite Southern moments this week: As my mom was checking out at a store and digging around for change, I saw the man behind her getting his coins ready just in case she didn’t have enough. Isn’t that cute? And at the Chick-Fil-A, when the worker handed me my cookies and cream milkshake and I thanked him, he said, “my pleasure.” Wow. Did he really find pleasure in that? I know I did.
To all the Southerners I’ve encountered this week—thanks for your hospitality and graciousness. You made this city girl as happy as a clam! (And as full as a tick with pants that are definitely tighter than before.)