Friday, April 29, 2011

Y.....is for Yankee

Even though I was mostly raised in the "north", at the time of my birth, my mom was living and working in Richmond, Virginia. After the war ended and Dad was discharged, we moved north where the family farm was. I always wished that our farm had been located there in Virginia or south of there because I'm not a fan of snow or cold.

I have always loved things "south". I love how they talk (I lost my southern accent after a few years living in the north), I love their recipes and I love their hospitality. In particular, there is nothing on the face of the earth more charming than a "southern boy". If I was going on a blind date and I found out he was from the south.....I liked him already. I dated three southern boys before marrying one of them.

It was in the early 60's and after our marriage, we went 'south' to meet his family. They could not come up north for our wedding....it was too costly for them plus his parents weren't in the best of health. He has a sister who is 5 years younger, which made her 15 at the time. She couldn't wait to meet her new sister-in-law (me). I will never forget when I met the family. They were very nice to me and used that grand southern hospitality to make me feel very welcome. Then his sister had a couple of her girlfriends come over to meet me....they were also 15. It really threw me when the one little wench threw up her hands and declared....."I just can't believe that JR married a YANKEE". (they are big on using initials for names down there). She said it like it left a bad taste in her mouth....but then chattered on about how much she loved my hair. It was an awkward moment and I experienced discrimination for the first time in my life. Oh I could have been mean and come back with a nasty remark.....but why and besides, I wasn't that kind of person. Here it had been 100 years since the Civil War and it made me wonder if all that hatred is still being secretly nourished and encouraged to grow. She was probably listening to bitterness from her grandparents. We have enough problems in this nation....so I hope those feuds have been put to rest. I love the south and her people.

And thinking about it, years later, it dawned on me.....I wasn't a Yankee.....I was born in what used to be a Confederate State. Besides..........being a Yankee.....is that such a bad thing now. Especially for those of us who weren't even alive during the 'war'.

6 comments:

Peruby said...

I know exactly what you mean! I moved to Virginia from Ohio in 1985. (I have since moved back).

I was driving home from work one day and read a bumper sticker.

"Clean up the South. Put a Yankee on a bus."

I was mortified. WTH? I had not even thought about the civil war since high school!

glnroz said...

Uahh Yankeeeee? Oh my goodness, deary me!!!! lol, I am pretty familiar with a few "rednecks" down here in Texas, and there is a lot of "discriminaion", but we don't pick on Yankees too much. I kinda "like'em"... lol.

lucylocket said...

While I'm a Southern by birth, we lived in New England before we were transferred here to SC. I worked hard to lose my southern accent because people always had a comment to make. (One particularly nasty neighbor called me Miss Magnolia.)

Now the reverse has happened. Even though we have been here for more than 25 years, some people still remark snottily, "You're not from around here, are you?" You would be surprised how anti-Yankee feelings abound.

Joy Des Jardins said...

I've never lived anywhere but the Chicago area...so I guess I don't have any Yankee credentials; but I do love many things about the south.

Hey Val...I love your new blog look...very pretty and peaceful. Have a fabulous weekend sweet friend... ~Joy

Leann said...

I married a southerner and was referred to as a Yankee more than once, having been born and raised in Oregon. Discrimination is alive and well in America. I love the southern people tho. They are very hospitable and as you said, there is nothing sweeter than a southern boy.

Betty said...

Southern women have made a fine art of being rude or critical while sounding friendly. Some of them are so good at it, you might not realize what happened for a day or two. lol