Friday, December 28, 2007

Looking Into The Circle...


I took some time off at Christmas to visit relatives on the east coast. As always, it is refreshing to get out of the south to regain a true perspective of how others work, live and play. The most astounding difference that I noted was that most people in big cities are not consumed by their job. Sure, they care about what they do, but more importantly, they focus on the "quality" of life that their job affords them and their families. They focus on play.

Almost all social discussions in which I took part revolved around new and exciting restaurants, books, movies, plays or vacation spots. They talked about where they had been recently, what they had done and what they plan to do in the future. It then dawned on me the primary difference between these "northerners" and us Delta folk is that they have their eyes firmly planted on the future, while we are looking over our shoulder at the past.

True, things move at a bit faster pace in the north, but they face the same social and economic problems that we do; they simply don't permit complacency and apathy to rule their lives.

There is another primary difference in northern conversation. In all of the social situations that I attended, I never heard one word that sounded like gossip... not to say they don't gossip, but that it was not the primary topic at social occasions.

I thought back to a pre-Christmas party that I had attended in Greenville. As I moved from "circle" to "circle", every topic of conversation revolved around local gossip of one sort or another...no discussions of books, movies, vacations, or fun... simply gossip.

I love the south which is why I continue to live here, but it is always good to "step out of the circle" and look in for a while. What you see are alternative ways of living, with different perspectives on what we truly value in life.

Hopefully, 2008 will be the year we bury the past and start looking at how we as individuals can improve our lives. And... if you haven't been out of the Delta in a while, you need to do so. It will give you a renewed hope for what can be, as well as deeper appreciation of the good things we share... like catfish, fried chicken and grits; none of which I have tasted in over ten days.

I shall dine well tonight!

Forthright

8 comments:

ten cent said...

Well, thank you Forthrigth for telling us how you really feel. Us dumb, backwards, redneck, gossiping, peckerwood dumbasses have seen the holy ghost in the light now.

#1 - Don't ever refer to yourself as "us Delta folk" until your family has lived here at least 3 generations. You just demeaned my parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins and a host of more family who spent their lives pulling themselves up from poverty, working to the bone to make life better for themselves and their families. My father retired as a manager of a major, local coop and when he finished his job there, he had more than quadrupled the yearly gross for that company. He was the son of a poor dirt farmer that gave him $5 to go to college on. My father ground out the rest with hard work and gave his family a future. My mother, sister and many aunts are accomplished teachers in many school systems with many awards.

#2 - Next time you go to a party, make sure it's not packed with your health services people that you so lovingly give priority to in this blog. Let me know where the party is so I can send some cheese to go with the whine. There are a lot of other issues besides DRMC and Leland schools to go around.

#3 - "catfish, fried chicken and grits". Don't you just love stereo-typing folks?

Until today, I had some respect for you. But that letter takes the cake. You are nothing but a snotty pissant. Take the next bus back to your northern Shangrila.

one pissed ten cent

Anonymous said...

Dime, you just proved his point.

Small minds discuss other people; average minds discuss things and events. Great minds discuss ideas. Think about it, and move on from there.

My spouse's family is scattered all over the continent, coast to coast. I'd never had much contact with folks outside the Delta until I married. As I spent more and more time with the in-laws and extended family, I realized that as much as I loved the Delta, there was so much more of life to be experienced. I don't feel disloyal to my heritage or to my family when I say this, but we DO tend to talk about Uncle Bubba's thyroid too much; we make the neighbors' business our business too often. And yes, we are as guilty of stereotyping people as anybody else, so pardon the reference to fried chicken and grits---you know you love 'em. I sure do.

I do believe that the Delta will not be reborn until we shed the mantle of past mistakes. Let's join the 21st century and broaden our thinking to include friends from the North and elsewhere.

And for the record, I truly enjoy the few occasions that I have to leave the state and visit other areas. But I'm always so glad to get back home. Coming back into the Delta via Yazoo City, Vicksburg,or Winona at sunset offers a view that would put a lump in the throat of the most backward and hardened "redneck." Try it, and tell me if I'm wrong.

A Belle always said...

Thinking what topics I heard discussed during a Christmas party, I can honestly say, not a word of gossip was said in my earshot. It was prior to the mayoral election, so that was the hot topic. Who would win? who should win? what are the problems? how can they be solved? Debates were heard over and over on many subjects and potential solutions. It was very interesting most of the evening!

I believe those topics are number one in every Greenvillian's
-Deltan's mind now. They take priority over the gossip. I am sure in the smaller clicks or in passing, there surely must have been gossip and I bet there was at the Yankee parties too, but Forthright being a "foreigner" those partiers did not include her in their local secrets, just as I or any genteel Southerner would not in front of a stranger or outsider. It would not be good manners!

Ten Cent, pull in your Dixie flag, Forthright was expressing an entitled opinion and personal observation, not stomping on your ancestors graves! Good Grief!

Delta whisperer said...

Another point about the "gossiping" in the south. Here it is not always just gossip. Here it is mostly concern. Sincere concern and if the subject person needs help, usually the folks are determining how to help them. Take them food, run their errands, carry their kids to school or sports events, visit them at the hospital, attend their funeral or their loved ones funerals, call them to "check on them". Without gossip, how would we all know who needs our help??? There is a lot to be said for gossip, if it is intended for good and not evil.

Southerners are known for this, Deltans are famous for it! If I am in trouble, I want to be in the Delta when it happens. Word of mouth will send me help in a jack sprat minute and it will be offered with grace and consideration always!

Tamale runner! said...

Forthright, maybe you need to upgrade your social circle here at home. Sounds like you are running with the wrong crowd. I am sure topics of new places to eat, plays, movies, books, etc. are topics in many groups around town, you just have to part of THOSE groups!

As for foods, no doubt we love our grits, chicken, okra, biscuits, but let me say I love How Joy Chinese and all Mexican & Italian restuarants in the area...and by the way, tamales are back! Check out Shamoon's Hot tamales being sold daily in the shopping complex beyond Roller World. The owner is David Shamoon, the son of the late Jimel Shamoon, the creater of the best tamales I have ever had. His son is carrying on for his dad, the family legacy. Yumm!!!

Anonymous said...

"Don't ever refer to yourself as "us Delta folk" until your family has lived here at least 3 generations" Ten cent


You gave a slap in the face to all people that were not born in the Delta, yet are trying to call this area home and have a positive impact in this community. I have never felt more excluded in my life.

Delta Smart Arse said...

Luckily "he" is not the qualifier for who is or is not a Deltan. If you live here in the Delta, therefore; you ARE a "born again" Deltan! ;>)

Amazing how folks will claim a fame, just because they were born in certain families or locations....as if THEY had anything to do with it!LOL

Anonymous said...

Off topic: Referring to voter registration-

Online Non-registered voters can now register much more easily, just go to:

http://www.sos.state.ms.us/elections/VoterRegistration/UpdatedVoterReg.pdf
(enlargen this box, by clicking the box at top of this blog, to see complete address)

MISSISSIPPI VOTER REGISTRATION APPLICATION
IMPORTANT!
• If you are not registered to vote where you now live, you can use this form to register to vote or report that your name or
address has changed.
• If you have questions call your county Circuit Clerk or call the Secretary of State at 1-800-829-6786.
• Complete all sections of this form, then mail or hand deliver it to your county Circuit Clerk AT LEAST 30 days before the
election in which you want to vote.
• If you are qualified and the information on your form is complete, you will be mailed a voter card that tells you where to
vote.