Going to the store in the South is not a matter of entering the store, finding what you need, paying, and leaving. Nope. That would be “unfriendly,” i.e. Northern, Yankee and an attitude to be rejected, even despised. Instead, you need to “visit.”
For example, when I drop off a dress at the dry cleaners I know I need to chat with Connie (yep, she's the only other Connie I know) about my children, UTC, and her church. This also means I can’t do my errands in ripped jeans (despite what my daughter says is the coolness factor of holey denim) with my hair pulled back in a ponytail or, even worse, in my sweaty shorts and t-shirt after running the treadmill. Otherwise, I’ll be known as that scroungy Northern woman.
Even in big stores like Sam’s Club, I “visit” with Brenda the cashier. And I have to admit, I’m catching some of the Southern approach to life. Instead of getting in the “short line” with the cranky white lady, I wait in Brenda’s line because she’s my cashier. She always has a ready smile and a laugh. We talk about her children and my children, how the Lord’s providin’, the price of groceries, etc. And if my groceries are done and we haven’t finished visitin’—well, we just finish. And once we’re done she goes on to the next customer, who isn’t frustrated or impatient because they understand “we were just visitin’.”