by Pettus Read
The other day, as we were shopping for furniture in a local store, the sales lady asked us what type of decor we have in our home. Of course, I did exactly what any normal red-blooded American male would do when asked a question like this with his wife standing at his side. I passed the buck. I looked at her and said, "Honey, you know all about decorating. What is our decor?"
When you have been married for over thirty years and have collected your furniture at times when you could afford it, which is between braces and car payments, it is hard to determine just what is your decorating style. It is hard to explain to people in furniture stores that you purchase your furniture when you need it, not when the latest issue of Southern Living comes out in the mail. Those who know me, and probably those of you who don't, after reading my articles, would make a pretty good guess that our decorating would be in the country line. Well, your guess would be right. In fact, we have what is known as traditional country furnishings, which means you can visit our home without expecting place cards at your plate at the dining room table.
I have to admit that I was raised country and proud of it. I was raised saying "yes sir," and "no sir," as well as, "please" and "thank you." I do not consider everyone in a group as "guys" either, because I still respect those of the female gender, even if in some circles it is not politically correct.
It is real easy to recognize folks who were raised country and those who try to be country. Each day I see "country impostors" trying to pass themselves off as genuine country. No matter how hard they try, they usually mess up somewhere and give themselves away.
Here is a guide you can use to tell if someone is not country.
They might not be country if they have never, ever, eaten fried okra prepared in a black skillet. Everyone knows that fried okra is the official food of country.
They might not be country if they never have finished their meal off with a moon pie. You also demand sweet tea at your favorite restaurant.
They might not be country if they don't see anything wrong with putting a sweater on a poodle.
They might not be country if they have no idea what a polecat is, but do understand the term skunk.
You can question their country background if they eat fried chicken with a knife and a fork.
They may also be an impostor if they think barbecue is a verb meaning "to cook outside."
You might not be country if you don't have any hats in your closet that advertise herbicides or feed stores.
You might not be country if you don't have at least one can of WD-40 somewhere around the house.
The big item that will give a non-country person away is if they do not know anyone who has two first names like Jerry Wayne, Mary Sue, Billy Ray or Katie Ann.
You might not be country if you don't wave every time you meet a car on a country road. Plus, it has to be a certain kind of wave where you use all your fingers while holding the steering wheel.
You might not be country if you've never gathered eggs or milked a cow by hand. When entering a barnlot you spend all of your time looking down at the ground watching where you step. Real country folks are free spirited and know as soon as they enter a barnlot that if they spend their time watching where they step, they will miss a lot of beautiful farm scenery.
I'm glad country is still "in" on the fashion scene and a lot of people who have never been country are trying to be a part of the trend. Now, if we can just do away with the term "guys" when we refer to everyone in a group.