Please feel free to link to this blog or use the handy e-mail tool at the end of each post. However, all contents of this page are copyrighted by Cindi Huss. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission from the author (Cindi) is prohibited. This includes all images unless otherwise noted.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Nearly a year in Tennessee

Well, we've been here nearly a year and feel very at home. We've made the transition pretty well, the kids are thriving, DH loves his job, and I am in heaven in my studio. The weather is warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer, there's almost always a little wind, and the clouds (and thunderstorms) are way more impressive.

One of the hardest things to get used to is that things like pita bread are considered exotic here and only show up seasonally in most grocery stores. I haven't really figured out what the pita season is, but that's what the lady at the deli counter told me.

The other unexpected oddities are a couple of expressions.

A friend of ours is a physician's assistant (also a transplant to the area). When he first moved to the area he'd ask a nurse or an orderly to do something and they'd reply, "No, I don't care to." He, of course, was a little taken aback at this challenge to his authority, but figured he just had to earn his wings as the new guy and do it himself. But when he went to do it he'd find it already done. Turns out that in NE TN, "No, I don't care to," means, "Sure, I don't mind."

Folks also use this expression in a statement, not merely as a reply. For example, DH got a message asking him to "Please give me a call back if you don't care to."

And then there's "Bless his heart." You can say anything and add that at the end to make it all right, like, "That whole family has enormous heads, bless their hearts," or "He just can't hold a woman or a job, bless his heart." Now if anyone blesses my heart I wonder what they really mean. :-)

Northeast TN doesn't have a lock on strange expressions, though. Took us years to get used to the dual meaning of "Are you all set" in Western MA. If you're in line at a sandwich counter in western MA and the wait person asks "Are you all set?" . . . it's not a yes or no question.

If you answer "yes," chances are good the waiter will walk away thinking you have already ordered.

If you answer "no," chances are good the waiter will walk away thinking you need more time to decide.

And in Pittsburgh "City Chicken" is pork or veal. Go figure.


Dionne said...

I love this post! I find localizations in language FACINATING! Bless your heart! ;-)

Cindi said...