Monday, January 24, 2011
North vs. South
Louisiana is different from New York. This is assumed from all the stereotypes, and this is quite obvious when you have lived in both places. And I think it is even more apparent in this city we're in because it is a Northern, rural LA town with a population of about 20K as compared to the southern LA city we lived in with a population of 100K. There is a website www.peopleofwalmart.com and it illustrates all the different creatures you may find at Walmarts across the country. And not to say that the creatures after 8pm and on the weekend in NY are not strange, but if you transplanted the creatures of the benign hours of the daylight here in this rural, northern bayou town, you might be scared. Everyone, and I mean everyone hunts. So 50% of the folks in Walmart are rockin' the camo. And not that trendy camo that we northerners like to use as an accent article of clothing - you may mistakenly weed whack them with their camo printed with life-like sticks, trees and leaves. They look like a walking piece of woods. So that's 50% of the people. This is a college town, so there is another 25% is composed of half young people wearing shorts (I don't know how youth can wear shorts at all times of the year and not be cold. Was I one of them?) and a category I'll call other which includes myself. My middle aged, child-toting, non-hunting ass is a minority here, I guess. Hunting is not too familiar for me, but I think I could surely like this sport for the pure fact that I get to eat the fruits of my labor. That is right up my alley! Every house has a pick up, an ATV in the back of the truck bed or near it, and a dead deer carcass either draped over the ATV in the back, or chopped up into deer sausage in their freezer or mine. (Yes I have fresh deer sausage in my freezer given to Tom by a co-working hunter waiting to be enjoyed :) Oh and everyone has a gun. So the 'don't mess with Texas' slogans extend to much of the south and definitely this actively hunting, red state.
And we all know the drawl. And since my kids have taken a liking to the Toy Story series of movies just before coming down here, they have adopted the drawl for fun, but they actually sound like the grew up here. I try to correct them - really its all Gabby, "not day-yoown, just DOWN, one syllable. Not they-air, say THERE". I guess we're doomed once she starts school.
It's different here from where I grew up, but it has lots of character and people like it here. They pride their live oaks like I pride my Hudson River. They drool over craw fish and dirty rice like I pine for Brooklyn pizza and Jewish bagels. I love it all and I love to take it all in and experience what is someone elses' normal. It is stimulating to walk through the Walmart - what is better than that! This is life.