After a long hiatus, a shocking discovery!

I’ve been distracted by travel… first I went to the Arendt Circle in Louisvlle, Kentucky, then to Pennsylvania where I selected a site for my wedding! I volunteered to become the Arendt Circle’s webmaster, which means my online time will be further divided between setting up a website for them, my time on metafilter, and this site. On the plus side, I’ve really been wanting to dig further into CSS and other programming: as my devoted readers (hi Mom!) know, all of my playing with wordpress themes can sometimes be a bit grating on the eyes.

In any case, I had a really instructive experience today: while waiting in line at Starbucks, I watched an expensively dressed Southern Gentleman heckle a cashier with these words: “You must be one of those yankee carpetbaggers I’ve been hearing about, come down here to take our money!” The cashier and I were shocked; this was right across the street from Vanderbilt, which is a nationally ranked university and draws plenty of Northerners. I was paralyzed for a moment, and then realized that the cashier could hardly respond, so I stepped forward to inteject: “That was rude!” The Southern Gentleman chuckled and winked at me, then walked away.

I’ve lived in Nashville on and off for years now, and I’ve encountered nothing but politeness. Yet the assured, playful manner in which this elegant aristocrat demonstrated his xenophobia has me wondering whether I’m really welcome here. Perhaps the encounter was tinged a bit with the sense that his provincialism was actually disguised racism: the cashier was black. Frankly, I don’t know what to make of it, except that I wish I could have titled this entry, “Dear Reader, I slugged him.” Any thoughts?






One response to “After a long hiatus, a shocking discovery!”

  1. Toni Avatar

    That's funny. I've been living in Nashville for two years and haven't experienced much other than rudeness…from strangers that is…my colleagues at the law school are quite sweet, whatever their regional origin.

    Actually…it's not that they're ruder than New Yorkers…they're just more hypocritcal about it as the story of your winking aristocrat demonstrates…

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