Ya’ll Ok, Sweety?
My family got in the car and left West Point, New York for Savannah, Georgia on January 1, 2000. The day all the computers were supposed to blow everything up.
When we arrived we made our home at the Hunter Army Airfield guest housing. Essentially, a hotel for Military families.
Sometime during that initial period in Georgia I had my first experience with southern charm (that I could remember – I was born in North Carolina but don’t remember any of it).
Naturally, it occurred in a Waffle House.
To those of you who have never experienced a Waffle House, I’m sorry. They’re not the cleanest restaurants, or the most delicious, or the best-staffed but … you love them all the same.
The waitress came up to our booth and asked around the table to see what we wanted to eat.
One by one the orders were made.
Eventually, I believe I was last to order, she got to me.
“How bout you sweety?”
… Sweety … Really? … I … I mean my family’s here and you’re a lot older and clearly a heavy smoker but … I mean I guess I … Sure I try to be sweet but … I mean for you to realize that just by looking at me … All right, yeah we can go on a date sometime but … Well let’s not call it a date let’s just say we’re “hanging out” and we’ll see … Sweety? … Well, you’re sweet too and …
I was taken aback.
I had never been called a sweety before by a stranger. Possibly only my mom and some other friends of hers had called me a sweety.
But for this stranger to call me sweety! How nice!
There were a number of moments like this where I adjusted to the switch between New York and Georgia. It turns out, the North and South are different in a few ways.
At a diner near our home in New York the guy behind the counter would yell at you to see what you wanted. This my family loved – what’s not to love? Table-side manners are out, yelling is IN. But you know, I think I’m also ok with being called sweety.
Soapbox? Well, world, we’re all not so different, you know? Cultural differences and what-not, but what’s that? That’s something to appreciate! Take it in! Love it! It’s amazing how different we all are. If ever there was a reason to be impressed with mankind it is because of the amazing complexity of the human race. Between one person and the next. Seriously.