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Old 06-03-2006, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Snow Hill, NC
787 posts, read 2,486,795 times
Reputation: 283

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Quote:
Originally Posted by NYer
My uncle, who is an elderly & proper gentleman, had such a bad time of it during a recent hospitalization. The staff called him honey & dear, & by his first name, and he was Visibly uncomfortable. I wish they would have first asked, "Is it alright for me to call you Tom or do you prefer Mr. Smith?"

It is so simple to be polite, isn't it?!

Unfortunately, that is a high mark of the south. Most people will do it particularly if they have long term facility training like I have had. After you stay with patients a long time and become part of "their family" so to speak, you have a tendency to get lax. But I agree, it would have been better for them to have asked. I always tell them to call me by my first name if they ask. If they don't and call me Mrs. Tedder, I don't correct them.
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Old 06-03-2006, 10:02 PM
 
16 posts, read 26,772 times
Reputation: 44
Miss Luckydog, thank you kindly for an explanation and answer more comprehensive than I hoped for or expected. You've made it quite clear, and even covered the "sir" and "ma'am" etiquette I'd forgotten to ask. I am grateful beyond measure!

I was raised in a military family, so using "sir" and "ma'am" is a comfortable concept. I'm blessed growing up believing that politeness and etiquette are no respecters of persons- there should be no distinction made due to race, geographic origin, social standing, financial position, etc.

My gut instinct was to go with Mrs. for everyone until invited to use a more familiar greeting, but I'm much more comfortable with this understanding.

Thank you again, Miss Luckydog, for taking the time to spell that out for us. God bless you!
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Old 06-04-2006, 05:03 AM
 
192 posts, read 434,120 times
Reputation: 422
[quote]BTW, there ARE manners here, and we get angry when we are disrespected, too. For example, if someone does not say thank you, if you are angry enough you can say, "you are welcome"... to show their lapse.... or of course you can just roll your eyes & let it slide![/QUOTE]

Using good manners here is regarded as just plain "common courtesy". We are a rather kind bunch...much more gentile & unconfrontational. Your example made me smile.... It's just so hard to explain a culture. You see, if someone here does not say thank you...we'd just walk away, with no comments calling them out on it, & no eye rolling...true, we'd be thinking that the person was rude, to ourselves, but we'd never say it to them...it wouldn't be proper to do so....a southerner doesn't excuse meeting poor manners with poor manners/rudeness with rudeness. If a southerner were in line, behind you, and witnessed that sort of reaction from you...we would see that reaction as just as rude as the offenders. Please don't take any personal offense, as none is intended...just trying to illustrate the differences in culture here to help you understand.

One thing to always keep in mind about the south...just because we don't say anything, or display a reaction, doesn't mean we approve. We just "mind our manners" and keep it to ourselves!

Last edited by luckydog; 06-04-2006 at 05:38 AM..
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Old 06-04-2006, 05:42 AM
 
192 posts, read 434,120 times
Reputation: 422
Quote:
Miss Luckydog, thank you kindly for an explanation and answer more comprehensive than I hoped for or expected. You've made it quite clear, and even covered the "sir" and "ma'am" etiquette I'd forgotten to ask. I am grateful beyond measure!

I was raised in a military family, so using "sir" and "ma'am" is a comfortable concept. I'm blessed growing up believing that politeness and etiquette are no respecters of persons- there should be no distinction made due to race, geographic origin, social standing, financial position, etc.

My gut instinct was to go with Mrs. for everyone until invited to use a more familiar greeting, but I'm much more comfortable with this understanding.

Thank you again, Miss Luckydog, for taking the time to spell that out for us. God bless you!
Miss Sherry...
You are all ready to move & I truly doubt you'll have a moment's worth of problem assimilating! The fact you started this particular thread, your eloquent & kind thank you, and your general demeanor, all reflect quite the "southern air" about yourself already!

"My gut instinct was to go with Mrs. for everyone until invited to use a more familiar greeting, but I'm much more comfortable with this understanding."

Your gut instinct was just fine...and you could never go wrong with politely asking what someone prefers, as you are by the very act of asking, showing respect & courtesy to them. Just be kind & gracious & you will be well received & thought of...people sense when someone is making an effort. And think of it this way...considerateness & thoughtfulness are just not attributes that are ever met with animosity here. It's never, ever strange or awkward. It takes little effort really & you'll be rewarded with an abundance of friendly & warm kindness in return.

You are most welcome. I'm very glad to have been of help to you. You have my very best Wishes on your coming move!

Miss Luckydog
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Old 06-04-2006, 06:40 AM
 
52 posts, read 85,474 times
Reputation: 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYer
I for one will be glad to be rid of toddlers screaming at me by my first name...
Miss NYer will be a vast improvement!
I have my kids call adults Miss or Mrs but they stand out for doing so, & not always in a ggod way, it sounds still & formal here, but I do not like the sound of kidsaddressing adults as peers.
I hear that! My kids always say.. mrs. so and so and there kids come running up.. Laura can I have ..whatever. My kids were amazed by the courtesy they saw when we went for a visit there. Not to mention the shock on there little faces when someone didn't push them at the stores when walking out the door but rather HOLD the door and said.. children first! You can't walk anywhere here without someone walking over your child in a store. The other thing my kids found was awesome was the fact that people.. strangers.. said hello to them. Funny how children see a difference in a short trip.
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Old 06-04-2006, 07:27 PM
 
16 posts, read 26,772 times
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Miss Luckydog, thank you for your warm wishes and welcome! It's funny, as I sit in my home in CT, waiting for the buyer God has for us, my husband is living with his mom in Burgaw, working and getting financially established while waiting for me to join him. Each time we speak on the phone, I hear the southern influences in his speech, and he's enjoyed calling women Miss Soandso regardless of age. He finds it difficult to not spend most of the day smiling when you address folks that way. And I find myself smiling to hear him speak of his days and his encounters with the Misters and Misses!

After I've joined him in NC, if you ever find yourself near Faison, NC, please do let me know. I think I'd enjoy a little porch time and the opportunity to thank you in person!

God bless you,

Miss Sherry
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:17 AM
 
Location: Wake Forest NC
1,611 posts, read 3,282,590 times
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Well, many people here do react, often not on their own behalf but to stick up for others. As I have written previously, with the exception of foreigners (people from non-western cultures) people DO know the rules, they just choose to be mannerly to people who they deem worthy, and are rude to those "below" them... because they can. People in service industries & racial & ethnic minorities are often treated poorly and many of us call the offenders on that behavior... because it is so hard to watch. In turn, many of our gas station attendants, etc., can be standoffish & rude because they are so used to being treated like dirt. So you have to go out of your way to make eye contact & cxonverse, because they are so used to being seen but not heard.
I was very attracted to the Raleigh area because I Never say that type of situation. And I hope I don't...
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:02 AM
 
192 posts, read 434,120 times
Reputation: 422
Quote:
Miss Luckydog, thank you for your warm wishes and welcome! It's funny, as I sit in my home in CT, waiting for the buyer God has for us, my husband is living with his mom in Burgaw, working and getting financially established while waiting for me to join him. Each time we speak on the phone, I hear the southern influences in his speech, and he's enjoyed calling women Miss Soandso regardless of age. He finds it difficult to not spend most of the day smiling when you address folks that way. And I find myself smiling to hear him speak of his days and his encounters with the Misters and Misses!

After I've joined him in NC, if you ever find yourself near Faison, NC, please do let me know. I think I'd enjoy a little porch time and the opportunity to thank you in person!
Thank you for the kind invitation! I am in NE NC, but I know Burgaw (Faison, I've never been to)....had a couple of college girl friends from the area, years ago, & went home with them briefly, on occasion. Now that I think about it, Wallace was actually the hometown of one of them... I also lived in nearby Wilmington, for a couple of years. If you visit up here, I have two big 'ole front porches, 70 x 10' each with rockers & swings, & you are welcome to come share a glass of sweet tea & chit chat anytime...

If it sounds like your cup of tea, taking in our biannual historic pilgramage tour (the locals open up their historic homes to the public) is a real treat you might enjoy. We usually attract around 20,000 tourists for that 2 day walking tour event & it is gorgeous. We are similar to Williamsburg, Va (neat, but it's filled with colonial reproductions & this town is original, though smaller) or Charleston, SC (much smaller). It's a small town, complete with Mayberry like charm, & filled with some jaw dropping beauty. The churches do sit-down, boxed lunches with homemade southern favorites, they have tour guides that are in period dress & you can take horse drawn carraige rides, to take in the scenery. There are charming bed & breakfasts to stay in...but they literally book years in advance for this, as so many flock to this. They do something like this annually, at Christmas as well...at night, by candlelight. But, to me the "Pilgramage" is much more spectacular. I will say the grandeur depends on what homes are on the tour though. Seeing old historics, & a town like this weren't new to me, as a native, but my first pilgrimage, when some of the ulimate homes to see were on the tour, was just unreal. I was never as impressed with my later tours, as I was with that first one. But, if you are not into walking, old historics & "small town"...it's not for you.

Well, that explains it!!! If you are married to a native, from small rural SE NC Burgaw, then you have no doubt been exposed to all of this before, and you've picked it up "to the T"....the easy going, sincere, friendly & polite disposition shows, just like a southerner! I'm so glad you've found it to be pleasant & rewarding.
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Old 06-05-2006, 11:28 AM
 
192 posts, read 434,120 times
Reputation: 422
In reading the last posts this morning over coffee, I was just having some thoughts....

When I read about the disconnection people have from one another up north, and all that comes with that....it's mind blowing to me. I think about how jarring, overwhelming, invasive, or irritating acclimating to the polar opposite here might be. Especially if you encounter natives in a small town. I find the way of life described up north to be like another planet. And I would never move into an environment like that. But, I understand that many of you are making a choice to move to "another planet" yourselves, for a variety of our own reasons, and I was just thinking about how hard that must be for some of you...feeling for you actually.

I'm sure just simply entering a store, especially in a smaller city or town, might seems strange, in your personal space, overwhelming. We would be sincerely trying to be courteous, welcoming & helpful, beyond your expectations....but I can appreciate that one might feel you've landed on Mars, feel quite bugged & annoyed, & be a little disturbed by how much the salesperson knows about you by the time you leave...

Say you went in a small boutique, with DD, to find a red top....

"Good Morning"... "How are you?"..."Well, good morning Miss" (to DD)..."What a cute doll you have"... "What is her name?"... on and on..."Is there anything that I can help you find, M'am?" ...."Okay, you let me know if you need anything"....salesperson gives you the layout of the small store...salesperson stands back, but waits for any sign they can help...you walk 10' & check a price tag..."OH, that is pretty isn't it?" ..."It goes so well with this..." (you are shown coordinates you have no interest in)..."And this color would be just beautiful on your complexion"....(pulls something entirely different)..."What size are you? About a 6?"....salesperson turns & begins to look for selections..."We just got this in yesterday"...(leads you to something else)..."Don't you think this would be pretty on Mommy?" Oh, we don't have a 6 left. This is so cute, it sold yesterday, as soon as it was put out. Would you like me to call the other store & see if they still have it in your size? We can get that over here for you, by Tuesday"...salesperson falls back shortly..."Are you looking for anything special? When do you need it by? Oh, and we do offer alterations"....salesperson falls back for 5 minutes & reapproaches this time to engage your DD, in an effort to be helpful to you, & allow you a moment to shop..."Are you having fun today out helping Mommy shop like a big girl. What is your name? How old are you? I have a Granddaughter your age. Her name is Ava. She just loves playing dolls too. Now, where do you live?" "What school do you go to? I bet you like to.."...and on & on...You begin to leave..."She is just adorable. Is she excited about starting school? ...gives personal antidote on her own grandchildren's readiness...."Well, thank you girls for coming in. Have a fun day shopping...to DD: Are you going to shop all day? You take care of little Sarah (doll), & help your momma...smiling warmly... Please come back to see us again. Bye Bye sugar...waving to DD. " You walk out, having initiated no conversation yourself with the salesperson. You realize you know nothing about the salesperson, other than her granddaughter's name, but she now knows everything about you from your dress size to your daughter's school, grade & teacher's name.

Then a few days later in the grocery store, you encounter someone who knows you, but you don't know them...they recognize your little girl's lack of southern accent, her long red hair, hear her call the doll Sarah & put 2 + 2 together..they strike up a conversation with you..."You must have just moved here from CT"...the salesperson told the next person that came in with a little girl that morning, that she just met a little girl, with long red hair, that just moved here from CT, & will be going to her school, telling her she'll surely meet her soon....she had a doll too, & her doll's name was Sarah...

And the cycle ensues...it's innocent (and on occasion, plain nosy), but in a small town, this is how info circulates...and quickly too! Soon, people seem to know what time you go to bed (from the lights), that you were gone all day Tuesday (car gone all day) and that you got a new puppy (saw it in the yard)....and you told no one yourself... It makes me feel a little aggravated & violated sometimes, but I can't imagine how disconcerting it would be for someone from the north.
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Old 06-05-2006, 07:53 PM
 
Location: Wake Forest NC
1,611 posts, read 3,282,590 times
Reputation: 864
Quote:
Originally Posted by luckydog
... It makes me feel a little aggravated & violated sometimes, but I can't imagine how disconcerting it would be for someone from the north.
I have lived other places & encountered that sort of friendliness...
My town here WAS like that too growing up, even in the mall it was neighbors or friends of friends waiting on you, or a saleslady who, after a while of shopping there would become like a friend.
I went to college, lived a few places & came home, but home had changed and was more liek the city. I like to visit the city, the anonymity is exhilerating. You can be whoever you want to be, that day.... it is so cool. But it is not a comfortable way to live, at least not for me. That is because my life is made up of all the daily encounters I have, the little things as I go about my day. And if I am stressed driving, at work, at the store, everywhere but home, it seems into my home life too.
Come to think of it I know many people in NY city who say it is like a series of small towns, that if you reach out you get to know the grocer & busdriver & all that. Maybe it is suburbia that is so empty here... any thoughts out there?
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