This might be a dangerous topic for me to take on-living as I do in Richmond, Va., for most of the year-but let's explore this Southern thing a bit.
Me? I'm tired of it. Southern hospitality. Southern charm. Southern Gothic as a literary category. Southern good ole boys. And that special way Southern women have with cattiness, bless their hearts.
Some might say that Southerners are merely overcompensating for having lost the Civil War-excuse me, War of Northern Aggression-but I say that 150 years of ego-boosting is quite enough. Get over it! Get over yourselves.
Let's start with literature. Hey, characters can be messed up and quirky without being Southern. What makes writers think that setting a novel in Montgomery or Jackson makes it automatically special and more marketable than one that takes place in Ohio or Manitoba? We've got way too many Faulkner wannabes out there.
And food. You can do a lot of things with a chicken besides frying it, and most of them are tastier. You do not have the franchise on bad-for-you food, either: Ever hear of pierogies? Poutine? And by the way, iced tea tastes better without a ton of sugar.
I have news for you, too: All your distinctive Southern purity is being diluted. When I first moved here and waited for my first Richmond elevator to open, all the Southern gentlemen stepped aside to let me in first. Today? Hah!
To be fair, there are other regional/ethnic groups that are equally annoying. New Yorkers (the city ones) tend to be both superior and provincial at the same time. "Portlandia" came from a certain preciousness that begged to be parodied. And oh heavens, don't get me started on Irishness!
I love living in Richmond. I like warmer weather. I'm OK with being called a Yankee. Just don't ask me to be another gun-totin' mama or put my hand over my heart when I see the Confederate flag. Ain't gonna happen, y'all.