First and most importantly, you don’t say “Appa-lay-shiun” you pronounce it “Appa-latch-ian” as any good local would. If you say it wrong they immediately know you aren’t from around these parts. You may even be corrected, very politely of course.
Which leads into the next thing… if you are correcting someone or speaking about them without their knowledge (not gossiping of course because as we all know, Southern ladies don’t gossip, they just share information) you are required to say “bless her/his heart.” Oh boy, I’m sure I will get a lot of blessings until I learn my way around!
I was also informed that I must start adding a “the” in front of things. For example, “I am going to THE Wal-mart”, or “I’m going to watch THE TV”, or “I’m going to THE bed now.” Its not a particular idiom that I’ve noticed yet but they tell me it’s true. They also told me that if I’m at the Wal-Mart I am required to talk to everyone I see or fear being branded rude. This includes the cashier to whom its only polite to discuss anything and everything with, bless her heart.
Perhaps the most interesting phrase I’ve heard… “I don’t care to.” Ok so for all my Michigan friends and family, what exactly do you think that phrase is supposed to mean? If you said “I’d love to!” you would be exactly correct. Now I have no idea how you are supposed to get that out of that but I know I better watch what I say and really pay attention to what they say and clarify if needed!
All in all its been an interesting 3 days on the job, that’s for sure! I’m a little overwhelmed with information but I’m sure it will get better. It will also help when I finally get rid of these Tennessee germs that my body is soooo not used to yet! I’m officially at a week now fighting this I think? Yesterday I came home from work and slept the rest of the day and night away and woke up feeling better finally. I’m hoping for a repeat performance tonight (especially since its snowing and I’m terrified of the TN drivers) so I’m completely better tomorrow. Maybe I can catch up on a few things then… we shall see!