Saturday, October 19, 2013

I'm fluent in Southern

When I first moved to The Swamp, where alligators roam free and people keep giant spiders as unwanted -- yet maintenance-free -- pets, I didn't speak the language. They don't teach southern in public schools out in the wild west. You have to go to ritzy private schools for that.

So I had to learn the hard way. Some people send their kids to Immersion School, when you have to hear and speak a language all the time to learn it fluently. But my School of Hard Knocks Immersion School wasn't easy, and I was at the bottom of the class.

When I went to get my driver's license the first week we were in town, the conversation with the guy behind the counter went something like this:

Him: Way tame hen hit. Eye no summon from ewe taw. They Oz mans.
Me: Pardon me?
Him (repeating whatever he just said).
Me (feeling like an idiot): Could you repeat that?
My husband: He said he knows someone from one from Utah. The Osmonds.
Me (blushing like crazy for needing a translator): Oh. Yeah. The Osmonds are great.
Him: What? Did youth ink eye have a pretty schack scent?
Me:.....
Him (under his breath so I couldn't hear): Sheeze amen talk ace.

That's how my first few months as a southern belle went. I hoped people just assumed I was going deaf. In the fashion world, some people wear fake glasses as an accessory. I considered buying sparkly fake hearing-aids in a lovely puce color, so everyone would just nod and say, "Sheikh ant ear russ."

But, Immersion School really works. After a while, I didn't have to ask people to repeat themselves more six-hundred times. I never got the accent down, except for an occasional y'all. But at least I can finally understand when the grocery bagger asks, "Plat stick or pay per?"

Seriously. This is eight roost oar he. And I worked so hard learning southern that I can now have ace hen solve bride.
You would, too, I bet. If ewe wormy. :)

2 comments:

  1. Now, that's Georgia, not Florida. And not Atlanta, even, but the small town gas station.
    But I do remember when my step-father-in-law's Kentucky relatives wanted to know if we had arranged for "flares" (Did j'ahl get the flares?) for my mother-in-law's funeral. And I thought, well, she has a lot of friends, but I don't think the traffic will be THAT bad. Finally, I got it--FLOWERS!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's funny, Jenny. Did you buy plenty of flares? Thankfully I can understand {almost} everyone now.

      Delete