Even though Georgia is still very much the deep south, because it's been infiltrated by hordes of Yankees, it doesn't really feel that way most of the time.
We even have Rita's "wooter" ice. Except they call it "Wahter Ahce." Tastes the same to me.
But every now and then I'll forget that I have to specify "unsweetened" tea or I'll ask for the vegetable selection at a restaurant and get my choice of "mashed potatoes or macaroni n' cheese." Other than that, it's pretty close to home.
But lately, my oldest daughter has taken to calling me "Mama" and it's driving me completely insane.
Like most moms, the first time your kids say the word "mama" is pretty magical, although soon thereafter, you're wishing they would say (or if your kids are like mine, screech) "Dada" a bit more obsessively, particularly at 3am.
And I admit, the "Hey sexy mama" from the guy in the beat up Datsun at the grocery store a few weeks ago was almost as endearing as it was offputting.
But when it comes to my kids, once they hit a certain age, they're supposed to transition to "mommy" and then "mom."
Except we live in the South.
And once a "mama," always a "mama."
Thus far, the southernisms have been few and far between. There was the time a few Christmases ago when we had to convince her that it was indeed "BethleHEM" and not "BethleHAM."
And every now and then we have to remind the kids that words like "hair" and "there" are only one syllable, not two.
But no matter how many times I ask her to just call me "Mom," it doesn't quite seem to register.
So for now, I've relented. Call me what you will, kid. Because "Mama," no matter how you say it, has a much better ring to it than "That mean bitch."
And we all know that's coming sooner or later, whether I like the sound of it or not.