West Coast Family

Growing up we didn’t drink sweet tea, we didn’t say yes ma’am and no sir. We didn’t go mud riding, or hunting. We didn’t have a Southern twang and we definitely did not listen to country music. 

We had skate boards, metal, rock n roll, unsweet tea/green tea, unsweetened kool-aid, a nonchalant yes or no, and we partied at home behind closed doors. 

I don’t really know if it was because my parents grew up in LA County, California and not in Horn Lake, MS/ Memphis, TN or if because my parents were weirdos. 

We moved into our first house when I was 5 years old. Everything before that is a blur anyway. I remember growing up we played with neighborhood kids like (normal) kids, and did everything a normal kid would do. Now given I didn’t have a lot of family here because they all lived 1,600 miles away. So at holidays it was just us, my one set of grandparents, and my aunt, uncle, and 2 cousins. 

It wasn’t until I got way older, that I realized we weren’t really southern people. When I say a lot older I mean like 17 years old. I first noticed it when my husband (boyfriend at the time) was aggravated that I didn’t say yes ma’am and no sir to my parents. It wasn’t that I was being disrespectful; I was just taught differently. That I didn’t have to say no ma’am and yes sir. The second time I noticed it, my brother and I were talking about how NASTY my mother’s sweet tea is. And yes I have told her that her sweet tea is terrible tasting. She finally just started getting it right. 16 years later. She always put WAY to much, or not enough. She should just stick to green tea. Same with kool-aid. The last time I noticed it was when I started listening to country music. My husband has always LOVED listening to old country. When I say old country, I mean David Allan Coe, and Hank Williams. I didn’t even know those people existed until my senior year of high school. Here I am 5 years later, and my dad JUST started listening to artists like them. It’s weird to hear him listen to that kind of music. We grew up listening to metal music, and rock n roll, or west coast rap. 

There are more facts that lead to why I don’t think we are a Southern family. The more reasons, I believe that’s what it is. We are culturally different. Which is okay. I was born in Memphis and I grew up here in Desoto County, MS. But my parents were my biggest influences. So growing up, I caught their accent and there west coast ways. I look at my parents today and yes in some ways they are Southern people now but still most the time I still see California in them ALL day long. I will let you in on a little secret.. My sweet tea taste like shit. Just like my mothers. No joke. I was never taught the proper way to make it. It’s so easy it’s difficult. 

My husband and I are total opposites. And I think our cultural backgrounds have about 85% to do with that, at least.

People are so different these days. And there is so many factors that go into judging others. People can tell that they aren’t from here, even after living here for now 22 years. I guess your roots are bigger than the tree itself. Never forget where you come from, don’t try to be something you aren’t. Love yourself and your family. Just because you come one way, doesn’t mean you have to be something you aren’t.

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