I'm technically from the South, though no one from the D, M suburbs of the D or Northern VA would actually say that. Despite Maryland being below the Mason Dixon, we like to consider ourselves “a Mid-Atlantic people".
But Hubs was born in Miami, raised briefly in Jamaica and primarily in Brooklyn . He thinks that anyone not raised in a major NE city is country. The entire state of New Jersey? Country. Everything North of the Bronx? Country. This is a popular sentiment among native New Yorkers. And by this logic, that means I, raised in the suburbs of DC, am country.
I've explained that I grew up 15 minutes from a major city and I am not country. He insists I have a "twang" and I am indeed, country. (He also insists that the one corner of neon lights in DC's Chinatown does make a city "major"). We compromised and decided that he would not call me country, we would say I am from "an open air environment".
I'm lying. I say that's what WE should call it. HE doesn't actually agree to that. But he stops calling me country... for all of a week.
We go to MD to visit my folks. Hubs isn't calling me country, but he's teasing me about there being a cow pasture next to my neighborhood. "You know," he begins. "People who live next door to cow pastures. There's usually a name for those people..."
Admittedly, the proximity of the cows makes my anti-country argument hard, but I staunchly insist, "I am not country."
He says, "ok", but he doesn't mean it. What he means is I'm keeping my mouth shut until I get additional evidence.
That weekend, my mother prepares a dinner. Hubs comments that the vegetables are good. My mom explains that were even better when she had her garden.
Hubs's brows shoot up.
"You had a garden?" he asks
"Yeah," she explains. "It didn't last long. The deer kept eating up all my vegetables!"
I stare her down 'cause this lady is not helping.
Husband: "The... deer?!" He looks at me, then back to my mother.
"Yeah," Mom says. "the deer! They would come around in the backyard and eat everything right up!"
My father chimes in. "They ate up my flowers too!" He is a suburban Black man. He takes his yard very seriously.
Hubs looks at me with glee. I look at my parents with death glares.
Hubs gets up to refill his plate in the kitchen. He stops and stares out the window wide-eyed.
Me: what's wrong?
Him: *giddy* Come! Look!
I go. I look. Bambi and the family are walking around the backyard like they own the place. And like they don't own the land, but like, um, they live there. And um, we see them at least twice a week. Because, um, we kinda share the neighborhood with the deer.
But like, deer in the backyard and a cow pasture doesn't make you country, right? It means you're from the suburbs... right?
Husband looks at the deer. He's fascinated. He's never seen them up close before. And like, they're comfortable. They come right up to the house. Then husband looks at me.
I look at husband.
Husband (in the worst Southern accent ever): "You country".