I’ve been living in New England for over two years now. Despite all the perks that arise from living in a major metropolitan area, there are some ways in which the north just can’t compete with the south. Below are the top 5 things I miss about the south (excluding friends and family).
1) WINTER – I miss southern winters. The change of seasons is nice, I even enjoy a bit of snow, but there’s nothing quite like winter in the south. Fretting about that long stretch of four days that might not make it out of the forties, the lovely dip in your utility bill that results from paying to heat your house instead of cool it, Christmas at the beach – what a headache, right? On the days when the temperature stays in the negatives up here in the northeast I like to log onto Facebook and read all my southern friends’ complaints about the cold. Then I send warm thoughts their way.
2) ALLIGATORS – I really miss alligators. It may seem strange, but it’s true. Every time I see a nice boggy pond, a stretch of swamp, or any dark waters for that matter, a jolt of adrenaline surges through me. I keep my eyes wide open and alert, on the lookout for danger. Then I remember that gators don’t live this far north. The only way to describe the resulting emotion is disappointment. This is more than a case of old habits dying hard – I’m filled with a sense of loss. I mourn the absence of alligators in my life. There’s a big empty hole in my heart that used to be filled with alligator sightings. Okay, so maybe I’m being a little melodramatic, but I’m sure there’s other southerners transplanted up north that know what I mean.
3) PIBB XTRA – I miss Pibb Xtra, formerly known as Mr. Pibb. For those of you in the north, it’s kind of like Dr. Pepper, but different enough that Dr. Pepper won’t satisfy you when what you really want is Pibb. For those of you in the south – they don’t carry Pibb up here – isn’t that strange? I know I shouldn’t even be drinking soda, but sometimes I do, and when I do, I fantasize about drinking a Pibb Xtra.
4) COST OF LIVING – I miss the low cost of living in the South. One of the biggest shocks about moving to the north is how expensive certain necessities – like toilet paper – are. It doesn’t seem like it should be legal. In the south a can of soup is 99 cents and grocery stores like Publix run BOGO deals on dozens of great items every week. In the north your grocery bill will literally double for basically the same items. So will rent, property taxes, utilities. . . and did you know about this thing called state income tax? Yeah, apparently most states make you pay state along with federal income tax. I must have missed the memo because that’s just crazy.
5) ROADS – I miss southern roads. There are very few traffic circles, almost no parallel parking, and streetlights are always strung over the road so you know where to find them. Parking spaces are wide, street signs are clear, and bright yellow lines separate lanes of traffic. In the south, if something is blocking your lane, you wait for oncoming traffic to break before passing the obstacle. It will never cease to amaze me how many times a driver will veer head-on into my lane on a daily basis – up here it seems to not only be normal, but also expected. Yikes! I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it.
So there you have it – the 5 things I miss the most about the south. I’d be interested in hearing what other transplants miss.