Thursday, August 27, 2009

My Delimma

This place we live now is very different from anything I ever dreamed of. Being a yankee (sorry folks) I always had this negative opinion of the southern culture. Having lived here in the South for 6 years now has changed that opinion. Mostly.

I can accept the Southern ways. How time seems to trickle to a stop, how deals are done on someone's word and a good handshake. How manners mean most and friendliness is key. Also, how charming a good southern drawl from a great southern gentleman can be. I can understand and accept with open arms these cultural differences I misunderstood in my younger days. They are traits I would trade down to my children should I ever decide to have any.

Now that I've said that I must make clear that I have some lines embedded too deep in my veins to change. Some items ticked away that I'll not ever be able to accept as a part of my lifestyle. One, the hugely accepted embrace of the redneck lifestyle. Indeed ignorance can be bliss but when it affects your standard of living things need to change for the better. I'm talking trailer living, mud skipping, beer drinking, shotgun having, three teeth owning, ten children having rednecks. The I don't need no educayshun and by golly my way is the best or I'll shoot you off my lawn type of living. I mean this as no offense and realize this is a minority (not in this town) but it's a line I refuse to cross. Education is important to better ones self and hygiene should be a priority, as well as birth control.

Next is the music. I have tried, oh have I tried to accept the twang and the sweet bitter words weaving through my eardrums like razorblades but I just can't. For one, I can barely understand a really thick accent when speaking so when you add vibrato and notes I will never understand what you are trying to say without a translator. I dig lyrics so this is a big problem. Two, it twangs. All the fancy stringed instruments and harmonicas blend into one very unique sound. One I can't wrap my heart around. If it makes any sense I am a huge fan of tropical music which sounds totally different from country, indie, bluegrass, etc.

Third, music is a big thing here. This city prides itself in being the "birthplace of country music". They have concerts twice a week regularly with festivals mixed in several times a month. That is a lot of music that I just don't dig. My quota for tolerating banjos has been filled tenfold since we moved here. Problem is my neighbor is big into this kind of music. He gets huffy when he realizes someone doesn't quite appreciate these soul touching sounds the way he does. I have even been chastised for not showing up at a concert because I decided to go to the gym instead!

He invited us to a house concert tonight for a guy who sings songs with lyrics like "I'm a gun and I'm loaded and I'm going to kill you tonight."(I'm serious.) This is the same person that is going to preform at the festival tomorrow night in which I will be attending! I opted out. I blamed not feeling well because I didn't want to hurt his feelings. How do you tell someone so passionate about something that you'd rather chew on rocks than bare through it? You don't. Well I don't anyways.

So while I appreciate the importance music has on this town and the immense support this city has given to local unknown artists I will not look back when I move to the coastal city filled with steel drum bands and beats set on island time. No way. Until then maybe I can purchase some industrial ear plugs.

No comments: