11 Things I've Learned As A New Yorker Living In The South

11 Things I've Learned As A New Yorker Living In The South

This is what you should expect when moving to the south.
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Growing up right outside of New York City was always a delight when I was younger. If I ever wanted to trade in my quiet suburb for the hustle and bustle of angry cab drivers and knockoff handbag salesmen, Grand Central Station was just a handful of train stops away. Despite the beauty of autumn in upstate New York and the addictive energy of Downtown Manhattan, come winter time you would find me frantically Zillow searching cheap bungalows in Bali until my toes defrost by mid Spring.

Luckily, the College of Charleston became my opportunity to get away from the cold by going as far down south as I could manage before hitting the Atlantic. While there are several cultural differences between the north and south apparent on the surface level, I was genuinely surprised upon discovering some of the things I'm about to discuss. These are 11 things I've observed during my time at college in South Carolina.

1. Accents mean nothing

First and foremost, let me quickly put this stereotype to rest. Before moving to Charleston, I naively thought could tell a lot about a person exclusively based on the thickness of their drawl. Whether you grew up with a southern twang or you pronounce it ‘New Joisey,’ the way a person speaks says literally nothing about their political opinions or intelligence levels.

2. People walk slow

It’s true that everything is slower in the south. To be able to stop and smell the roses is a cultural quality that I truly admire. Coming from a place where everyone gets from point A to B in a caffeine-induced frenzy, it's refreshing to see that people will still go for a casual stroll on a sunny afternoon.

3. There are so many blondes

Coming from a place where monochromatic outfits paired with jet black hair has become apart of an unwritten dress code, I’m sure you can imagine the culture shock I experienced upon moving to the land of Goldilocks and pastels. whatever hex us women in this city are under, I can guarantee that the longer we stay in Charleston South Carolina, the blonder and blonder we become.

4. We still have differing opinions on Abe Lincoln

This is by far the most random on this list, but one night, when delving deep into a boozed soaked conversation with friends, we all somehow reached the topic of Honest Abe and the opinions in the room immediately polarized. My friends from the north proudly stood by Abe’s achievements while my friends from the south dismissed the president as ‘overrated.’ I suppose the differing ideologies between the north and south have in fact maintained a hint of bad blood over the years after all.

5. Sweet tea is not as important as I expected

Storytime: Before moving down south I would hear rumors about how waiters and waitresses carry around pitchers of sweet tea like water and will substitute your bottomless glass of water with that sweet liquid gold, free of charge. It took one embarrassing trip to Toast of Charleston to learn that I couldn’t have been more wrong.

6. Apparently, some people think the Confederacy is still a thing

Sorry not sorry, you guys lost the war. Just take the huge, waving symbol of racism and oppression off the back of your pickup truck and we'll call it a day.

7. Feminism is a dirty word

Let me start by saying, as a self-proclaimed feme-nazi, I want you all to preach socioeconomic equality of men and women from the mountaintops. After growing up in a Blue state and attending a primarily liberal public High school I was surprised to hear people in my college classes apologizing before making a comment, simply because they’re too afraid of sounding like a feminist. Like gender equality is a bad thing?

8. Zaxby's isn’t a restaurant but a way of life

This fast food chain/heaven on earth has become its very own category on the food pyramid for college kids. My friends and I will drive down to the one on Folly Road whenever we’re feeling like loving ourselves a little extra that day. Why would anyone have to decide between a Nibbler Meal and a Chicken Finger Plate when you can just order one of everything on the menu?

9. People are beyond nice

No one threatens my life when I jaywalk anymore! I consider that a win, point blank period.

10. Northerners are more straightforward

If a New Yorker has something they want you to know, they will use the most direct language they can think of to tell you. Sometimes we can seem brusque, but hey, we know how to be efficient. Time is money after all.

11. ...But southerners know how to talk

You stop on the streets to help someone with directions and all of a sudden you know their maiden name, alma mater and you’ve agreed to be the plus one to their cousin's wedding.

Cover Image Credit: Justine Hecker

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To The Girl Who Still Has Her Mom This Christmas

To the girl with who is blessed enough to have her momma this Christmas. 
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     To the girl who is blessed enough to have her momma this Christmas, please remember to soak every last bit of it in. 

      Please remember to hug her so tight, that the way she smells is locked into your nose. Listen to all the stories you've heard a million times, like you've never heard a single one. Help her, even if it seems completely silly to you, help her mix that cake. Laugh, oh please laugh. Laugh at all her corky ways, at the way she mispronounces words, try's to be hip and use new found lingo, or how she cusses when she forgot to get the rolls out of the oven but quickly asks the Lord for forgiveness. Remember her laugh, etch it into your brain. Make her happy, if she wants to go riding around looking at Christmas lights down the same streets you've went for years, do it. Don't fuss, take her advice, agree to just disagree on things. It's not worth it. Most importantly, remind her over and over how much you love her. 

     Because unlike you, I'm not able to see my mom on Christmas. I'm not able to see her on birthdays, Thanksgiving, or any other occasion. My time with her is up. Death is the most permanent heartbreak. 

     How I long to hear her voice, her laugh. To feel her tight embrace. Smell, oh god, what I would give to just be able to smell her. I would absolutely love to go riding around for hours while she ohhs and ahhs at every single house we pass. If I had the opportunity I'd tell her just how much I love her, how I'm so thankful for all the sacrifices she made for me. In fact, I'm not sure I could ever tell her enough. 

      Some days I wake up and it still doesn't feel real. Others, I panic trying to remember exactly how she sounded. Because, I don't want to forget. I don't want to forget a single characteristic about her. Not one. 

     Take time, not just on holidays, or special occasions to be with your mom. Even if it's just you two piled up watching reruns of "The Little House on the Prairie", soak it in. 

    You only get one momma. Nobody could ever take her place. She's your rock. 

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The Kevin Hart Controversy Shows The Death Of Comedy And The Rise Of Political Correctness

Kevin Hart has apologized for recent tweets containing homophobic language. In doing so, he's further shown how comedy is dying and political correctness is rising.

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The Academy Awards are a big event for film lovers every year. There seems to be extra anticipation for this year's ceremony. This is because it seems like newly acclaimed actress Lady Gaga may take home the statue for Best Actress. While that would inevitably make our gay hearts very happy, the host of the show would need to do the same. On the surface, Kevin Hart seemed like an ideal host. But this is 2018 and if you look for something bad, chances are you're going to find it.

Very shortly after the announcement, several past tweets from Hart emerged. These were tweets of jokes. I never think it's a good idea for comedians to work out their stand-up routine via Twitter, because it tends to come back to haunt them. There were homophobic slurs and comments about how he wouldn't accept his son as gay. The academy gave Hart a choice between publicly apologizing for his tweets or losing the opportunity of a lifetime. Hart declined to apologize claiming that he explained himself since then. Several people spoke out on both sides of the argument. Hart eventually did apologize via Twitter and revealed he stepped down as host because he didn't want to be a distraction.

I don't think Hart should've apologized. Prior to his apology, Hart said via Instagram that we too often feed the internet trolls. I agree with that statement. The fact that Hart's past tweets made headlines so soon after he was announced as host is very telling. There seemed to be a lynch mob mentality targeting Hart. Whenever a celebrity apologizes these days, it comes across as phony. They're apologizing because they got caught and want to avoid scandal. They don't want their career destroyed. This doesn't actually help the celebrity at all. What it does, is give the lynch mob more power. In order to take power away from these trolls, public figures need to stop apologizing.

Hart had previously explained himself in an interview with Rolling Stone magazine. He said that the joke about his son in particular was meant to be ironic. "The funny thing within that joke is it's me getting mad at my son because of my own insecurities — I panicked," he said. "It has nothing to do with him, it's about me." I understand this explanation and I'm inclined to believe him. If I were Hart, I would've posted a screenshot of this quote without saying anything. This is what comedy is based on. The whole reason we find what stand-up comedians say funny is the absurdity of it all. Unfortunately, it seems like this is an art form that is losing it's power.

Lisa Lampanelli, dubbed as the "Queen of Mean," recently announced she was retiring from stand-up. Lampanelli is an insult comic who often makes jokes about racial stereotypes. She explained that the reason for her retirement is because her intentions to unite people would be understood better by becoming a life coach. I find this disheartening. Comedians shouldn't stop doing what they do because some people don't understand it. If their intentions are positive, they should keep going despite the criticism. There will always be critics.

Nick Cannon retweeted several past tweets from comedians Chelsea Handler, Amy Schumer, and Sara Silverman. These tweets included apparent jokes using the same homophobic slur Hart used. Cannon's point being that these women are given a pass, while Hart is being punished. Silverman appeared to respond by retweeting a post from a gay man. The man explained that since these female comedians were public activists for LGBTQ rights, their intentions were clearer.

I can see where this man is coming from. However, one doesn't need to be an outspoken activist for LGBT rights to support them or the community itself. Plus, jokes are jokes. If Hart explained his intentions weren't homophobic, I see no reason why his jokes are held to a different standard. Why is it okay to only question whether or not Hart is genuine? What if Handler, Schumer, and Silverman are just using the LGBTQ community for profit? Assumptions can be made about anybody, whether they're an outspoken activist or not.

I don't think assumptions should be made about anyone. I'm sure you know the saying about what making assumptions does. Comedy is an art form that is all about being politically incorrect. There is a reason these jokes are funny to people and comedians shouldn't have to apologize for them. Intent matters and punishing artists for expressing themselves should have no place in our society. That is a form of judgment that shouldn't be tolerated. After all, a world with less judgment is what we're all striving for.

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