Strangely enough my first few days in Washington, DC, have affected me more in the way I see myself than in the way I see the world. Yes, this is a big, powerful, busy place which is much different from the ambling attitudes of the people from my Tennessee hometown. However, this bustling little district has shown me what I truly am — a Southerner.
You would think being born and raised in the southeast portion of the United States would be enough to convince me of my identity. But apparently it was not.
It has taken four roommates — two Californians, an Oregonian and a Pennsylvanian — to reveal to me my truly Southern qualities.
It all began with one little phrase — “Bless your pea-pickin’ heart.” After having a discussion of the true meaning of this pseudo-compliment, I began to wrack my brain for other Southern-isms revealing to myself my love of all, OK maybe just most, things Dixie.
I was once again struck with the longing for my “homeland” when I caught a whiff of fried cornbread and green beans while serving at the local Crisis Pregnancy Center. I immediately asked the lovely lady who was enjoying this heavenly scented lunch where I could find such a meal in the District. She replied, “A place just across the street.”
So now, when my slight Tennessee accent causes people new in my life to ask me where I am from, I don’t cringe. Instead I smile, reply and remind myself that the South does not necessarily equate with hillbillies or farming but can actually be quite charming.