Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Ah Think, Therefore Ah Am

Ah still think in Carolinian.
Me and mah adorable children in Carolina

When Ah lived in North Carolina's Research Trah-angle area, Ah spoke Carolinian.  This was after five years of living in Baaaahhston and really not picking up on the local dialect at all.  Ah could never force mahself to order beah or even root beah and pizzer, although there was a pizzer store on every corner.  Ah kept hearing those speeches from my Senator Ted Kennedy about how he was working in Washington on our behalf with plenty of vigah.  The watah in Baaaahhston tasted awful, Ah might mention.  To make matters worse, mah friend in Baaaahhston had a daughter named Elizer and Ah kept mistakenly calling her Eliza. Silly me.

Ah loved hearing Carolinian from the first moment Ah set foot in Carolina.  Mah home life in Durham was always confused because my son spoke in Baaaahhstonian (where he learned to talk), my daughter spoke in Carolinian (she learned to talk while we lived in Carolina), and my ex spoke, well, Vernal, Utah-ese.  And I spoke Chicaaago-Phoenician, that is it til Ah learned Carolinian.

Mah sales at the now defunct department store, Thalheimer's, improved dramatically once Ah learned to speak Carolinian mahself though Ah was never very good at it.  When Ah got a new job as marketing coordinator at the local science museum, Ah really improved in mah Carolinian speaking, because mah coworkers were such wonderful models of the local dialect.  It was what Ah'd call "Southern Accent Light," with a hint of twang, not an entire bottle.  Perfect.

Now after over 20 years of living in Utah, Ah don't speak in Carolinian, but Ah still think in Carolinian and Ah type in Carolinian.  Really Ah do.  This is more pronounced when Ah am tired or stressed as Ah have been this week and have caught myself typing "a" instead of "I".  Repeatedly.  This habit doesn't go over very well in business emails, especially those going to the northeastern US.

Maybe Ah continue to think in Carolinian because, as a child, Ah read many stories about living in the South, or Ah watched too much Andy Griffith, but it could be from mah Carolina days.  Ah miss living there.  The pace was slower.  The seasons were so beautiful.  Ah went to a lot of pig pickin's.  Some well meaning nice ladies introduced me to pickled okra, which served to prove even Ah have mah limits.  Ah always saw someone Ah knew at the grocery store, either Food Lion or Harris Teeter.  And it was fun to go to the grocery store, just to hear the cashier speak while she rang up mah order.

Of course, here in Utah, Ah can go to the store in mah pajamas and no one is the wiser because Ah feel cold a lot of the time, so Ah wear a long coat.  Ah could never do that in Carolina.  Ah did not like all the bugs and snakes in Carolina, well except the cute little corn snakes Ah used to take to the Durham Bulls baseball stadium for museum promotions.  Ah never saw Kevin Costner or Susan Sarandon (from the movie "Bull Durham") there.  Ah took fuzzy bunnies to the games, too, bah the way.

Ah love language and dialects and Ah really am missing Carolina bad bad bad.  Ah want to speak soft and gentle, lovely Carolinian with someone who really can, and Ah think maybe it's time to plan a visit.  Ah have a couple friends who live in South Carolina, but Ah think they're moving to West Virginia before Ah could get there.  But Ah think Ah'll go anyway.

Ah hope ya'll have a good day!

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