I went shopping today for some clothes. I have put it off for a long while. Seems I’ve spread a bit more than I would have liked since retiring, so I can’t satisfactorily shop in a regular store anymore.
I’m short and wide so I have to go to the specialty shops. I’m not going to name the one I went to, because they are just trying to do their job…but you may also know it as the fat lady’s store.
So I go inside and bright young lady asks me if she can help me.
“Yes, I’m looking for pants with an elastic waistband.” (Notice I didn’t say, “Britches.”)
“We don’t have any pants with elastic waist bands. We only have regular pants. All of our pants have zip closures and belt loops.”
Now, I’m thinking…If you can’t find pants with an elastic waistband in the fat lady’s store…where in the hell are you going to find them?
So I told her I would just look around.
A few minutes later, I came across an entire section of pants with elastic waistbands. I called her attention to them.
“Oh!” she says. “Those aren’t pants. That’s our active wear.”
“Well, aren’t they pants with elastic waistbands?”
“No, not at all,” she says, “it’s all active wear.”
Yes, she was blond…just like me, but I don’t think that was the whole problem. She’s been trained to flatter fat women. “Active Wear” is so much nicer than “Fat Lady Clothes” don’t you think?
It sort of made me feel like I have graduated to the Tupperware of the clothing industry.
Now, I ended up spending nearly three hundred dollars in their store on bras, and active wear, so it didn’t hurt and maybe it helped. Now I can tell people I wear active wear and it will sound like I’m trying to do something about my weight gain.
It did make me think about our southern colloquialisms and how they get started. You can Google southern colloquialisms and get tons of funny words and phrases. These are words and phrases I grew up with. I know proper English, but when I get out among a crowd of other southerners I speak just like they do.
When I write some of my characters in southern lit, I write them with dialect. That can make issues when your beta readers are Yankees, Californians, or Brits. We do have an understanding though…for the most part.
Delilah S. Dawson from Rosswell, Georgia has a great post on how to write a kick ass southern gothic tale here on Chuck Wendig’s site.
Here are just a few of the daily speech quirks you will hear in my house. Not the hilarious metaphors and similes you hear everywhere…just a few routine phrases.
“I’ve never done that before, but I might could.”
“Don’t be sharing this with nobody, but I hear tell he’s getting married.”
“She’s right smart.”
“I used to could turn cartwheels all over this yard.”
“I had dinner on the table before he got in the door good.”
“I’m sick at my stomach.”
Instead of “hand that to me,” or “pass that to me,” we say “reach that to me.”
“I reckon he will.”
Bedclothes = sheets/linens
Britches = pants
Y’all think on it and get back with me.