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Love in the South

This is a perspective for those who have not experienced the South and all of its intricacies. Entrackasees? You know what I’m talking about.

I lived in Alabama following my undergraduate education, during a crucial time in my life as far as relationships go: single and 22. I know what you’re thinking: you were so young, Austin! But no. Things get pretty serious in Alabama around age 22, and I arrived with no idea what I was in for. The following are my observations when it comes to success with Southern Love. As a disclaimer, most of these were “learning” opportunities rather than success stories.

Open the door for women: This is a crucial step in the process. Replay of a restaurant scenario from week one in the South: Woman: “Did he just walk right in and not open the _________(rhymes with trucking) door for me?” Wow, lesson learned here. Admittedly, I was taken aback at first, but given the fine dining nature of this establishment – a restaurant in Birmingham called “Jason’s Deli” – I could, upon reflection, understand an outburst like this one.
Say y’all, yes ma’am, yes sir, and more BBQ sauce: These are the 4 most commonly used words in the South. Also, please refrain from cussing, unless it is on football Saturdays – e.g. “Ah knuckle fudger spit sandwich.”
Pick a local high school you “went” to: High school is a level playing field. What – college?! Jeez….genius over here! (people pointing suspiciously in your general direction)

Do not use hair product (men) and use plenty of hair spray (women): According to Wikipedia, the combined effects of these two entities over a sufficient period of time culminate in the mullet. Note: the “AXE Effect” is not applicable in the South.

Wear pleated khakis: I’ve stressed this before, and I’ll stress it again. Pleats are essential if you want people to notice and/or like you.
“Oh bless your heart”: Another useful phrase. Best used when wanting to sugarcoat an otherwise terrible thing to say. Example: “Oh bless his heart, if I didn’t know any better I’d say he’s seen the bottom of a cookie jar a few times.” Translation: This person is fat and eats cookies which causes said fat.

Get engaged when you are 18-21 years old (for women): For men, best of luck finding an unclaimed woman after the age of 22. If you do, her name is probably Krystal. HBS classcards show no sign of a Krystal. Krystal with a “K”. Huge distinction here.

The fastest way to a girl’s heart is jewelry: If you read this, and think something is awry, you are correct. The actual answer is not jewelry, it’s Chick-fil-A. Chick-fil-A to the heart. Please contact Jordan Strebeck or Casey Gerald for directions to the closest establishment.

Know the latest in NASCAR: This sport engages all the senses, and invariably reminds me of a cat watching a toy train set. NASCAR, an acronym for: Nothin Ain’t Sweeter’n Cars Around’n Round. Learning this sport takes exactly one lap.

Prepare for your engagement photos with your favorite SEC College Football jersey: Nothing says “I love you” quite like a Cam Newton jersey. Heck, even A.J. McCarron will work! Engagement pictures in front of the college football stadium is a must.

Do not get married in the fall: If you do, no one will show up. Please see point #10.

Know how to hunt, or at least wear clothing that makes others think you know how to hunt: If you don’t hunt, brush up on Oregon Trail to familiarize yourself with types of wild game. If you are unfamiliar with Oregon Trail, you are to receive no rations and I will soon barter you for oxen.

Plan on having a large family: But Austin, what if I only want one kid? Well, that’s not fair for your only child.

Don’t use sarcasm: There is nothing funny about something that the counterparty cannot understand.

Follow these steps and your Southern Love successes will…well…be confined to one specific area of the United States. With no transferable properties whatsoever. Wait, is that properties or prop-purties? Never mind.

Good Luck!

March 3, 2014
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