What No One Tells You About Growing Up in the Bible Belt

While I have lived in Georgia since I was six, I would never ever call myself a “southerner.” Even when I was younger and didn’t know why, I never felt connected with the south in any way. While I have recently come to find a soft spot for Atlanta–it’s definitely the kind of city that grows on you– Atlanta is nothing like the rest of the south, or even the rest of Georgia. Everyone knows about the negative stereotypes that fall south of the Mason-Dixon, but there are some less well known challenges that come along with growing up down here:

1. Southern hospitality is real and people will judge you for not happily chatting with the guy in line behind you at Starbucks–even if you’re super hungover and using all of your energy not to vomit on the barista. You are basically in constant danger of having to engage in polite conversation at any moment. I understand that I am  complaining about people being “too friendly,” you can’t judge me till you’ve been here.  It can get old.

2. Not everyone who lives here is a conservative Christian Republican, but that is undoubtably the accepted viewpoint. They like to say things like, “keep God in the schools or we’ll have more school shootings!” and people are generally cool with it…while the rest of us are forever rolling our eyes.

3. College. Football. Just….really? I do not understand the circle jerking that accompanies the “Dawgs” or “Crimson Tide” (side note:how are there not more period jokes made about Bama?). Things I do not fucking get about college football (other than the actual game of football)–why girls have to wear dresses, heels, and jewelry in school colors; Why you have to broadcast the fact that you are watching/at the game on Facebook: WAR DAMN EAGLE! ROLL TIDE!!!! DAWGSSS!!!! Seriously? You can’t even get just a tiny bit creative with it; why people are so fucking into it, like grown ass men..you know at the end of the day these are college kids who spend their weeks doing homework for English 1101 and drinking Natty lite, right?

4. Jesus christ, the fucking accents. I’m sorry–you might be a rocket scientist, but if you sound like Forrest Gump it’s going to take me a minute to get past the accent.

5. While we’re on the subject: y’all. It’s not a real word. Stop it.

6. Every week, every fucking week one of my Facebook friends is engaged. I understand that  I am 24 and it’s only going to get worse from here..whatever. But it is totally the norm down here to get married at 21, 22 and no one bats an eye. It’s almost expected. While that isn’t so totally unreasonable, I seem to be in the minority that isn’t freaking out about a ring and a house. If one more of my friends says the phrase, ‘I mean, renting is just basically throwing money away,’ I’m going to cunt-punt someone. I’m not throwing shit away–I’m trading money for a place to stay and the freedom to pick up and leave whenever I want. Have fun with your yard work.

7. Up until very recently you couldn’t buy booze on Sundays. Some liquor stores can still refuse to sell it…you know, because Jesus.

8. Let’s end on a positive note: There  is some delicious barbecue down here,  and the hole in the wall places are always the best. The shittier the place, the better the bbq. If it’s attached to a gas station it’s probably life-changing.


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