Did I ever tell you my undergraduate degree was in Broadcasting? That basically means if you want to be in front of the camera they do their best to spank the southern accent out of you before you graduate. I’ve been out of the South for almost five years now. So I’ve been practicing using that less-southern-accented dialect pretty much all the time over the past five years, in hopes that people will listen to what I say instead of how I’m saying it. (And in hopes that they can understand me!)

But you know, it really is like they say — the south will rise again. Not that I’m expecting the return of the confederacy although the current health care reform situation makes me wonder, but in my words and ways, the southern gets tired of being repressed and starts popping up when I least expect it. You can take the girl out of the south, but you can’t take the south out of the girl.

When the south decides to rise again, here are the top ten ways I see it surface:

10. I put on my Sperry Topsiders (translation: loafers appropriate for wearing on a boat) and the green polka-dot skirt my Mom bought me at Old Navy a couple years ago. The skirt has a matching pink and green belt, and that just feels as southern as the day is long.

9. I make biscuits from scratch and politely disagree with any guests who say they seem just like scones.

8. I call my Mom, Dad, or my friend Debbie who can make any three letter word have two syllables, and let my really, really southern accent drawl right on out!

7. I listen to a CD of Mexican music that reminds me of the Latino Radio Station I like to listen to when I’m home: Noventa y seis punto nueve, effe emme — la que manda en las Carolinas!!! (96.9 FM – the one that rules in the Carolinas.) Poor Hero Hubby.

6. I give my best effort to cooking nice crispy crispy bacon like my grandma used to. I use the bacon grease to try to make my green beans taste like my Mom’s. It never seems to work, though.

5. I bake any recipe I can find that calls for a stick of butter. Food Network + Recipe by Paula Deen = Good tasting stuff (& heart disease).

4. I let a y’all or two slip out in conversation and see if anybody notices.

3. I respond to a surprising situation with a “lawsy!” or a “gee-my-nary!” Gee-my-nary, Bear, how the heck did you get that off the counter? Lawsy, boy yer gone hurt yerself!

2. I don my cowboy hat and take the Bear for a walk around the neighbourhood. People sometimes stop to say “howdy.” No joke. Hearing somebody say “Howdy” with a South African accent is pretty darn amusing.

1. I dress the Bear up like this and we head to church. We need to get him some Sperry Topsiders, too!

He’s ready for the Sadie Hawkins dance with those Khaki Pants!

And I couldn’t be more proud…

even if his shirt comes untucked quick as a whistle.

Could somebody pass me a Cheddar-Bo-Biscuit?