Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The REAL Difference Between North and South

So I went to the grocery store last night. No big deal, right? Except that I never go to the grocery store at night. It’s just too risky.

Risky in that I just might have forgotten to put on makeup that day.

Risky in that I might not have brushed my hair before I left the house or even looked in the mirror all day long for that matter.

Risky in that I might just have spilled dinner on my jeans and didn’t notice it until I got to the store.

Risky in that I might not realize that I’m wearing the girls’ high school sweatshirt that screams “Mom” all over it.

See what I mean? Risky.

So while I’m running through the store, grabbing things quickly and keeping my head down, I started to think about the time my sister from Dallas came to Chicago for Christmas. We needed to make a quick stop at the store, so she waited in the car while I ran in.

When I got back to the car my true Southern sis commented on how “bad” everyone looked. Apparently where she lives, no self-respecting housewife would be caught DEAD in the grocery store with no makeup, dirty jeans, and a high school sweatshirt.

As we were sitting in the car discussing this big, important, life-changing difference between the North and the South, a woman drifted out of the store wearing a sweat suit (matching, I might add) and tennis shoes. Without missing a beat, my sister said, “I mean, look at that woman. She could have at least put lipstick on before she went into the store.”

Heaven forbid the produce man see your naked lips.

So last night I really was thinking about my sister and how embarrassed she would have been to run into me at the store. I thought to myself that at least I didn’t look as bad as the woman I saw a couple of weeks ago . . . in the grocery store . . . with FOILS IN HER HAIR!!!

I think that might have been an all-time grocery store low.

Until, of course, tonight. When I’m standing in line behind a young dad with two adorable little girls who pointed at my sweatshirt and said, “Are you a WN mom?” And I suddenly recognize the guy as one of my husband’s former college students who has gorgeous children and an even more gorgeous wife. Who would probably never go to the grocery store dressed in dirty jeans and a sweatshirt. And who would always put on makeup and brush her hair before going out in public.

When I got home I told B what his student said to me about being a WN mom, and without missing a beat B said, “Then he probably isn’t a very good salesman. He should have asked you if you were a WN student.” Just one of the many reasons I love my husband.

But, really, there was just no mistaking me for a high school girl. She would have worn lipstick.


  1. You are so silly. You should be proud to be a WN mom. You have to awesome WN students. You would sure be embarrased to see how I sometimes go to the grocery store! Ha!

  2. Oh, I am shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that you would be so much like me. I used to try not to go to the store "looking" like the true farm hick that I am. I think that once you are over 40 you stop worrying so much about what people think. Or maybe I really am a farm hick?

  3. H, you are too sweet.

    Why does that shock you, Linda? I am a woman of many faces--one that happens to not wear makeup on occasion. :)

  4. I was saying that in a mocking tone. You couldn't hear it in the typing. I'm so glad you are real like the rest of us.

  5. Oh, this cracks me up. I admit it...I occasionally run in for a quick trip with no make-up and nasty sweatshirt. Of course, that's when I run in to someone I haven't seen in years.

  6. When I have no makeup on I usually wear a baseball hat. For some reason I think that no one will be able to see my face this way.

  7. Oh my this is soooo true and one of the reasons I love being a yankee!

  8. Good way to look at it, Sheroll. Benefits. Yeah.

  9. I am happy to inform you that you have plenty of sisters in the south.
    It doesn't count what you look like in the grocery store does it? I think that's the rule. At least it is now?

  10. I always put on makeup before I go into the store, but I'm usually putting it on at stoplights on the way or in the parking lot when I get there!

  11. So funny and true.
    Let me tell you, I am as Southern as it gets and I do prep before the store in the day time, but if it's late a night, then all bets are off because I just survived the day. I look like a mom because I am one.
    Without the mom jeans, though. Never.

  12. OK, tell me the truth...was I the one your sister saw walking out of the store in the matching sweat suit & sneakers? :)

  13. Hillary, I need a little clarification on the mom jeans. Do you mean any jean that a mom wears? Or something more specific?

    Cindy, you made me laugh out loud with that one!

  14. Shelly, I understand this -- I lived in Dallas 4 years, and you couldn't go anywhere (the mall, especially) without being fixed up! But I do think Dallas is the extreme. I'm glad we moved to Charlottesville before I had kids because I was rather frumpy those years and the complete opposite of what I had been in Dallas... Chicagoland is a nice mix, I think! I do go out far too often though looking rather drab... I'll have to think about just reserving that for nighttime shopping now! :-) Aren't we glad we truly know that true beauty is on the inside?! :-)

  15. That is too funny :) I really needed that laugh today! Thanks :)

  16. Mom Jeans...you know, the really high-wasted-too-short-bright-orange-thread-pockets-that-make-your-bottom-look-massive-jeans...

    You are absolutely right, Hillary...never the mom jeans. ugh!