Not too long ago, the lovely Mrs. and myself were doing our weekly grocery shopping when one of those truly Southern things happened. We were loading our things from the grocery cart onto the moving belt when a dear sweet older woman noticed something we had decided to purchase and remarked how good it was. (It was a spiral ham, and she went on and on about how tasty and delicious it was.) We agreed, as we had purchased this brand of ham before and were looking forward to having it again.
At this point the queue moved forward and we finished placing groceries onto the belt. Now, you'd think that this is where things would let off. No, not in the South. You see, in the south, there is some sort of unrecognized rule which says that once you've begun a conversation with someone - anyone - that you are now the closest of friends. AND in so being, are now designated to receive all those interesting things that close friends share with one another...the uninteresting things, too.
So, at this point the dear sweet old lady began to tell us about her dearly departed husband John, and his love of ham, and how he cooked it himself, in the oven in their little house which they bought when they got married some many decades ago and how he worked on the recipe time and time again and served it at every gathering and church service and did we go to the same church, she went to the little garden church just down the road where they two of them got married some untold decades ago when that nice pastor oh what was his name again I think it was Bob no maybe David oh my memory is just gone to pot ever since I started smoking pot with my husband in the 70s and have you tried the glaze they give you in that package of ham it's really pretty good and... At this point my wife and I can only stare with wide eyes and steal glances at the cashier in hopes that this entire thing is almost over. No such luck.
Later, my curiosity got the better of me and I took the time to ask a few older southerners, (read: neighbor Bubba) what caused this to happen. The response: that's the "Old South for ya." From what my research has found, in years past, people in the south weren't as connected as they are now. And, even so, they knew everyone in their area. Knew and, most likely were related to, too! A chance meeting at the grocery store was more than a quick "hey there!" It was time to catch up, reconnect and exchange more than just 'pleasantries.' Even with the advancing technology, it's nice that Southerners still keep in touch, even if it is with total strangers.