And most of them might be right. In some cases, not all.
Questions I get all the time while being here at school are, “Do you like sweet tea?” “Do you like grits?” “Do you listen to country music?”
To answer the first, absolutely. And I mean the good stuff from down here. Sweetened Lipton just doesn’t cut it.
I love grits as well. I actually know more people at school who were born and raised in the south who don’t like grits than those who do. (Personally I think it’s because my Mom lived in Texas for 7 years so it’s kind of genetic)
As for country music, I listen to it constantly. Although I have to say I didn’t start listening to it until my junior year of high school. I have a spring break trip to Colorado and an ex-boyfriend to thank for that (much appreciated).
It’s odd but every “southern” style food I have tried or “lifestyle” I have experienced, I have really enjoyed.
I don’t know a lot of people from New Jersey who like okra and collard greens, much less they know what they are.
Then again, there are something that are so Jersey in me that they will forever be ingrained.
To name a few:
- I’m a pizza and Italian food snob (I own up to it. Been to Olive Garden ONCE. NEVER AGAIN. And I’m sorry but Dominos, and least of all Papa John’s, are not pizza)
- I can’t stand when people walk slow (mostly because I’m usually rushing somewhere)
- I’ll take a beach over a lake any day (stagnant water weirds me out)
- A sweatshirt and shorts on a summer night. Enough said.
- Homemade ice cream places beat out Dairy Queen, Steak n’ Shake and Sonic every time
- I have slight bit of road rage (use your signals people. It’s not difficult)
- I honestly believe you can’t get a good bagel outside of New Jersey or New York
- Pork roll should be a nation-wide thing
- I really hate pumping my own gas
- And there is nothing more magical than New York at Christmas
Some days I’m more Jersey and some days I’m more Southern.
Right now Jersey has the edge because I lived there for 18 years and I’ve only been down south for under three. But I do plan to live here so we’ll see what happens.
As for trying to explain how a Jersey girl came to love this Souther world? I can’t. Well, not just yet.
Maybe it’s the sincerity of the people I’ve met, the traditions, or just all of it wrapped up together.
My friends at home tease me for being too “country” and my friends here still think I’m very “Jersey.” Maybe I’ll find that balance one day, but I’m in no rush.
I’ll stick to being brought to tears every fall when “Glory, Glory” is played by the Red Coat Band and spending almost 8 hours on Sea Watch beach in the summers.
Sounds like a pretty good life to me.