So Much For Midwestern Hospitality

, , , , , | Friendly | September 13, 2018

(I’ve just moved to the Midwest to be closer to family. I graduated from a university in a southern state a few months prior. A couple days after I arrive, I have to go run some errands. Since most of my clothes are in the moving truck that has yet to arrive, I throw on a [University] sweatshirt, jeans, and sneakers. I’m at the grocery store when an older man walks up to me.)

Man: “Young lady!”

Me: *startled* “Yes?”

Man: “You shouldn’t wear that.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Man: “You shouldn’t wear that!

(He gestures at my sweatshirt. I look down to check for stains or rips, thinking I may have missed something while getting dressed. I find none.)

Me: “Why?”

Man: “You are in Illinois, not the South. Show some local pride.”

(I have a slight Southern accent, which I can turn into a full-on drawl on command.)

Me: *with a smile and full drawl* “What I wear is none of y’all’s business. I’ll wear this as much as I please. Now, kindly leave me alone.”

(The man huffs and walks away, muttering about “those people.” And that was my first introduction to small Midwestern towns.)

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