"Why, I live here in Post Falls," I answered innocently, even though I knew what he was getting at. In spite of having lived in Idaho for 13 years, and Kansas for 12+ years before that, people seem to think I still have a southern accent. I don't hear it myself.
"No, I mean, where are you from originally?" See? I knew that's what he meant.
"Oh! You mean my accent? It's mostly from Louisiana and Arkansas." I never know what to say since I lived in several different states growing up, due to Dad being a pastor and changing churches every few years.
"I thought so!" he said smugly. "Did you eat a lot of barbecue growing up?" Now, that one, I admit, caught me off guard. I had never been asked that before.
"Um. No. Not really. Why?" Beans-and-cornbread was on our menu far more often than barbecue.
"Oh, I had a mission in North Carolina and it seemed like they had a lot of barbecue in that part of the country. And people would tell you 'God bless' and things like that way more than they do around here. People get offended if you do that here."
"That's true," I allowed. "We're definitely not in the Bible Belt."
He finished bagging my groceries and said, "Have a nice day!"
"You, too!" I told him. "And God bless!"
"Definitely!" he said.
Several years ago I subscribed to an e-zine called All Things Southern which was published by a very funny "southern belle" named Shellie Rushing Tomlinson. She would get why the above scenario (which happens more frequently than I would expect) strikes my funny-bone. Recently, when her new book Sue Ellen's Girl Ain't Fat, She Just Weighs Heavy came up for review I was happy to have the opportunity to read it. It's supposedly a self-help book, but Shellie admits that it's actually "short on the self-help, and long on the commiseration." My favorite chapter was the one on "Bubba Whispering" (i.e. understanding and relating to your man). I can't say I actually learned anything from it, but I sure did laugh! And I had to read certain sections out loud to my own "Bubba-wannabe" who loves being married to a "southern belle" but isn't always sure what to think of me!
Other chapters cover health and fitness, how to tell the difference between "normal crazy" and "straight running crazy," time management, manners, and even politics and economics! In addition there are dozens of wonderful southern recipes. There's one for Bodacious Black Bean Salad that I bookmarked to try soon. This is just an all-around fun book!