During my first two weeks in the South, I was essentially given the low-down on what is cool and happening in this part of the United States. Originally from New York, these “Southernisms” are all very new to me, but I have moved from the introduction phase to adoption pretty quickly. Here is a short list that the women of Epsilon Zeta (Western Kentucky University) helped me create for things I need to embrace in order to fit in down here:
1. Monogram everything!
From purses, to towels, wallets, car stickers, front doors, and the list goes on, it must be monogrammed. I was never one for monograms, especially because I don’t have a middle name, but now that I am embracing this new trend, the self appointed middle-name that I gave myself when I was 12 will be coming back in full force. So look out, soon I will be sporting my initials BID over pretty much everything I own.
2. Norts, norts, norts
If you don’t know, as I did not a few short weeks ago, norts stand for Nike shorts. Ah yes, it all makes sense now. My floral dresses and heels were quite the contrast to my fellow sisters who all sported the nort look. However, the look is not complete until you match it with a comfort colors t-shirt, which brings me to my next trend.
3. Comfort colors ONLY
Comfort colors is a t-shirt brand that should only be worn in large or extra-large sizes. The look is to wear it over the norts as to have the effect that you do not have pants on. Who would have known?
4. The bigger the hair, the better
Now this I was very excited about because it brought me back to my younger days when I used to sport the “poof,” as captured on my driver’s license. Olivia, at Epsilon Zeta, took the time each day to give my hair the proper “Texas Tease” so my hair would be big, Southern and beautiful like everyone else on campus.
5. Chacos are EVERYWHERE, and apparently very fashionable
Chacos is a shoe brand that makes these very comfortable shoes, that come in a wide variety of colors! This will be a fashion statement that I am going to wait out a little because my limited luggage space is not equip to take on another pair of shoes.
6. Croakies are awesome
Croakies are the interesting looking sunglasses holders that are worn around the neck so sunglasses never have to be taken off. Croakies enable people to let their sunglasses hang around their neck as if they were a fashionable necklace.
7. Chicken and waffles are actually an incredible combination
One of my favorite pieces of jewelry to wear is a beautiful gold ring I got when I was younger from my grandparents. Little did I know that it could be mistaken for a “promise ring” from my nonexistent boyfriend. Pearling and lavaliering are essentially two different ceremonies/commitments that men make with their girlfriends to promise their different levels of commitment. I had no idea that my little pearl ring could be so misconstrued. I will no longer be wearing this ring on a daily basis.
9. Southern hospitality is a very real thing.
It really is. The women of Epsilon Zeta (Western Kentucky University) and Beta Epsilon (Louisiana Tech) both so kindly welcomed me into their homes and made me feel so comfortable. It is truly amazing and special.