Monday, April 11, 2011
I have not written in months but I could not stay away any longer. This month officially makes it 4 months since I have been living in North Carolina. The word different does not properly define some of the changes I have been going through. Geographically, North Carolina is only 5 hours away from Maryland and 8 hours from New York, but I swear I feel like I am living in another world. Here are some of the differences I have noticed:
1. Chivalry is very much alive in the south! The men are quick to open car doors, help you with your bags, while being extremely courteous for no other reason than, that is how they was raised.
2. Everyone here is "nice". This is the one thing I continue to struggle with here. In the south the culture is that everyone is polite, everyone speaks and for the most part people carry themselves in a "politically correct" manner at all times. When you go to the supermarket and you are waiting in line people will speak. If you make eye contact with anyone anywhere the odds are they will smile and greet you with a warm hello. I struggle with this the most because while it is refreshing that everyone appears to be so kind and well mannered, Carolians are actually no different than rude New Yorkers, they just hide their rudeness better. They might not throw trash on the ground, or flip you the bird, but they will smile in your face and be cordial, when the truth is that they really hate your guts. The Brooklyn in me just wishes everyone would be real. In New York, there is a culture where people say and do what they want and they don't care how you feel, in North Carolina, people may not say what they want and they won't really care about your feelings, but they sure will do a good job in making you think they care.
3. The south is not for singles! Eight out of ten people are married in the state of North Carolina. While this may not be 100% factual it feels that way. The culture here is that you go to school, go to college, find a mate and get married. It is almost unlikely that you will see a person who has lived and grown up in North Carolina unmarried after the age of 23. The people who are unmarried are either relocators like myself or....just relocators, because everyone here really is married. As a female who is (patiently..ok sometimes impatiently) waiting their turn for marriage, this can be encouraging yet still somewhat discouraging at the same time.
4. Ladies, brace yourself for this one! A white woman is capable of taking our men in a heartbeat here. These woman do not have to be scandalous and sneaky, the do not have to be house wreckers or whores. These woman have the innate ability to steal our men right before our eyes because they are submissive, overly nurturing and they do not get attitudes!!! Our men for the most part want strong sisters who can hold them down without wanting to be nurtured like a toddler however, what our men don't want is that black woman attitude we typically have alot of. I have noticed in my four months of being here is that the white woman here will channel the attitude elsewhere with no problem and our black men are loving that. While this is also a challenging difference for me, but I will note there is something to be learned here.
5.Family means everything here. This may seem like a given but it goes hand with the marriage factor I mentioned earlier. Evenings and weekends are reserved as family time. Family here is not your group of single girlfriends you go out and party with on Saturday nights. Family is not your college friends or your roommate who feels like your sister/brother. In the State Of North Carolina family is the your blood and if you are not at work, the expected place for you to be is....with your family.
6. People drive crazy here. As like you I thought no one can hit the roads like a New Yorker can right? While I can bob and weave through traffic like nobodies business, my Constance nightmares from speeding tickets has forced me to become a more conscious driver. In Maryland the speed limit was typically 55 or 65mph, here, it is usually 70mph. This means on any given morning someone will swerve in front of me in frustration because I am doing 75 and everyone else is doing 80. Who drives 80mph on a daily basis to get work? I love my job but I'm not in that much of a rush to get there.
All and all I will say my experience here in North Carolina has been a good one. There are good days and bad days. Hopeful days and very discouraging days. But I must admit that this is where I feel I should be. I look forward to all the good that North Carolina has in store for me. It's a learning experience to be in a new environment but as I recognize these subtle differences whether good or bad, I appreciate the opportunities that come from change.
Posted by BK Vixen Gone MD at 8:28 PM