PlazaJen: Passion Knit

Monday, April 23, 2007

Ah Do Declare...

I've long suspected that Kansas City has been fence-riding its membership in The South. Growing up in Northeast Iowa and living in Minnesota, I grew up thinking of the South as Alabammy. Mississippi. Weezeeyanna. Texas. States that touch the ocean at some point. States that had slaves. (Yes, I know. Missouri was quite the proponent of slavery, to the point of fighting Kansas, and forever instilling a border-war hatred.) Being a Midwest Yank, I had the accent to prove it, and still, all it takes is one conversation with another Northerner to bring the MinneSOtah accent out of the closet, with a dash of Chicahhgo vowel-flattening. Oh, yah! You betcha! Funny lookin how? Just funny lookin! (from Fargo.) So as we all tend to do, when I moved to St. Louis and subsequently to Kansas City, I started to notice the differences in how the people around me spoke. Take, for instance, the strange St. Louis quirk of pronouncing "quarter" and "forty" and "shorts" as though they were spelled "kwartr", "fahhrty" and "sharts". It should not suprise you to know that I made copious fun of it, in fact. Despite my belief that I was clinging to my Northern cadence, my father observed several years ago, while we were on the phone, that I was integrating a faint drawl into my speech. Nahhhh. I didn't believe him at first. But it was true. And having lived in Missouri (or Mizzurrah, as you might say) for ten years now, I can no longer deny that I can drawl. And even say and write "y'all" with the carefree nature of a Texas denizen. But still, given all of this twang and mouth-fulla-grits, I still believed that Missouri was Midwest. Not South. Even in the face of McAlister's and Chick-Fil-A moving to town, restaurants I believe to be "Southern". Nope. Not us. We're not South.

And then this weekend, I saw it. On a McDonald's marquee. And in four words, clinched it for me.

"Now Serving Sweet Tea"

Ay-yup. Sweet Tea is the tipping point. I officially declare it. We're now part of the South. Y'all come and visit real soon.


posted by PlazaJen, 9:44 AM