Maybe you've heard of grits the food (delicious!) but do you know about the GRITS acronym? Girls Raised in the South. That's me.
I'm from the south; born in North Carolina and now living on the coast of South Carolina. My rich and random life's journey has taken me all around the world. I've lived in many places and seen many things. Now I'm back to my roots. I'm southern born and southern bred. I'm one of the true GRITS, baby.
One of my life adventures found me and my thick southern accent <bad grammar on purpose> living in New York City and working in midtown Manhattan. I loved it. The Pakistani street vendor had a crush on me and my bagel was ready every morning when I arrived at Grand Central Station off of the 8:05 train - the Hudson River Express. (Wait, maybe it wasn't a crush... maybe he felt sorry for me, or protective of me? Maybe the sound of my voice made him laugh? Who knows. At least I got my bagel).
When I placed my order in a restaurant, a hush would fall over the crowd. Sometimes I heard giggles, snickers. I always got special attention; not many folks sounded like me up there.
Locals either thought my southern accent was charming (in a cartoonish way) or ridiculous.
Regardless of the subcategory they put me in, my accent placed me squarely in the dull category. Dull as in slow, not all there, not on the ball, not quick-minded. I won't go so far as to say I was considered dumb but, well, people had a big reaction to the sound of my dulcet tones.
Upon first meetings, (after recovering from the accent), the person would often slow their speech to match the pace of mine. As if my drawl made me hear slow! And think slow! It was all I could do not to bust out laughing. The condescension. No kidding, some people would talk to me as if I was an 8-year-old. But that was okay. I had a big job and used their low expectations to my advantage.
Did I mention how much I loved it up north? If used wisely, being underestimated can be a powerful tool.
Yep, that's how GRITS roll. Dumb like a fox.