Thursday, October 6, 2011

The South Vs. Atlanta Vs. The North

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Do you have an easy answer to the question "Where are you from?" ? 

I do and I don't. For most people, I respond with a similar "Atlanta." If I am in the mood to chat, though (I blame my Southern upbringing), then I also usually tag on the statement "but my entire family is from the NYC/NJ area."

Why I feel the need to clarify that with (usually) random people is beyond me. Who cares if I am from Atlanta? Or from Roswell, GA? Or from Northern NJ? Or for that matter, from Midlothian, VA outside Richmond where I actually lived for, until about last year when Roswell beat it out, the longest part of my life?

That statement is just a loaded question and answer for most of us these days, and even more so for most Atlantans. I have known a "true Atlantan," one who was born and raised here, only a few times in my life. Sure, the old ladies at the churches and the middle-aged men that run the downtown shops are likely pure-bred Roswellians. But in my circles, almost every single person that I know "from Atlanta" is in fact actually from somewhere totally different. Many are from the North, transplanted down here like we were with the job market. Others came down for school and never left, or upgraded from some tiny Southern town to the "big city" and all that comes with it. My family and I are right there in that mix.

Historic mansions and homes? We've got plenty of them
down South in Roswell, Georgia.
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I call Atlanta home today because it is my adult home. I chose to have a job and a home to call my own here. I went to college here and stayed. I don't plan on leaving in the immediate future, and almost have trouble remembering times before our zip code was in Roswell. It's my "home."

But for someone to know me, and the true me, it goes so much beyond Atlanta and Roswell. I am not a Southern dame. I am not a bite-your-tongue girl that doesn't speak her mind. I bleed Northern, Irish blood and have a family full of people just like me. I may sprinkle in a "y'all" here and there, but actually usually have to think about saying it - it doesn't come out naturally. I may be able to turn on that Southern charm, but it's usually when I need help from the guy at the supermarket to reach something high on a shelf.

What can I say? I am a Southern-Northern girl. I am "from Atlanta" in as much as that means. But if you really know "where I am from," it's all of that history all wrapped up into one, and you'll need to buy us a round of cocktails to hear more where that comes from :)

So what do you say? Where are you "from?"

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2 comments:

whitney said...

love this comparison of south vs. north :) and girl, i have been following your blog for a couple months now, i had no idea you were in roswell! i am too! we should chat ;)

Katherine Malone said...

Whitney - hey Roswell neighbor! I live in Buckhead but the fam is in the big R and that's where I grew up. Love that city!!