I love living in the South. I know Richmond is not geographically in the deep south but our fair city has ties to Southern Hospitality. The charm of the south is deeply imbedded here.
I grew up wanting to be a Southern Belle. I worshipped Scarlet O'Hara. I love the melodious sound of a southern drawl. It is comforting when it's not twangy or obnoxious. It seems natural to get sucked into the ease of a southern drawl and there are times when I find myself drawing out my y's and extending words ever so slightly. When the speech is just slowed down enough it evokes thoughts of cold lemonade on a lazy summer day being sipped on a wide front porch under a canopy of Spanish moss. It paints a charming picture in my head.
I love the way a true Southern lady can deliver a series of put downs. She will begin with a "Bless your heart..." and end with a smile on her face. You will never know what hit you. I love hearing "bless your heart..." (when it's not directed at me.) I know something interesting will be following.
While there may be times when I sound like I am from the south due to a lazy drawling of my words, I will never be truly from the south because I can not deliver a good "bless your heart" line to save my life. When I am mad or upset people know it. I am a bit more direct than a true southern lady. Sometimes I wish I could deliver a one, two punch with a good rendition of "bless your heart..." but most of the time I am happy to spit out my displeasure, fix what pissed me off and move on.
I think I would rather my kids learn to be direct and move on but I will be OK hearing them utter a good "bless your heart..." every now and again.
Oh, for the love of my children...