As I was listening to the pundits on CNN discuss South Carolina's "unique" political climate during my 5 minute "commute" home yesterday. It dawned on me, we are unique in many ways, especially in Charleston. Living down here one learns:
- You always look both ways when crossing a one way street, for fear of being run over by a lost tourist going the wrong way,
- There is no point ironing your nice linen shirts or dresses since the humidity is going to cause them to go limp as soon as you walk outside,
- The rusty, ragged, and worn 20 year old station wagons, range rovers, and land cruisers parked on the side streets and in the drives of the well to do houses downtown are the "fishing cars" the families have held on to for years - not what the help drives,
- Charleston is one of the few places everyone wants to achieve SOB status and if that is not possible, at least live as a SNOB,
- A string of pearls go with anything from a tee shirt and shorts to a deb gown,
- Wearing socks is something Charleston men would rather never do ever, and often act on that prerogative,
- An oyster roast is the ultimate social event, one always has a glove and a knife ready for any invitation that may come and anyone would never admit they do not care for oysters for fear of being shunned,
- Almost everyone has a dog that goes everywhere with them,
- Nothing in your home is plumb, the floors are uneven, and at least one bathroom is an odd place,
- Isn't doesn't matter where you live on the peninsula, you still live downtown,
- If you have been around for a while, going two ways on Rutledge south of Calhoun is still scary,
- And, yes, parking is a serious sport and one best pay attention to the signs and meters.
And, my favorite - when while at the city market during one of our famous downpours when the street suddenly becomes an 18 inch deep river, a tourist commented to her companion in disgust, "You would think they could at least fix the drainage." I wanted badly to tell her that (a) they were standing below sea level and (b) that was one of the "unique" things about Charleston and if that was a problem, then they needed to go somewhere else - like Gatlinburg.