We’ve been back in Georgia for about four months now, and it’s been fun noticing the differences between living in the two states. When we lived in North Carolina we could always tell the culture was different from Georgia, even though both states are in the south, but it was hard to explain those differences.
Here’s a fun post about what I’ve noticed. And if you’re familiar with life in Georgia and North Carolina maybe you can relate.
1. Confederate Flags
There are more confederate flags flying around in Georgia than North Carolina. They’re on cars and in front of homes and on t-shirts. [Insert frown-face emoji here.] You won’t see this in North Carolina (or at least where we lived), and good for you Tarheels or Blue Devils or Wolfpacks (whichever you are). In this area North Carolina’s carrying out Luke 6:31. Good for you!
2. Yes ma’am
When we first moved here I was at a fast-food drive-thru (I can’t remember which one.), and the lady serving me must have said “Yes ma’am” seven times in the three-minute visit. I knew I was back in Georgia. In Georgia a lot of people are taught to say “Yes ma’am” and “No ma’am.”
I remember once when I was teaching in North Carolina I had a colleague who was from the northeast. She said she didn’t want her personal children to learn to say “Yes ma’am” because it seemed subservient. I understood what she meant, but honestly for me it has nothing to do with subservience or even age – just courtesy and politeness. I said “yes, ma’am/sir” to my students!
3. “Ms. Brenda”
The first week we were here we went to a play date with lots of other moms at our friend’s house. I was walking across the yard and I heard, “Ask Ms. Brenda to get it for you.” Ms. Brenda? I just met these ladies and their children were already instructed to call me Ms. Brenda.
I remember the first time in North Carolina when a child called me by my first name, “Brenda.” It sounded so foreign to me, and for a minute I couldn’t believe it. Growing up in Georgia we always called adult friends “Ms. or Mr.” and then their first name. If they were not close friends then they were called “Mr. or Mrs.” and their last name. For crying out loud, I called my mother-in-law “Mrs. Rodgers”!
When we had our girls we always addressed adults as “Mr. or Ms.” and their first name, and soon other moms had their children address me in the same way. I joked one day to a friend, “Until I can call my mother-in-law by her first name, it will sound odd to hear a four-year-old call me by mine!”
4. Big Bows
Okay, so I love big bows. Maybe it’s a part of southern DNA. Have you heard the saying, “The bigger the bow, the better the mama!”? In North Carolina my oldest wore bows often. And like any great accessory they immediately dressed up whatever she was wearing. So we’d be at the playground, she’d have a bow on, and it would look like she was going to church. In reality it was just a bow.
A few weeks ago I looked across the Chick-fil-A to a sea of big bows in little girls’ hair. Bows are like wearing shoes around here. Digging in the dirt, swimming in the pool, or jumping on the trampoline – you’ll see a bow.
5. The Heat!
It’s a lot hotter in Georgia!! Right now it’s the end of September, and the high today is 91. I think most of the country is having a hot beginning to fall, but even back in July it was hotter here than it was in North Carolina even thought the temperature was only a few more degrees. I think it’s the humidity. And may I add … there’s a lot more bugs, too! Don’t get me started on the mosquitoes.
6. “Brenda” is Common
This isn’t a difference between North Carolina and Georgia, but just something fun I’ve observed. I grew up outside of Atlanta, and the only other person I knew named “Brenda” was the lady I’m named after – my mom’s friend. Back then I really didn’t like my name. It was like having a grandma name for a little girl – kinda like “Barbara”. Barbara is fine on a 60-year-old woman but for a four-year-old it seems a little too much. Well, that’s how I always thought of “Brenda”.
Apparently, however, “Brenda” is more common than I thought. There are two other “Brenda’s” on our street! Can you believe it? And I’ve met a few more around town – one being the woman who owns the store where EG’s fifth birthday party will be. So strange how suddenly my name’s common!
7. Friendliest Award
So I hate to say it, but the friendliest award definitely goes to Georgia. Sorry my North Carolina friends. You meet your best friend everywhere you go around here. Honestly, this sometimes gets on my nerves because I’m allergic to small talk. And most of the time when I’m in the check-out line I don’t feel like talking. And I can’t get started on UGA football. Everywhere you go people are eager to share their “Go Dawgs” with you!
There you have it! The more I thought about it, there are other differences – politics, schools, the not-fun-stuff that gets people’s blood boiling. So for today we’ll just stick to the fun stuff!
If you’re familiar with the two states, anything you’d add?
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