Doing A Whole Lot Of Nothing

Yesterday I took my life in my hands at the Walmart. (notice in the south we call it THE Walmart…not that it is the only one, but it is the one we are at so therefore it is THE Walmart) Shortly after my husband and I got married he made a comment about me saying THE Walmart. I told him after having lived in the south for over 20 years I decided to go with the flow….. I also said things like “I’m fixin’ to go to THE Walmart.” Now, fixin’ means different things to different people, but as far as I can figure it translates as I’m getting ready to go and do something. Some prime examples of this verbiage are as follows: “I’m fixin’ to leave for the store.” , “I’m fixin’ to get dinner ready.” , or the ever popular, “I’m fixin’ to get angry if you don’t get moving!” (this said after waiting for ones teenagers to get out to the car so you can actually leave) I like the word fixin’. I will definitely keep this word in my repertoire.
Now having grown up in the mid-Atlantic state of Maryland I have a mixture of accent/drawl/slang. Growing up it mattered not what your gender was, everyone was “you guys”. Down here in the south it is ya’ll. I do not really say “ya’ll” as I am deeply ingrained with “you guys”. This causes some stares in my general direction….but stares have never really stopped me from anything. One just learns to smile and move along. (the gracious smile is something I learned in the south….also add a “well, bless your heart” and everything is forgiven.)
When I first moved to Tennessee in the mid 80’s I was accused of talking way to fast. People couldn’t understand me…..I needed to talk s-l-o-w-e-r. I got lots of chuckles when I said “on”…as in “turn on the lights.” I was told I was saying, “oi-n”…. To this day I still get laughs at my Maryland accent. I have given in and learned to add more syllables to words to make them longer….even if they are short words. In the south it just works.
Please, my accent is nothing compared to my Georgia friends. One day my friend asked me for a Coke. I assumed she meant Coca Cola you know the classic?? Well, no she didn’t mean that at all. She wanted another type of soda entirely. I said, “you asked for a Coke”. She said, “a Coke is generic for any type of soda.” Well, that is just stupid. How am I supposed to figure that out? To which she replied, “duh. Everyone knows that is how it is.” Uh…not me. Another friend from Atlanta told me that his milk was “runt”, when we were having breakfast one day. I said, “runt?”. How can milk be a runt? After much back and forth I finally figured out he meant ruined. His milk had gone bad. Hallejuah! I felt like I had just won Jeopardy. Woo hoo. I figured it out!!!!
Now, I’m getting ready to move to Ohio. I think they call soda, pop. I’m not really sure about all the language peculiarities in the midwest….but I’m fixin’ to find out! I will be a mix of mid-Atlantic, southern and now mid western accents. I consider my accent to be flavorful and interesting. I’m going with that:)