You Might Not Be Country If…

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The other day, as we were shopping for furniture in a local store, the saleslady asked us what type of decor we have in our home.

Well, when you have been married for more than 30 years and have collected your furniture at times when you could afford it – which is between braces and car payments – it is hard to determine just what is your decorating style.

It is hard to explain to people in furniture stores that you purchase your furniture when you need it, not when the latest issue of Southern Living comes in the mail.

Those who know me, and probably those of you who don’t but who have read my articles, could make a pretty good guess that our decorating would be along the country line.

In fact, we have what is known as “traditional country” furnishings, which means you can visit our home without expecting place cards at your plate at the dining table.

I have to admit that I was raised country and am proud of it. I was raised saying “yes, sir” and “no, sir,” as well as “please” and “thank you.” I do not consider everyone in a group as “guys” either, because I still respect those of the female gender, even if in some circles it is not politically correct. A guy is a guy, which means he is a he to me.

It is real easy for us professional country types to recognize those who are just pretending to be country. Each day I see “country impostors” trying to pass themselves off as genuine country. No matter how hard they try, they usually mess up somewhere and give themselves away.

The following are some tips you can use to tell if someone is real Tennessee country:

They might not be country if they have never eaten fried okra prepared in a black skillet. Everyone knows that fried okra is the official food of country and should be eaten fried with homegrown tomatoes and buttermilk cornbread.

They might not be country if they never have finished their meal off with a moon pie. They should also demand sweet tea at every restaurant that they grace with their presence.

They might not be country if they don’t see anything wrong with putting a sweater on the family dog. Sweaters on dogs are just plain embarrassing to us country types, as well as the dog.

You can question someone’s country background if they eat fried chicken with a knife and a fork. And they might not be country if they don’t have any caps in the hall closet that advertise herbicides, feed stores and farm organizations.

They must have at least one can of WD-40 somewhere around the house.

The big item that will give a non-country person away is if they do not know anyone who has two first names, like Jerry Wayne, Mary Sue, Billy Ray or Katie Ann.

They might not be country if they don’t wave when they meet a vehicle on a country road. Plus, it has to be a certain kind of wave where you use all your fingers while holding the steering wheel.

They might not be country if, when entering a barn lot, they spend all of their time looking down at the ground watching where they step. Real country folks are free-spirited and know as soon as they enter a barn lot that if they spend their time watching where they step, they will miss a lot of beautiful farm scenery.

I personally am glad that country is still “in” and a lot of people who have never been country are trying to be a part of the trend.

Now, if we can just do away with the term “guys” when we refer to everyone in a group. “You-all” works for me.

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