Yes, I spelled that the way I intended to. This isn’t a rant on fluoride. (And that is a controversial topic. Fluoride is a very toxic chemical, but at the same time putting it in water has drastically reduced infant mortality rates and… I digress.)
No, the topic for today is how I stick out like tits on a boar hog. Yep. That’s an expression that wouldn’t likely escape the mouth of your average Seattleite. It’s my Florida coming out.
And that’s ironic, because I was born in Connecticut. I lived there for the first 10 years of my life, and when we arrived in Florida I had pretty much convinced myself that I had been abandoned in a third world country. I looked down my nose at all things Floridian. Indeed, it was about two years before I learned anything new in school, and I never felt comfortable in the conservative, fundamentalist Baptist atmosphere there. I spent the rest of my life up to this point desperately trying to leave.
So in spite of the nearly 40 years I lived there, I always felt like an outsider. I wouldn’t, couldn’t blend in, and therefore I pretty much assumed I had escaped unscathed. But now that I’m in the Pacific Northwest, I realize for the first time that I have a Southern streak across my being that is colored a vivid Florida orange. I don’t really speak with a Florida accent, but I inadvertently lay it on pretty thick depending on who I talk to. And my speech is peppered with Florida expressions. “Y’all”, “fixin’ to”, “cattywampus”.
And when properly inspired I am quite good at laying on that Southern sugary politeness which is actually blatant hostility upon closer inspection. That takes practice. It’s not for sissies.
I can’t take Seattle insects seriously. I have to laugh when people freak out when a tiny little slow moving bug crosses their path. In Florida the bugs are on steroids, and have the size and aggression to prove it.
And I find myself craving cornbread. (But not grits. I never was that bad.) And the tomatoes here are horrible.
I seem to move slower than everyone around me, although it will be interesting to see if that’s still the case when the weather turns cold. Washingtonians also have a peculiar idea about what’s “relatively flat.” And I just can’t relate to doing yard work in the rain.
And while I’m much, MUCH happier in the liberal environs of Seattle, I doubt anyone will ever mistake me for a native. Somewhere along the way I became Floridated. Florida-ized? Floridified?
[Image credit: Pinterest]