Friday, October 28, 2011

Southern Living

Now that I'm a Southerner - well, a Midwesterner living in the South, so not quite a Southerner - I've started reading Southern Living Magazine. (To clarify, I've not subscribed to the magazine - I just check out back issues from the library.) Last night, while skimming through the September 2011 issue looking for the recipe for the apple-cream cheese bundt cake showcased on the cover, I came across a number of articles about tailgating at southern universities.

There were features to which I could completely relate (the 10 Commandments of College Football Fandom, for example), and others that, perhaps because I'm not a true Southerner or because they were a bit unexpected, I didn't quite "get".

For instance, the segment on "showing your school pride while looking chic" was a bit of a stretch for me. The piece suggested I wear a light-weight pencil skirt, ruffle blouse, blazer, strappy heels, and bangles - all in school colors, of course - for game day tailgates. As a back-up ensemble, the piece suggested I dress up my khaki, navy, or black tailgating dress with a patent leather belt, rouched touch gloves, or a clutch in my school's colors. Really?! Though I usually tailgate wearing a school t-shirt or sweatshirt, jeans, and flip flops (this ensemble is ideal for mustard bowling, beer pong, and overindulging on hamburgers, chicken wings, and beer), I love a cute tailgating sun dress as much as the next fan and may even someday purchase and wear one. But if you ever see me tailgating in a pencil skirt, blazer, and strappy heels I'd like you forcably remove me from the premises for embarrassing myself and my husband.

I got a kick out the magazine's interview with ESPN College GameDay reporter Erin Andrews. When asked, "What is the biggest misconception about the South?", Erin answered, "That every guy here has a Justin Bieber haircut." I've never heard of this Southern misconception, but I suppose it's possible I'm just out of the loop and all you Midwesterners are up there thinking that life in the South is like living in a Justin Bieber hall of mirrors. Let me set the record straight, people - I can't recall seeing even a single Justin Bieber haircut on a boy/man of any age since we've lived here. In fact, I wish there was a little more Bieber goin' on up in here.

Yeah, my kids like the Biebs.

College Station was selected by the magazine as one of the "South's Best College Towns" and was described by the author as a "Wild West outpost with a country and western soul". If that's true, I'm not sure I'll ever fit in here... The author also highlighted a few Bryan/College Station restaurants and accommodations, and it was in this paragraph that I learned of a caged rattlesnake living in one of my favorite restaurants, The Dixie Chicken. Under no circumstances will I share my eating space with snakes, so I guess it's time to start shopping for a few favorite burger joint.

I won't, however, be shopping for a new tailgating ensemble - jeans and a t-shirt suit this Midwesterner just fine.

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