Sunday, November 8, 2009

I live in a small Southern town

I live in a small Southern town. Now, granted, the town in which I live is neither that far South nor is it really all that small, but you won't convince the residents of this small Southern town of those facts; myself included. The town in which I live, and have called home for 21 years, is quintessentially Southern in all the ways that count. All of the women in my small Southern town have the same first name: Miss. There are Miss Suzanne's and Miss Katherine's, Miss Martha's and Miss Marianne's. It's fabulous, and it's very very Southern. A young lady knows that she has finally passed that mystical bridge into womanhood when someone her junior refers to her as "Miss". I am now commonly called "Miss Laine" by a myriad of high school girls, but I commonly refer to anyone older than myself as "Miss Whomever". It is a wonderful mark of respect, and an acknowledgement that the "Miss" to whom you are speaking is in fact older, wiser, and deserving of your admiration.
In this small Southern town we still adhere to all the "old" rules. No matter what Vogue may tell me is acceptable I absolutely cannot wear white after labor day. The rule against said behavior is so ingrained in my soul that I have come to believe that were I to step a toe into the sunlight in white after the first Monday in September I'd burst into flame, like some fashion vampire. We send thank you notes for everything, and do so in our own handwriting and in a timely fashion. We pull over for funeral processions, and take food in to the ailing. Girls still don't regularly call boys, and if they do they secretly feel guilty. Cotillion is alive and well, balls and soiree's are still attended, beauty pageants wins are still admired, and Sunday is still a day of reverence and respect. And we may fight bitterly with our neighbor, but we'll be the first ones there in their time of need.
It gets so hot here in the summer that the shingles drip off the roofs of houses, but lemonade still quenches the thirst and picnics still tame the savages beasts. It's a place where prayer is a verb, not a noun. The pace is slower here, and we like it that way. Yes, there is industry and technology and wi-fi and and all the rest. But there is also respect, and concern, and love and faith.
To many, this small Southern town in which I live might seem out of time. It might confuse you, or amuse you, but the reality is, it's a lingering gem in a world of speed and rush and discontent. Change is good, but there is great good in sameness as well. So I grow, and age, and change. I evolve and plan and create. But I am certainly glad that I get to do it in the loving arms of the wonderful family I have here in this small Southern town.

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