Southern Inhospitality

The struggle of being a former New Yorker/Washingtonian/Arizonan in an excessively friendly southern state is all too real.

One of the hardest things about being a transplant in the south is the challenging adjustment of having to talk to people.

Especially extraordinarily friendly people, because they make me feel like a sorry excuse of an ill-mannered human being.

For someone naturally reserved, such unexpected conversations with enthusiastic random strangers can be grounds for a full-blown anxiety attack.

On an exceptionally good day, I can plaster on my most natural fake smile.

Then I cross my fingers, in hopes that my face won’t actually freeze that way.

Especially if I am unintentionally bearing teeth.

When I’m out walking around my neighborhood and people go beyond the perfunctory wave and vocalize their greeting, or worse, initiate a conversation?

What am I supposed to do then?

The obvious answer, of course, is to make a run for it.

I go outside to throw away the trash in my pjs in broad daylight and the neighbor twelve houses down to the left with the terrifying horse-sized Scottish Deerhound smiles and starts waving a little too enthusiastically.

My typical instinct is to discreetly crouch down and scuttle away like the stealthy ninja that I am.

Suddenly, my brain is rapidly firing off panic signals.

Crap! You made eye contact! What were you thinking?

“How ya doing? Nice day out, don’t ya think?”

Great. Now the neighbor wants to make conversation while you’re standing outside like a fool in your Hello Kitty pajamas!

“A shame about that field being plowed down for another housing development, ain’t it? Where all them cows gonna go now?”

Might as well be standing outside naked. Maybe that’d be less awkward.

Must. Get. Out.

Quick! Excuse yourself! Get out of there NOW!

The last time I had been caught off guard by a neighbor, I managed to back out of there after a record time of 1 minute and 28 seconds.

By pleading a bathroom emergency.

Classy, I know.

But it was the best I could do after my overactive brain presented the pitiful excuse on a silver platter.

Yet once again, my brain is tasked with conjuring up “logical” excuses while my neighbor continues on with his riveting monologue about cows.

I’ve narrowed down my choices.

I have to go because:

a) Dinner is almost ready, and I need to go turn the oven off

b) The house is now on fire because dinner has been in the oven 5 minutes too long

c) The kids are beating each other within inches of their lives with Nerf swords

d) All of the above

While all of these seem like perfectly rational justifications, I naturally go with the most plausible one.

The house is on fire.

Not seeing the thick gray smoke?

Really?

Well, gotta go! See ya later!

~Happy Friday, friends! I’m sure all my fellow introverts out there can relate to this one all too well. Have a fantastic weekend!~

I made eye contact, and now it's all over. This must be the end.

I made eye contact, and now it’s all over. This must be the end.

(Southern Inhospitality originally appeared on Comically Quirky on 8/6/15)

Santa Dearest

Ho ho ho!

It’s time to start thinking about which list you’ve managed to land yourself on this year!

What’s that?

You’ve been a perfect angel?

Ha!

Who are you kidding?

Surely, you do know Santa sees you when you’re sleeping.

And he knows when you’re awake.

Oh, and he also watches your every move…

365 days a year.

Okay, so he’s basically a generous gift-giving stalker, when you think about it.

Anyway, let’s see what kind of sorry excuses we can come up with for our less than saintly behavior this year, shall we?

santa37

(Everything in life is relative, and therefore subject to opinion. So, who knows? Santa may well have flexible guidelines. Or low standards.)

santa39

(Again, another matter of relativity. But seriously, what criteria must one meet to even qualify for Santa’s nice list?)

santa3

(Just as well. If you’re holding out hope for a fantastic gift, you’d be better off buying it yourself in the first place, anyway.)

santa26

(I can confidently say I’ve been both naughty-ish and nice-ish this year. With that said, does this mean I’ve been good enough to deserve a present or two, or should I be expecting a stocking full of coal?)

santa38

(Nah, it’s never too late! Unless it’s already Christmas morning, in which case, yeah, you’re probably out of luck…)

santa35

( If you’re getting coal this Christmas, why not at least have the satisfaction of knowing you’ve truly earned it for a job well done?)

santa5

(Naughtily nice. Now there’s an oxymoronic concept. Well, I suppose if you’re going to do something, might as well put a little extra effort in and do it well.)

santa16

(Oh, little minion. With all the antics and mayhem you’ve caused, you probably haven’t even been good enough to receive coal this year!)

santa7

(Excellent point. No need to over-explain things to the point where you land yourself right back on that naughty list.)

santa36

(Now we’re talking! This is totally true! Okay, probably true. Maybe true? Augh!)

santa8

(Look, if he wants to drop by in the wee hours of the night, the least he could do is clean up after himself. Is that really so unreasonable?)

(Take that, Santa! Serves you right for even thinking about putting me on the naughty list!)

Poor Santa.

He tries so hard to bring joy to people all over the world, and we all struggle to conduct ourselves like decent human beings for more than 24 hours at a time.

On second thought…

Look at it this way:

Being naughty saves Santa a trip.

So you’d actually be doing him a huge favor by adding more mischief into your daily routine.

Especially since you’re ultimately gonna end up buying your own presents anyway.

~Happy Friday! Hope you all have a holly jolly weekend!~

Southern Inhospitality

The struggle of being a former New Yorker/Washingtonian/Arizonan in an excessively friendly southern state is all too real for this girl.

One of the hardest things about being a transplant in the south is the challenging adjustment of having to talk to people. Especially extraordinarily friendly people, because they make me feel like a sorry excuse of an ill-mannered human being.

For someone naturally reserved, such unexpected conversations with enthusiastic random strangers can be grounds for a full-blown anxiety attack.

On an exceptionally good day, I can plaster on my most natural fake smile.

Then I cross my fingers, in hopes that my face won’t actually freeze that way. Especially if I am unintentionally bearing teeth.

When I’m out bicycling around my neighborhood and people go beyond the perfunctory wave and vocalize their greeting, or worse, initiate a conversation? What am I supposed to do?

The obvious answer, of course, is to make a run for it.

I go outside to throw away the trash in my pjs in broad daylight and the neighbor twelve houses down to the left with the terrifying horse-sized Scottish Deerhound smiles and starts waving a little too enthusiastically.

My typical instinct is to discreetly crouch down and scuttle away like the stealthy ninja that I am.

Suddenly, my brain is rapidly firing off panic signals.

Crap! You made eye contact! What were you thinking?

“How ya doing? Nice day out, don’t ya think?”

Great. Now the neighbor wants to make conversation while you’re standing outside like a fool in your Hello Kitty pajamas!

“A shame about that field being plowed down for another housing development, ain’t it? Where all them cows gonna go now?”

Might as well be standing outside naked. Maybe that’d be less awkward.

Must. Get. Out.

Quick! Excuse yourself! Get out of there NOW!

The last time I had been caught off guard by a neighbor, I managed to back out of there after a record time of 1 minute and 28 seconds…by pleading a bathroom emergency.

Classy, I know. But it was the best I could do after my overactive brain presented the pitiful excuse on a silver platter.

Yet once again, my brain is tasked with conjuring up “logical” excuses while my neighbor continues on with his riveting monologue about cows.

I’ve narrowed down my choices.

I have to go because:

a) Dinner is almost ready, and I need to go turn the oven off

b) The house is now on fire because dinner has been in the oven 5 minutes too long

c) The kids are beating each other within inches of their lives with Nerf swords

d) All of the above

While all of these seem like perfectly rational justifications, I naturally go with the most plausible one.

The house is on fire.

Not seeing the thick gray smoke?

Really?

Well, gotta go! See ya later!

I made eye contact, and now it's all over. This must be the end.

I made eye contact, and now it’s all over. This must be the end.