Friday, September 17, 2010
Damn Yankee... Huh? You just called me a what?
When I moved to Memphis I had to change banks... I allotted myself 15 minutes for this process. I figured that's way more than enough time... WRONG!! I had a rude awaking to how differently business is done in the south. I'm pretty sure that every person in NYC has a continuous IV drip of Red Bull because it is so fast paced up there. I loved it since I'm a naturally high strung person. Anyhow, back to the point... I walked into the bank and was greeted by a very friendly bank teller. Her southern drawl was so slow and sweet, but a wee bit difficult for me to understand at times. (side note: as a kid, my friends and I would sit around and try to talk in an over exaggerated southern accent. I quickly found that we weren't exaggerating anything, some people really do talk that way!) I explained what I wanted to do and she referred me to a man sitting in an office. So I briskly walked over, told him what I needed to do... he just kinda chuckled to himself and told me to sit down. I did as I was told and then he asked "Do you know the difference between a Yankee and a Damn Yankee?" I was a bit dumbfounded, I just wanted to open a new bank account... I didn't know there was a Q&A before I could do that. I (slightly annoyed) sweetly responded, "no?" He laughed a little bit more and asked me how long I'd been living in Memphis. I'm thinking, What the Hell Does It Matter!?! I just want to open an account, then it struck me, maybe this is that whole Southern Hospitality thing I hear so much about (I was wrong about that, but that story is for another day). I told him it was my second day in Memphis, and he began to laugh loud enough to draw the attention of some other bank goers. Again I'm thinking what the crap is wrong with this guy, can't we just get to business. He then, said "The difference between a Yankee and a Damn Yankee is that a Yankee just comes to visit but a Damn Yankee stays" He then started to roll with laughter, while I laughed a little, still thinking joke time is over, time for business... 45 minutes later, two life stories shared and one check/saving account opened, I was still wondering why was he so happy to know he was the first person to tell me that joke. Over the next few days and weeks I found out why... Every time I met a new Southern person, that joke was told to me. I always said, I didn't know the difference, because it seemed to be the polite thing to do. Now four years later, I've removed my Red Bull IV, started saying "Y'all" instead of "you guys", and I'm now one of those people telling that joke to welcome Northerners to the South.