You’ve probably heard of the theory of six degrees of separation. It’s this idea that everybody and everything is connected by six degrees or less. There even used to be a social media site around this back in the late 90s, early 2000s (it’s where I met my husband, actually).
In the south, it’s a lot more like three degrees of separation. If you’ve ever met a Southerner, chances are if the conversation lasts long enough, they’ll ask who your people are. Some of this is a holdover from our Scots-Irish ancestry (they are other cultures who will take forty-five minutes and a pint to sort out how you’re connected). Some of it is that the South is just one big small town. Mississippi, in particular, is VERY much the poster child for this kind of thing. But it happens on the internet, too.
I just recently read Jamie Farrell’s Southern Fried Blues. Sidebar: It is fabulous and funny and she’s going on my auto-buy list. Double squee cannon salute! Anyway, because I loved it, I totally fangirl stalked Jamie and struck up a conversation on Facebook to tell her how much I was enjoying it (because I’m on a kick of actually acting to share compliments when I think them because I figure people need to know these things). So we’ve been talking some as I popped up for play by play laughter while I read. She spent a decade in Georgia as a military wife, and it came out in our conversation last night that her neighbor there went to Ole Miss. As this is my alma mater, I automatically asked, Oh yeah, do you know what year? ’99-’00. This is smack dab in the middle of when I was there. She mentions her neighbor was in a sorority. Well, I was in that sorority! So I ask her name and go look her up on Facebook (because my brain is a mite fuzzy on just names these days). Turns out her neighbor was totally one of my sorority sisters.
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The South is a very very small world.