Southern Thing Column

When you’re an impatient person in the South

This week’s column originates on Below is an excerpt. To read the full column, click here or click the link at the bottom.

Everyone in my world knows I have just the teensiest deficit in the patience department. If my life had a theme song, it would be: “Don’t care how, I want it now.” Veruca Salt is my spirit animal, y’all. Not that I’m spoiled or anything.

Sweetums and Baby Girl don’t understand the suffering. Being impatient in the South is like trying to find sweet tea in New York – it’s enough to make your butt itch. Both cheeks. Sometimes when I come home from being in public, I need to lie down for a few minutes and have Sweetums put a wet cloth on my head.

Southerners are, by definition, slow. We talk slowly and walk slowly and grocery shop slowly and drive slowly on Sunday afternoons. Except for me. I admit, I can get a bit aggressive and go all “don’t make me cut a switch” on an unassuming cashier. For example, if I pull up in the bank drive-through, clearly arriving four seconds before the car beside me pulls up, and the teller handles the other driver’s transaction first … y’all. I want to beat her with a shoe.

Or when some nimrod throws off the entire fast-food-drive-through ecosystem by merging incorrectly after ordering. It could lead to the fall of the free world – or worse, the wrong sauce.

At times, Southerners’ slowness can even be dangerous. At the four-way stop, for example. Everyone in the whole wide world knows how it works – the instructions are right there in the name. Drivers in all four directions stop at the stop signs. The driver who stopped first moves forward first. Really, that’s all there is to it. Except in the South when there is always some thoughtful, kind-hearted jerk who wants to let the little old lady in the Buick go first, even though it is clearly not her turn. Click here to read the full column on

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