It takes only a quick visit home to realize that my slanderous opinion of the South started way back when I was a young high-banged lass growing up in South Jersey.
If Mississippi is the state that time forgot, then South Jersey is not far behind. All it takes is a quick visit to a local mall or a WaWa to figure out that South Jersey is living up to its name.
Now, there's certainly not a southern drawl to be found around these parts, but many folks would probably agree that a Jersey accent can be almost as annoying and fairly difficult to understand. There is, of course, the famous "adding of the s" to everything, including "yous" and my favorite bookstore "Barnes and Nobles." And I'm always a fan of dropping prepositions -- "Down to the shore" is "Down the shore;" clearly four words takes way to much time and energy to say.
If Southern women are schooled in the art of Southern Hospitality, I'd say South Jersian woman are famous for the opposite. Granted, they'd probably give you a pair of stirrup pants, a betassled leather jacket, and acid wash stretch jeans right off their tanning bed bodies. But aside from that, there is no filter; most of what they say sounds like something that in most places would start a fight. Of course, New Yorkers get accused of that, however, they're usually dressed in $400 pumps and a Prada coat, not uggs and a Members only jacket. And nobody wants to mess with a 20-something with large wooly boots and a plether coat.
If the Southern vernacular of "might-coulds," the "y'alls" and the "fixins" might lend themselves to lower intelligence (you know, for those judgmental types), I'm pretty sure that telling your son he won't get "jack" if he doesn't get into his stroller and then proceeding to tell him that means "jackshit" when he asks is almost just as bad.
And while Mississippians are clearly contributing to the deterioration of the Ozone with their massive amounts of barbeque and black-eye-pea powered farts, South Jersians are single-handedly contributing to the green house effect with the number two per capita use of Aquanet (second only to nursing homes and assisted living facilities).
But regardless of how many black-lined eyes and lips I encounter, it's still nice to come home and see that nothing has changed.
Besides, it makes my oversized shirt and saggy bottom jeans look somewhat fashionable. These days, that's worth its weight in gold.