Every few days it happens. The rate at which it occurs is staggering and the effects are breathtaking. It is not something that is openly discussed in social circles and oftentimes it leaves its victims curled up on the floor, sobbing and yearning for the way it used to be. I’ve tried my very best to cover it up, but I too am a victim…a victim of H.I.M.A.Y. My life is no longer like it used to be and it’s taken me years to make this confession. Please, dear reader, Help…I married a yankee.
Yes H.I.M.A.Y. is an affliction that disguises itself as a wonderful new experience, a chance to broaden your horizons and to enjoy a new life perspective. It quickly grabs hold of your heart and gives a quick high of joy and wonder. But, beware dear reader. If you allow H.I.M.A.Y. into your life, you wil learn the pain of its precipitous drop from ecstasy to squalor. Languishing for the good ol’ days and the good ol’ ways.
You see, I’m three years into my H.I.M.A.Y. and ,sure, it has created such a lovely creature as my wonderful daughter
But with this great gift, comes a lot of anxiety and fear. Will my daughter grow up with the skill and ability to melt your heartstrings with a warm, buttery southern twang to her diction? Will she be able to so aptly articulate her feelings with a quaint Southern euphemism that will leave you grining like a mule eating briers? Will she be slicker’n snot on a doorknob and smart as a whip? Or will she pronounce the word “pants” as “pints”? Will she actually be able to enunciate differently, the words “pin” and “pen” or “well” and “whale”. Oh, how I hope not! Will my daughter know and enjoy the hilarity of “Sanford and Son?” Will she be able to keep 4/4 time with a foot tap? these things keep me awake at night. I hope and pray, that she will not grow up to….*GASP* mow her yard on Sunday! Heck, I hope she knows that it’s a yard and not a lawn! It’s “supper” not “dinner”, you “cut out” the lights and you “carry” folks out to eat.
And what about her old man? How I long for the warm sweet embrace of fried cornbread chunks in a glass of milk, a warm jelly biscuit, and some daggone fried chicken! I’m not even sure I could recognize fried chicken anymore unless it has a Colonel’s face on it. I have to go to my Momma’s house for Sunday lunch just to get some pintos and black eyed peas!
Do you feel my pain? Let me, much like Jacob Marley, be an example of the results of walking the fine line that we tread when we flirt with those of the upper Mason-Dixon type. It is so easy to fall prey to the results of our own accents and the effect they have on those who were doomed by providence to grow up in a frozen wasteland where the “g’s” are pronounced at the end of a gerund and the local high school has a lacrosse team. Where doors aren’t held open and nary a “sir” or “ma’am” is heard. Where the frozen ground yields nothing but industrial waste and the rivers are flammable. They too, are desperate for the joys of the South, but once the claws have found flesh, they are hesitant to let go of the old ways. The ways of the arctic North, where flannel is worn and the rednecks have snowplows on their trucks.
Please…Help me, I married a yankee.