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Old 07-21-2013, 10:03 AM
 
12 posts, read 20,236 times
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I've been all over the world and can confidently say that there are rude people everywhere. Welcome to Earth.
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Old 07-22-2013, 04:38 PM
 
6 posts, read 7,274 times
Reputation: 19
Default Thanks Cajun

Thank you for that, Cajun, that is also part of the simple truth I have been trying to convey. BTW - if I understand internet vernacular correctly, a "troll" is someone who is either floating a false story or is pretending to be someone they are not. If that is the correct description, then Tomcat's cheap shot attempt to dismiss my real life experience is inappropriate.

So, OK, details then. Fine:

I moved to Charleston for the first time at the age of 20 in 1975. Having grown up in western and northern NYS (born in South Carolina, and with lots of family there, btw), I would not have remotely considered myself to be a "yankee" anyway - as I guarantee those thousands of visitors from the midwest, etc, do not either - because everywhere in the USA except Dixie a Yankee is a native of New England. According to maps I have seen, New England does include NYC but not NYS, which was in colonial times a wild frontier. SO my first reaction to being repeatedly called this by natives was that they must not know anything about the USA outside Charleston. I actually saw this same reaction in a new coworker just a few months ago. She had moved here to western North Carolina fresh from the farm in Illinois. A local boy said "attaboy" to her and she responded that she had never heard that expression (she's only 22 years old). As with many Carolinians, he believes that everything "up north", every fine detail, is different from "down south", so his response was "that's because you're a Yankee". He wasn't unfriendly about it - although his presumption was, I believe, ludicrous - since I'm guessing the expression originated in NYC or maybe even England. Anyway - the girl was shocked and said "I'm not a yankee - I'm a midwesterner". And this is the essence of the nonsense. I can assure you (though, of course, the mob will dismiss this): this sweet, kind midwestern farm girl is not "rude" or "uncouth". However, she can potentially qualify because, like me, she did not grow up addressing people as "ma'am" or "sir". Those are simply dialectic mannerisms, and are particular to only certain parts of the US, primarily, as far as I know, in Dixie. They are not, in and of themselves, indicators of "politness" but, rather, of a formalized set of societal rules peculiar to certain societies.

I understand that in Japan the formalized norm is to not look people in the eye ever. Does that make Japanese people more "rude" than Charlestonians? Well ... if you think so, you sohuld refrain from travel.

I worked for the News and Courier (before it was melded with the Evening Post) in the 70's and 80's, and was deeply assimilated into local culture. I had lots of native friends and married a girl who grew up on Folly and Johns Island. During those years nasty comments about "Yankees" on the workroom floor and in casual conversation were commonplace. Nobody reacted much beyond laughter and sometimes additional moral support. Except me. It always irritated me, and I often asked the slurer if they were referring to my mother. Typically they would mumble that it was a joke or make an excuse. Blahblah.

My wife said her own opinion (as a native, but an honest and critical-thinking one) was that a lot of the local "friendliness" toward newcomers was, in reality, a way of "checking them out" by approaching boldly and, usually pretty quickly, managing to ask where they are "from". My wife, btw - as I said, a native - has always said that she too thinks a lot of the display is insincere. But that's not a surprise to me - because I agree with Cajun, in my experience people are pretty much the same, in the same percentages, everywhere you go. My objection is to the pretense in Charleston. It's not that I think more people are rude there (except, maybe, to unsuspecting northerners) than anywhere else - but rather, that they are in the same proportion and won't be honest about it. To those of us who have had to endure the "yankee yankee yankee" crap it is abundantly clear.

Such comments were a regular theme in the columns of Frank Wooten and Elsa McDowell in the News and Courier in those years. I imagine they are not anymore - because now you can walk into the Family Dollar on James Island sometimes and hear nothing but northeastern accents - those famous "Jersey" accents - and maligning all those hugh numbers of new residents is no way to sell papers. Paul Greenberg - actually a resident of Arkansas, I believe, but a regular columnist in the P&C - once wrote in a column that so-and-so was "the only Yankee I ever met with any manners". Gee, that's polite and friendly. And not at all bigoted!

After some years we relocated to a small town in the Finger Lakes region of NYS. I had never lived there, nor within maybe a couple hundred miles of it. I found the people there to be mostly warm and friendly, and I made many great and lasting friendships. It IS true that they don't look you in the eye in the convenience store, nor call you "sir" in conversation. Personally, I don't believe that's related to temperature or climate - what a weird theory. My guess is it's historic, proabably descending from German Lutheran and other traditions. I do know that privacy and personal space are more valued in their culture than displays of formalized mannerisms. My biggest reaction to all of that is SO what?!? Who cares? Those are, as I said, just dialectic norms, and such things are different everywhere you go. If you can't see beyond them to the real people and the content of their message - well maybe "the problem is with you" and "your attitide".

Only in Charleston have I ever seen a website called "GobacktoOhio.com". Yeah, that's pretty friendly. Here's their current Splash Page message:

(begin cut and paste)
GO BUCKEYES! . . . no really, please go.


Gobacktoohio.com is back and just like the Cincinnasties who have moved here, weíre not going anywhere.
We arenít fickle, we just donít like you.

(end cut and paste)

yeah, that's really "friendly". "Polite", too!

Charleston is the only city I know of that, when a local college decided to include women in it's roles (granted The Citadel - not an Icon of critical thinking), ended up with _physical assaults_ on women students (including setting one girl on fire - oops! She turned out to be General Mace's daughter! Bad idea!). Pretty polite and friendly!

Letters to the Editor of the local papers (including the "unreconstructed" Charleston Mercury and it's avowed "Yankee-hating" Editor David Farrow) have always, routinely, carried submissions by locals railing against "Yankees". Again - maybe that has stopped out of economic common sense. That doesn't wipe away the sentiment.

My anthropology professor in college in NC - ironically, a native of Charleston - had an explanation that made this whole bizarre phenomenon make sense to me, for the first time. She said it is a common understanding in Anthropology that a society's image of itself is not necessarily an accurate reflection of who they are, but rather who they want to be and what values they want to promote. Dr. Walter Edgar, in his History of South Carolina, goes further to put this in historical context. He says that SC after the war and during reconstruction was such a frighteningly anarchic and lawless place, overwhelmed by violence, that formalizing "manners' in public discourse and enforcing them with public pressure became a desperately necessary endeavor.

And I'm fine with all of that. But, having had to endure all of the nastiness and nasty comments over the years, when I hear people gush over how "friendly" Charleston is, without honestly acknowledging that Yang to this Yin, I feel like an abused kid who has to endure hearing everyone talk about about what a "wonderful person" his dad is. Well - not to that kid, he's not.

Personally, I find for me it is true that I prefer to live in a place - like here in WNC - where people are more honest and direct about what they're thinking. I don't like having to guess whether the person who is slathering me with "gentility" right now is going to turn around and insult me behind my back, or cheat me in a business deal, or write ugly things about my family (Again - whom they've never met) - in the local paper.

If you like having everyone smile at you in the convenience store, and ask you how you are, then fine, good for you, then Chuck is the town for you. But remember how this thread started - with a reader asking if "all southerners are rude" (and remember my response started with "not all"). Do a Yahoo search on that phrase of hers, as I did - you will find LOTS of stuff on it, it appears that many thousands of people are still having the same unfortunate experiences I did.

Or don't. Just pretend. Who cares. The truth will out.
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Old 07-22-2013, 09:04 PM
 
543 posts, read 1,020,712 times
Reputation: 164
Jaydee, you need to move on... you didn't make friends in Charleston and you're not doing a great job of that here. Best of luck to you. Move somewhere else. Have a great day. This thread is pointless, move on. MOST of us love CHS and wouldn't dream of being anywhere else.
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Old 07-22-2013, 10:24 PM
 
Location: Charleston, SC metro
3,518 posts, read 4,382,544 times
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Yeah, no one is rude in Charleston. People are only mean and nasty to a**holes that deserve it. And that goes for anywhere USA.
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:07 AM
 
4 posts, read 2,779 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Techgeek View Post
I honked at someone downtown this morning.

On meeting crossing Calhoun going toward Market. He was in front of me and got in the left turn lane. He then proceeded straight and drifted back over in front of me in the middle of the intersection. I honked and he waved.

What's the wave? Don't wave when people honk. If they are honking, it's (most likely) because you're doing something stupid and should stop doing it. It isn't because they want you to acknowledge them and wave politely.
Maybe their wave was an apology for doing something wrong. You did not speak to them instead you used the horn. Is it possible they communicated by waving
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Old 07-23-2013, 06:29 AM
912
 
1,531 posts, read 2,612,214 times
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I stand by everything I said earlier. Jaydee is a miserable little person who needs a fresh start. Preferably somewhere north of PA, were he can rub brain cells with like minded people.
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Old 07-23-2013, 07:28 AM
 
4 posts, read 2,779 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 912 View Post
I stand by everything I said earlier. Jaydee is a miserable little person who needs a fresh start. Preferably somewhere north of PA, were he can rub brain cells with like minded people.
I can understand some of his points. Can you explain why he is wrong. This way I can hear both educated point of views, then I will add mine and hopefully I will have a better understanding.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:01 AM
 
Location: Savannah GA/Lk Hopatcong NJ
13,098 posts, read 24,798,549 times
Reputation: 11127
I had the pleasure of being in Charleston last month and didn't encounter any rude people.
Poster RaginCajun82 said it best, there are rude people everywhere, welcome to earth!! Some days we all have the mispleasure of encounering one or two of them other times can get through an entire day without coming across one..
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:14 AM
 
4 posts, read 2,779 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caili View Post
I'm with Moneill - Lived here the first time for 13 years, and have been back since 2003. Never experienced any rudeness from anyone 'born and bred' here in Charleston.
I been here for about 3 years. I can say people here have been polite. But I also honestly can say I been called a Yankee plenty of times including this is not NY. Please keep in mind I never did anything to warrant the remarks. A lot of the stereotypes are exaggerate. But the natives here believe they are true. Because us northerners are" rude non manners beings" we just don't say anything and just change the conversation when the comments are made. Who are the rude ones? With that said living here has been a pleasure and worth the move. Are the natives horrible rude beings No Way. Please just a thought- how would you feel or what would you think of me, if you introduced yourself to me, I asked how long have you lived here, you reply all my life. At this point I say sorry that #$/ -just to feel you out as a neighbor. I bet you wouldn't feel good or think highly of me.
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Old 07-23-2013, 08:47 AM
 
3,140 posts, read 4,945,958 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by racer2020 View Post
...how would you feel or what would you think of me, if you introduced yourself to me, I asked how long have you lived here, you reply all my life. At this point I say sorry that #$/ -just to feel you out as a neighbor. I bet you wouldn't feel good or think highly of me.

Normally, people from elsewhere sound a bit different...the accent is telling. It's not an uncommon conversation starter to ask how long you've been here, or more directly where you're from.
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