45 Things Only People Who Grew Up in the South Will Understand

Flickr user fakelvis

Sometimes the South feels like its own little country. I was born and raised in North Carolina, where I spent Summers scraping clay off the sides of a creek to make pretend pottery and catching lightning bugs in mason jars when the sweltering sun finally set. I've been living on the West Coast for years now, but every time I go back home, the unique things about the South stand out to me even more. Why are all of these strangers talking to me at the grocery store? You really expect me to say yes ma'am and yes sir? And for the love of god, WHY IS IT SO HUMID? Here are some things — good, bad, and sometimes just plain weird — that only true Southerners can relate to.

01
You understand the peace and serenity that only the rustling branches of a Weeping Willow can bring.
Unsplash | Gabby Orcutt

You understand the peace and serenity that only the rustling branches of a Weeping Willow can bring.

02
You know the feeling of peeling your sticky skin bit by bit from the boiling leather seats of a car in July.
Unsplash | saif el ouarti

You know the feeling of peeling your sticky skin bit by bit from the boiling leather seats of a car in July.

03
You know, with absolute certainty, that anything can be fried, eaten, and enjoyed.
Unsplash | Brian Chan

You know, with absolute certainty, that anything can be fried, eaten, and enjoyed.

04
Honey, sugar, dumpling, pumpkin, and sweetie pie are usually not referring to food.
Unsplash | Jonathan Farber

Honey, sugar, dumpling, pumpkin, and sweetie pie are usually not referring to food.

05
You understand the feeling of complete and utter satisfaction when successfully getting a big drop off the end of a honeysuckle.
Unsplash | Annie Spratt

You understand the feeling of complete and utter satisfaction when successfully getting a big drop off the end of a honeysuckle.

06
You know that good food is even better when combined with other good food to make a casserole.
Unsplash | Jonathan Pielmayer

You know that good food is even better when combined with other good food to make a casserole.

08
Speaking of manners, you were grounded multiple times as a kid for forgetting your "yes ma'am"s and "yes sir"s.
Unsplash | Michał Parzuchowski

Speaking of manners, you were grounded multiple times as a kid for forgetting your "yes ma'am"s and "yes sir"s.

09
Just because you asked for a Coke doesn't mean that you want an actual Coca-Cola. We meant Sprite, damn it!
Unsplash | Marc Fulgar

Just because you asked for a Coke doesn't mean that you want an actual Coca-Cola. We meant Sprite, damn it!

Fine, we'd like a soda.

10
You've felt like you were actually suffocating from humidity. Is death by mugginess a real thing?
Unsplash | Zugr

You've felt like you were actually suffocating from humidity. Is death by mugginess a real thing?

11
"You guys" and "you all" are just incorrect ways of saying "y'all."
Unsplash | Melissa Askew

"You guys" and "you all" are just incorrect ways of saying "y'all."

12
You feel completely OK talking sh*t about someone, as long as you follow it with a heartfelt "bless their heart."
Unsplash | Priscilla Du Preez

You feel completely OK talking sh*t about someone, as long as you follow it with a heartfelt "bless their heart."

13
The squeak of a porch swing and the slam of a screen door will always make you feel at home.
Unsplash | Cat Mapper (Max Ogden)

The squeak of a porch swing and the slam of a screen door will always make you feel at home.

14
It is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a snow day and the apocalypse.
Unsplash | Tuula Pekkala

It is nearly impossible to tell the difference between a snow day and the apocalypse.

Gotta get bread and milk before that one inch of snow falls!

15
You've tried (and maybe even successfully) fried an egg on asphalt.
Unsplash | Hello I'm Nik

You've tried (and maybe even successfully) fried an egg on asphalt.

16
Sweet tea is the only kind of tea. Get out of here with your unsweetened crap.
Unsplash | Wade Austin Ellis

Sweet tea is the only kind of tea. Get out of here with your unsweetened crap.

17
You're able to orient yourself based on which church is on what corner.
Unsplash | Aaron Burden

You're able to orient yourself based on which church is on what corner.

18
Telling off other people's kids when they're pitching a fit is acceptable.
Unsplash | Arwan Sutanto

Telling off other people's kids when they're pitching a fit is acceptable.

19
Summer nights as kid were spent catching lightning bugs (fireflies to the non-Southerner) in mason jars.
Flickr user Tarah

Summer nights as kid were spent catching lightning bugs (fireflies to the non-Southerner) in mason jars.

20
You or someone you know reached true Southern belle status when they got dolled up for a debutante ball.
Unsplash | Celia Michon

You or someone you know reached true Southern belle status when they got dolled up for a debutante ball.

Lots of white dresses, lots of antiquated rules.

21
Nowhere else in the country does biscuits better. And don't even get us started on chicken biscuits.
Unsplash | Jodie Morgan

Nowhere else in the country does biscuits better. And don't even get us started on chicken biscuits.

Sometimes you dream about them.

22
You know that all BBQ is not created equal.
Unsplash | Paul Hermann

You know that all BBQ is not created equal.

Do NOT, under any circumstances, get Texas and Carolina BBQ confused.

23
"Red on black, venom lack; red on yellow, kill a fellow" has saved the life of someone you know.
Flickr user David Jahn

"Red on black, venom lack; red on yellow, kill a fellow" has saved the life of someone you know.

Or it was just fun to say as a kid.

24
You've used monogrammed towels, napkins, bags, pillows, wallets, and pens too many times to count.
Flickr user Personal Creations

You've used monogrammed towels, napkins, bags, pillows, wallets, and pens too many times to count.

25
It's not a purse, it's a pocketbook.
Unsplash | Pete Bellis

It's not a purse, it's a pocketbook.

26
You call anyone from above the Virginia line a Yankee, or when they come down for the Summer or to go to Duke, a "damn Yankee."
Unsplash | BICAD MEDIA

You call anyone from above the Virginia line a Yankee, or when they come down for the Summer or to go to Duke, a "damn Yankee."

27
You never, ever forget to write a thank-you note after attending a social gathering or receiving a gift.
Unsplash | Aaron Burden

You never, ever forget to write a thank-you note after attending a social gathering or receiving a gift.

28
What the hell is a remote control? Pass me the clicker or the changer, or don't pass me anything at all.
Unsplash | JESHOOTS.COM

What the hell is a remote control? Pass me the clicker or the changer, or don't pass me anything at all.

29
Taylor Swift ain't real country music (but we love her anyway).
Unsplash | Facundo Aranda

Taylor Swift ain't real country music (but we love her anyway).

30
The struggle of craving Chick-fil-A on a Sunday is so real.
Flickr user Mr. Blue MauMau

The struggle of craving Chick-fil-A on a Sunday is so real.

31
You don't leave the local pool when a Summer thunderstorm rolls in.
Unsplash | Max Rovensky

You don't leave the local pool when a Summer thunderstorm rolls in.

You just wait it out it out about half an hour until the sun (and humidity) is back in full force.

32
You take your whiskey and bourbon very seriously.
Unsplash | Adam Jaime

You take your whiskey and bourbon very seriously.

33
It's not a shopping cart, it's a buggy.
Unsplash | Laura Marques

It's not a shopping cart, it's a buggy.

34
You can't see a bottle of pink wine without singing Deana Carter's "Strawberry Wine" in your head . . .
Unsplash | John Canelis

You can't see a bottle of pink wine without singing Deana Carter's "Strawberry Wine" in your head . . .

And smiling to yourself about Summer love and simpler times.

35
College sports rivalries are a religion to you. You're a Tarheel or you're a Blue Devil.
Unsplash | Ben Hershey

College sports rivalries are a religion to you. You're a Tarheel or you're a Blue Devil.

It's 'Bama or Auburn. There is no in between.

36
You feel like it's only proper to dress up when flying or going to the doctor's office.
Unsplash | ALP STUDIO

You feel like it's only proper to dress up when flying or going to the doctor's office.

37
You're still not sure what Alan Jackson meant when he sang that "way down yonder on the Chattahoochee . . . "
Flickr user Sarah Brookshire

You're still not sure what Alan Jackson meant when he sang that "way down yonder on the Chattahoochee . . . "

" . . . it gets hotter than a hoochie coochie," but you definitely hear the song differently now than when you were a kid.

38
You know that sororities and fraternities mean something completely different in the South than anywhere else in the country.
Unsplash | Fernand De Canne

You know that sororities and fraternities mean something completely different in the South than anywhere else in the country.

39
You've caught a crawdaddy with your bare hands.
Unsplash | Sidney Pearce

You've caught a crawdaddy with your bare hands.

40
You know someone of nearly every Christian denomination.
Unsplash | Allen Taylor

You know someone of nearly every Christian denomination.

You've got your Lutherans, your Catholics, your Baptists, your Presbyterians, your Methodists . . . seriously the list goes on and on.

41
The music from a banjo, acoustic guitar, and fiddle playing all together is a sweet and perfect fusion of your favorite sounds.
Unsplash | William Recinos

The music from a banjo, acoustic guitar, and fiddle playing all together is a sweet and perfect fusion of your favorite sounds.

43
You don't realize how strong Southern accents are until you move somewhere else. Sorry, was that darn? Dern? Dernit?
Unsplash | Alex Holyoake

You don't realize how strong Southern accents are until you move somewhere else. Sorry, was that darn? Dern? Dernit?

44
Fried chicken and waffles were sent from heaven straight to the South.
Unsplash | Nelly Jerobon

Fried chicken and waffles were sent from heaven straight to the South.

45
You know that no matter where you are in the world, if you run into a fellow Southerner, you've got a true friend in them.
Unsplash | Greg Raines

You know that no matter where you are in the world, if you run into a fellow Southerner, you've got a true friend in them.