How Southern am I?
Well, for starters, this dress is Lilly Pulitzer.
It’s funny – for the longest time, I’ve detested the title of “Southerner.” I hate sweet tea, country music, and I don’t have the accent (actually, ask some of my friends, and they think I sound vaguely British – but I don’t).
For context, my father is from Philadelphia and my mother is from Chicago, so neither of them are really “Southerners,” and they made no attempt to raise me as one. Even in my elementary school (which I visited recently – check out the blog I wrote about it) , most people were not really Southern into culture, despite the fact that we were in a rural part of Kentucky. I might have had one friend growing up who had the stereotypical accent.
But when I moved to Lexington in seventh grade, everything changed – suddenly, everyone had that “Southern belle” quality about them. All the girls wore Vineyard Vines and carried Lilly Pulitzer planners and got excited about going to University of Kentucky football games in the fall.
Now, I have an appreciation for Southern culture, don’t get me wrong – I love Lilly Pulitzer (in moderation), I think fried chicken is delicious, and I love how the people all smile at you when you pass them on the street. But that was never me, and I think that was mostly because it was never my parents either. They were city people, and even though I’ve never lived in a real city, I think I am too – or at the very least, will be someday.
So it was weird when I came here to Notre Dame and there were actual city people here, actual people who could claim to be from cool places like New York and Chicago and LA. Southerners are actually a minority here – maybe because the snow that South Bend gets scares them off – and I find that I’m actually missing them quite a bit. It’s odd because for so long, I couldn’t wait to get out of the South (for the record, Kentucky’s not even that Southern – it’s not like the Deep South), and now, I want to go back. I still don’t call it “home” – the closest thing to that would be New York, and I’ve never lived there – but I felt myself craving a little Southern charm here in South Bend.
So today, I wore my Lilly Pulitzer dress in honor of being a pseudo-Southerner and kind-of-sort-of-missing it. It’s bright and colorful and feminine, everything a typical Southern belle girl at my high school was. I don’t know if any of the South Bend people were impressed with it (one girl told me I looked like a stylish kindergarten teacher…I think that was a compliment?), but it reminded me of Kentucky and that’s all I needed.
Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you in the next one with more updates on my life at Notre Dame! Don’t forget to check me out on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr! For business inquiries, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Dress: Lilly Pulitzer (thrifted)