Thursday, February 10, 2011

Southerner or Yankee?

As some of you know, I was a military brat. Some say I'm still a brat, but that's okay. I wear the title proudly. My dad was in the Air Force and retired a Chief after 26 years in the military. Both of my parents were born and raised in Pittsburgh, and I am the youngest of four girls. I was actually born in Panama, where I think I've mentioned before that I plan to retire someday. Most of you weren't around my blog back then. It's a beautiful place, and especially after the winter we all have had, I could handle living somewhere that's pretty much not below the 70's all year round.
I could handle this being my view every day!

I am all about my biggest worry being whether to go to the Pacific or the Atlantic on any given day. They have a rainy season, but I can handle that without the cold. They have awesome perks for Americans to come down there and retire, too. I just have to find out if the perks are the same for me, because I'd hate to go down there and not be allowed back! I mean, they have daily flights back home, but with me being born down there I want to make sure I don't give up my US citizenship by moving down there.

Anyway, we have lived many places since I was born including Virginia, Germany, New Mexico, and then here to South Carolina where my dad decided to retire. At the time most of our family were still in Pittsburgh, and my mom's brothers had moved to Florida so this was in the middle. I was a late attempt at a boy so I didn't move as much as my sisters did. We moved to SC when I was 12, and Dad retired when I was 15. 

When we go home to Pittsburgh, people up there say I have a southern accent. People down here say I'm a Damn Yankee. Most of you know the difference between a Yankee and a Damn Yankee, right? Well, for my foreign friends, a Yankee is someone who comes down here to visit while a Damn Yankee is someone who comes down here to live. Yes, there is still a bit of a Civil War undertone to the statement, but most of the time it doesn't bother me.
Many down here still think that though I am not one of them.

One night in a bar, I won a bet because someone kept calling me a Damn Yankee. I threw $20 on the pool table and told him that I bet I was born farther south than he was. Of course, it wasn't a very fair fight, but he was a dumbass, so what did you expect me to do? He was being an ass. He threw his money down and asked where I was born. When I told him Panama, he said, "Ha! Panama City! I was born in Key West." And he tried to scoop the money up. I slammed my hand down and told him that, "I said Panama, as in the Panama Canal Zone, genius!" He swore up and down to me that Key West was still farther south. I told him if he could ever show me a map where Key West was farther south, I'd give him his money back with interest. He not only lost the bet but had to buy me a drink because I beat him at pool. He was NOT a happy camper. 

Many people down here get a kick out of seeing what I'll eat and what I won't. Like I refuse to eat grits. I'm sorry, but grit is a state of mind and not a food! It's like eating Cream of Wheat, and I'm not eating that either.

There are many things that I love about the south, and many things I like to separate myself from. I'll address the elephant that is usually in the room when people from other states think of South Carolina. Personally, I think everyone needs to get over the damn Confederate flag being up in our state capital. Jesse Jackson can picket our borders forever, but it's not stopping tourism from coming here. We are basically the golf center of the US in many ways. Hell, my uncle who lives in PA goes to the beach down here more than I do. Unfortunately, they put the least literate people on the national news to talk about the flag. It's not coming down, people. And I don't think it should. To most people down here, it's simply a symbol of this state's history and them wanting to preserve state's rights and has nothing to do with slavery. There are proud people in this state, and they don't want to let it go. That's the way I see it anyway, and so do most of the people I know. (Oh, please tell me I'm not going to lose followers over this, but I had to tell my opinion! If you feel differently, feel free to say so. This isn't a debate I haven't had with others in my own state before. I respect your opinions so please respect mine.)

Okay, I really didn't mean to get off on that tangent. But you tell me... Am I a southerner because I've lived most of my life down here? Or am I a Yankee because I've lived so many other places and I was raised by two Yankees? Maybe I'm a Damn Southerner? Wait, that doesn't sound right either. I am proud either way. I couldn't believe how many down here had never been farther than Myrtle Beach, let alone outside of the state. But I guess it comes from being around the military for most of my life, even after moving here.

Stay tuned for a guest post I'm doing elsewhere later today. I think you'll enjoy it. I'm thinking tomorrow needs to be another Blast from the Past post or another funny Mom story. We'll see!


Jumble Mash said...

This is too weird. I too was born in Panama. My dad, as you know, is a retired Cheif. I bet we were even born in the same hospital.

Are you my sister?

Krissy said...

Seriously? That is too cool! I bet you're right about the hospital. Do you have a big booty? I keep saying I don't know how I got this butt when no one else in my family has one. :)

Oilfield Trash said...

It cracks me up everytime I go back home and the people ask me to say "yall" because I live in Texas. Then to make them feel dumb I ask them to say "youins". IT is at that moment that they leave me alone.

ib said...

I have been to most of the Southern states and S.C. is the least brazen out of the lot. They were some of the most easy going people I had ever been around.

And so you know, you get more awesome with every post. You play pool and your spunky little tude'. You crack me up.

ib said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jumble Mash said...

Krissy...I indeed have a big booty. Texas Toast as Meg O. likes to call it. I get it from my mom. Both of my sisters have a flat ass and I got stuck with the butt.

The Simple Dude said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Simple Dude said...

I have never been very fond of the south. That is not going to be a popular comment, but it's true. I can dig the weather - but the overall attitude is not something I think I'd like.

Of course, I am probably just being a naive Yankee.


Krissy said...

OT.. Well, I do say "y'all" so they get a kick out of me anyway. I don't use it a lot, but sometimes. Pittsburgh has a unique accent all their own I can spot a mile away.

ib.. They really are easy going down here. I used to wonder if I knew people who would wave at me, and then realized it's just something everyone does. Thanks for the compliments! :) You made me feel all warm and fuzzy on this freezing morning. Glad I can crack you up since you definitely do that for me. Don't ever feel you've commented too much and need to delete things on my blog. I love your comments! And a lot of guys think the southern accent is sexy.

JM.. I'm starting to think we were both kidnapped from there! Maybe it was a military thing to plant their children with future Chiefs. But we could definitely be sisters in that case!

SD.. We are a friendly group down here. Unfortunately, I used to be told by a former boss that I was too brash with the way I would talk to people when I was giving them instructions. I think they can be too sensitive sometimes b/c they are all about manners.

AmberLaShell said...

I have to say it, there are some yankees that are just wierd in the way that they do things. I've noticed people from upstate new york are a bit odd (I know a few who live here now)... Now, I like in Dallas,TX and while we are the south, we aren't considered southeners to SC and GA over there (even though we are futher south than SC) We have no attitude about either here, we love everyone no matter where you're from. Texas is a big state, and we would be stingy to not share it! :)
SD - I won't hold it against you being a yankee :)

Katsidhe said...

You're a Yankner: half Yankee, half Southerner. ;-)

bruce said...

I always thought it was crazy that i was *a yankee* when i lived in Kentucky. KY was nuetral (and is a lubricant)but whatever.

we are all least i thought we were. get over it, i say. this country has some serious issues and if someone wants to fly the rebel flag well whatever. that stupidity is small potatoes.

malnourished kids in every big city, ramapant unemployment, NO MANUfACTURING, poor public transportation, foreclosueres, school closings, the ridiculous cost of a college education and then a dearth of jobs, idiots that hate us that aren't affraid to die, pollution, no serious repalcement for fossil fuels, kids graduating from HS not being able to write a f*cking sentence for christs sake...

those things are bigger issues..

my grandparents came over from sweden and norway, we were not part of the war btween the states...

i don't care where you live, there are pros and cons everywhere.

hell, it's all good! people in freaking indiana and ohio have a southern accent, compared to me and people on the east coast have an accent.

but everyone understands a smile!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hun, Cream of Wheat and grits are nothing alike! Grits, in my most honest & humble opinion, are far superior to that CoW crap. ;) I've lived about a third of my life in southern TX...a third in southern CA...and a third in sunny CO. I'm about as evenly confused as they come. I do not, however, sport a discernible accent. Interesting...

Re: Flags
Personally, I find it amusing that even though the North won the civil one puts out any of the Yankee flags for display. I'm curious though, why doesn't SC just incorporate the Confederate flag into the state flag like GA has done?

Krissy said...

Amber.. That's a good point because Texas did secede and fight with the Confederacy, but they aren't usually included in discussions about the south.

Katsidhe.. I like it! Or a Yankerner. LOL

Bruce.. Now Bruce, you know Lincoln was from Kentucky so the south would never accept that. But I agree with a lot of what you said. Tell us how you really feel, huh? :)

Sam.. I don't eat either one, so meh! :) You lived 2/3 of your life in places that don't have much of an accent so I can see that. I really don't know why SC never used it as a part of their flag or as the flag altogether other than maybe the federal government forbid it. I'll have to look that up.

twilightgazing said...

It's a world wide thing.

Over here, not only is it is West vs East coast, but a which side of the river do you live (why on earth would you want to go north of the river? it's like a foreign country), oh and then of course there is the Aussies vs Kiwis, all good fun :).

Bouncin' Barb said...

I have a Jersey Girl attitude and will always be one at heart, I do consider New England "home" and am a Damn Yankee. I love it here. You will never see me eat a grit either but those damn hushpuppies are addictive. I say 'wicked' and 'yup' and I hope I still say it 20 years from now.

becca said...

i was born in NH which makes me a Yankee according to the southner regardless of the fact that i've lived here in FL for 29 yrs.

Cinderita said...

I laughed so hard when I read Jumble Mash's comment that I forgot what I was going to say.

Krissy said...

twilight.. I never knew that! Now I'm learning about Australia, too. Look at us getting all educated. :)

Barb.. Wicked and yup? I bet they love you in MB. :) Gotta love our weather here, although I could do without the can't-breathe-in-the-summertime humidity.

becca.. Most of us don't consider Florida "the south" either, dear. LOL My sister who lives in Panama City argues about that all the time b/c they call themselves the Redneck Riviera.

Krissy said...

Cinderita.. Well, then how the hell do I know what to reply? :) Think, woman! It is bizarre though, huh?

Jimmy said...

Being born and raised in South Carolina, Grits would be my choice over cream of wheat any day :)

And as far as the Confederate Flag goes there is a lot of pride and family value tied to it, and on the same token there are a lot of idiots who have misused it in a hateful manner and I am so ashamed of those who have done so, there is a lot of Confederate history tied to my family and from everything I have found out in my research, slavery was not an issue contrary to popular belief, yes slavery was an accepted practice of the time but not an issue of the Civil War, I am just proud it is a thing of the past now.

As far as the State Flag goes the Moon and Palmetto design dates back to about 1765 and represents the state from the Revolutionary war forward, Palmetto logs protected our forts from cannonballs during the Civil War so with this said our current design has more history by itself as is with out incorporating any other flag into it..just saying :^)

Krissy said...

Jimmy... Look at you, you historian! I was thinking of doing a Confederate type history blog for tomorrow since there was a bit of interest here. Yes, the idiots abound, but there are those in any symbol there ever has been. I knew the SC flag pre-dated the Civil War. Hell, I live in a town named after a tree, too! Thanks for the info.

On My Soapbox said...

I don't think you're a Yankee or a Damn Yankee, I think you're a World Citizen. :-)

Although I vaguely remember Cream of Wheat from my childhood, I've never tried grits. Just the name "grits" makes it sound like it would taste like sand.

I don't know anything about the flag issue.... My ancestors are from just about every state, so I don't have leanings one way or the other. Interesting read!

Krissy said...

Soapbox.. I love that! I'm a World Citizen. :) They eat grits with everything down here. Shrimp and grits are a huge thing. Bleck! I'm thinking I need to write up the flag history stuff.

Anonymous said...

With me being from the west all this is really something I haven't experienced but I really don't think you are either. You're just a person.

The Adorkable Ditz' Missteps

Don said...

I enjoyed being stationed at both Myrtle Beach and Charleston while I was in the air force. Heck, I even enjoyed being stationed at Tampa and living in St. Pete where most of my neighbors were from Pennsylvania. We didn't call them Yankees or Damn Yankees. We called them neighbors and friends.

Many northerners come south to Alabama's portion of the Redneck Riviera around Gulf Shores during the winter. We call them Snow Birds.

Don said...

An article about Snow Birds, or Snowbirds: "Snowbird Pancake Breakfast: A dozen years of hot cakes" can be read @

Krissy said...

Adorkable.. Yeah, people around here pretty much don't acknowledge the west much. But thanks for saying I'm basically just me!

Don.. I mentioned earlier that we don't think Florida counts as the south, although they are certainly used to transplanted Yankees there. I'll have to check out the site you mentioned.

Nicki said...

I'm a PA native displaced down here in the South...I feel like I don't totally belong anywhere, and I'm okay with that now. Meh. I'm a mutt, and I'm okay with it!

Krissy said...

Nicki.. Mutts rule, and I'm in that category with ya!

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