Southern Scorpio

21 Sep

Bad Joke: 

Q: What’s the difference between a Northern girl and a Southern girl?

A:  The Northern girl has a canopy over her bed, the Southern girl has a can o’ pee under her bed.

 

I got my feelings hurt the other day.  No biggie.  I’m not the easily offended, wear my heart on my sleeve type.  Not always looking for ways to feel “dissed” so I can raise a ruckus, “Poor me!  Look at me!  Wah, wah, wah!”  There’s been too much Political Correctness for my taste, and I would never contribute to it if I could help it.

So it’s still a man’s world.  What of it.  So there used to be slavery.  Get over it.  So I bumped my head on a glass ceiling.  Whatever.  So the circle is still unbroken, but I’m on the other side.  Blah, blah, blah.   Maybe if we weren’t so self-absorbed, we wouldn’t see so many bruises on our thin skins.  Fewer selfies=less whining.

So I got my feelings hurt.  That’s the last you’ll hear of it.  And the one who did the wounding will never hear of it, at least not from me.  And it won’t happen again.  But not because that person won’t ride rough-shod another time—they likely will.  And not necessarily because I will be more assertive and stand up for myself more readily next time, either.

But you need to know two things about a person, me:  where they were born and when.

That may seem irrelevant, but it’s something I’ve come to know, regardless of what I may believe.  Heart wisdom over head knowledge, so to speak. Let me explain.

It’s important to know if someone is from the North or the South (mid-west, west coast, maybe not so much).  North?  Abrupt.  Pragmatic.  Cold.  South?  More nuanced, multi-layered.  Temperate.  At the risk of stereotyping (is that some kind of profiling?), and though there are exceptions, it has been my experience that people from the North can come across as rude, at least to Southerners who aren’t used to such ascorbic speech.  People from the South may appear more amicable—the soft, proverbial “Bless your heart” (I really mean it), but really they are just more subtle. Just because they let you win, doesn’t mean you win.

Yankees, you may blunder your way in brusquely, like it matters—and I, Southerner that I am (albeit the upper South), may let you.  On the surface.  You may not mean anything by it, just saving time for clarity.  And I may understand that.  But it will never be water under my bridge.  Water from the North?  Cascades shallowly, noisily down on its way from somewhere to somewhere else.  Southern water runs deeper, more silent, may even appear somewhat stagnant.  Though it’s not.

You can skip all the rocks you want across my smooth surface, but they will collect at the bottom of my deepest pools and never get washed away.  Collecting, they will form a wall below that surface you will never penetrate again, a “glass” wall, if you will, that you will never even know is there.

And the other thing?  When I was born?  Just know I am a Scorpio.  Believe or not, but know this much is true: a Scorpio never forgets.

So bless your heart a hundred times.  You’ll never see mine again.

–Rebecca Luttrell Briley

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One Response to “Southern Scorpio”

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  1. Southern Scorpio | brileyrebecca - September 21, 2014

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