For the most part, I am proud to be from the South, and specifically from North Carolina. Don't get me wrong, I am well spoken and fairly intelligent, and I am slightly proud of myself when I have to correct someone who thinks I'm "not from around here". But the older I get, the more I think that North Carolinians are a misunderstood breed, because most of the ones I know are good, solid people.
However, I do not follow those customary "rules" of the South. Or specifically, the Southern Baptists. I lived with my husband for years before we got married, a fact that is still secret to his very internet-unsavvy grandparents and certain other family. I wear white whenever I want (which really is never because, honestly, it's not the most flattering color I can imagine anywhere near my bottom half). I breastfeed IN PUBLIC and make my own baby food. I shop at the Farmer's Market and use reusable grocery bags. OK. In our defense, there is a misconception among the Yankee hippie population that think they started all this "local, slow food" stuff. My roots are deeply planted in the South, and I know that there are a lot more farmers in the South and Midwest than the big cities out there, and we've always gotten our food as fresh as we could. I spent lots of time as a kid at pick-your-own farms with my grandmother. We just also like a Big Mac now and then. (Also, how many southern grandmas do you know that don't recycle their grocery bags? Haven't you ever seen one of them wind-sock looking things homemade out of some leftover quilt material and drawstring that Mema always shoved all her plastic Wal-Mart bags into so that whenever she gave you leftovers, she could pull one out to tie them all up in?)
I digress...my point is, there are two traditions I do follow. I visit family on Sundays, and every year, I buy a new Easter dress. Even years like this one, when we're trying hard to scrimp and save, my husband, son, and I went shopping a few weeks ago and I spent way more than I had planned on a cute new dress for Easter. It's silk and brightly colored and has a little yellow bolero jacket to wear with it. And when I tried it on and looked in the mirror, I felt good! I did not feel like I looked like the size it said in the tag. For the first time in a long time, I felt like I could tell I weigh almost ten pounds less than I did when I got pregnant almost 17 months ago. I believed my husband's grin as I left the dressing room and walked towards him.
It's been hanging in my closet ever since. Taunting me. Wanting me to wear it to work. But I won't. Because the other tradition I follow is that when you buy a new Easter dress, it must make it's debut on Easter!