Monday, October 26, 2009

I've Already Been Called a Yankee Three Times This Trip

My niece/sister complained that she was surrounded by Yankees on the way to my folks' house in the middle of Louisiana. She was sitting between the old man and I. He, clearly, is a Yankee, who pauses before answering most southerners because he doesn't want to say the wrong thing or he didn't understand what was said to him. Am I a Yankee? I remember the first time my niece/sister asked me what a Yankee was. We'd been at a family reunion and apparently she heard someone call me that. When I was in college, I had a friend who thought anyone who lived north of Shreveport, Louisiana was a Yankee.

So maybe I'm part Yankee, no? Is that even allowed? At a wedding this weekend someone asked me if I was originally from Brooklyn and I found myself saying yes. She looked so impressed. The old man corrected me, of course, explaining that I had southern people and the whole moving around thing. Tonight, while at an all-you-can-eat soul food buffet restaurant, our waitress kept calling me baby and asked me if I was okay and did I want more sticky buns. I wanted so badly to say yes ma'am and thank you very much, but all I could muffle out was oh yes and thanks. My mouth was full of sweet potatoes and I felt like I didn't have any manners, but really I hate manners and I hate even more that I felt embarrassed for not having much of a southern accent. I just wanted her to stay talking.

It is the end of squirrel hunting season and the beginning of deer hunting season. In the middle of Louisiana, many folk are walking around in weird camo or orange pants. It's unsettling, knowing what they're doing out there in the woods, the camo being so obvious, the shooting, the killing, the skinning, and the potential eating. Someone's freezer is gointabe full, you know what I'm sayin? I know what your pants mean, you know what I'm sayin?

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