You know it’s funny, as of recent, I’ve noticed that the Mid-Atlantic region and the South have somehow gotten themselves a bad rap. Now, the South has had years of oppression that it has needed to fight off, and hopefully with our first African American president-elect that will happen. Meanwhile, those of us that live directly under the Mason Dixon are often left without realizing or knowing our own identity. Here in Maryland, we’re not Southern, but we’re not Yankees, so what are we anyway? We have a crappy baseball team (both of them), we’re actually making a play to have two decent football teams, and then suddenly, something good happens and the country embraces us again.
I’ve got to hand it to Virginia. Make yourself a battle ground state, and the world takes notice. I know people that were waiting up for HOURS on election day for Virginia’s results. “Are they racist?” I heard someone say, “Or are for once they going to act non-Southern?” That kind of threw me for a loop. See, my mother is from the south, I guess to a certain extent my dad is too, although he traveled so much when he was a kid due to Grandpa’s status in the Navy it’s hard to say. He has often talked about feeling like this region (MD/DC/VA/DE) he feels most at home. He has fond memories of going to Washington Senators games, just the other day we were talking about Brooks Robinson. I never saw the man play, but not unlike Meg Ryan in Sleepless in Seattle, we’re going to have words if you don’t firmly believe he was the best 3rd baseman to ever play the game.
Mom on the other hand has fond memories of Alabama and northern Florida. She knows Southern cooking, and is proud of it. When I was first having issues with how my bf’s parents were she said, “They’re Yankees Mel, they don’t understand.” It’s interesting as an adult child how you still take everything that your parents take on full face value, regardless. I haven’t carried my parents prejudices towards African Americans into living in a predominantly African American city, nor do I feel like I’m prejudical towards the predominantly Latin, probably illegal population that frequents Fells Point. I think it’s good that you’re exposed to different things, and I think that’s predominantly because I consider myself “different”. Something that is a victim of prejudice, and thoughts that aren’t necessarily what you would consider nice.
I’ve been thinking about that Better than Ezra song, “A Southern Thing”. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not about preaching violence, or anything like that, but I’ve heard that so often. “It’s a Southern thing”. To me, it’s about southern hospitality. More like that song Chicken Fried. It’s hard to say. I just feel like sometimes this area really has a personality complex. Here in Maryland we try so hard to be Yankee, and it’s just not. You can tell even before the first snow fall that we don’t have an ounce of Yankee blood in us. The “redneck” arm of Maryland is very visible in certain areas from the shores down in St. Mary’s County (pronounced saint maa-ry’s) to the hills of Hagerstown.
Then, the anomaly. DC. Man, the nation’s capital has such an identity complex. It’s interesting though. No where else in this world I would think could you find a city where the ENTIRE dynamic changes every 4 years. Regardless. The feel, the emotion, you can see it when you sit at Ben’s Chili Bowl or at any bar from Georgetown to downtown. The attitude, the vibe, the feel…it’s different. The sullen attitude of the recession…people are hoping will soon be changed to the excitement of a new dawn of a new leader. I’m excited that I’m planning on hitting up the inauguration parade this year. I’m bound and determined. Unless it snows.
So, as the dawn of a new weekend emerges, I’m looking forward to see what you guys think, and what the attitudes and cultures of your neck of the woods are…because I think mine are hugely unique. What about you?