Tired one night, I traipsed in to the local supermarket to purchase some things for a quick dinner. Spying the Starbucks, I found myself inexplicably drawn to purchase a chai on my way out.
As I approached the counter, a lady in Starbucks attire and a bad 80's perm moved to the register. I noticed two teens standing a bit behind her, also in uniform, as well as two additional young people standing off to my left, obviously market employees and even-more apparent, obviously acquaintances of the Starbucks employees to some extent.
"Well, hi," began the lady with more roots than an aspen grove in the thickest southern accent I have ever heard, "how ya'll doin' tonight?"
I stopped digging in my wallet long enough to glance around. Nope. Just me. I began searching for my debit card again. "I'm fabulous, thank you."
Being from the south, I realize that certain words I say do sound very Texan, such as 'thank you' and 'my'. And like fine wine and good cheese, the Southern Drawl tends to grow more prevalent as it ages. So I'm sure at this point in our conversation, it became evident that I may just hale from south of the Mason-Dixon line.
"What can I get ya'll?" She didn't back off the twang.
I took another quick look about me. "There's only one of me, hon, and if you keep saying "ya'll", I'm going to become self-conscious about my weight." I smiled up at her to find a very irritated fake Southerner from the 80's glaring back at me while brandishing a plastic cup, pen poised at the ready. "Um, I'll have a venti non-fat, extra hot chai, please."
The teens behind her moved off to join their friends at the end of the counter. I distinctly heard the sound of snickering.
"Alright. Will that be it for ya'll?" She drawled intentionally.
This is one of my greatest pet peeves. While I understand the enticement of the Southern drawl and mannerisms, I do not tolerate the fake accent. This really pisses me off. I directly met her gaze.
"Where are you from?" I asked, not even trying to sound polite. That point had passed a good three "ya'lls" ago. I'm pretty sure she had no doubt now about another southern trait I'm in possession of: attitude.
"Georgia." She laid it in on thick at this point. I felt my eyebrow draw dangerously close to my hairline. I think my nostrils flared. My expression must have relayed my challenge, because she quickly added: "Well, I'm actually from here, but I've spent the last 15 years in Georgia."
Okay, this wasn't some young'un that had grown up in our dear sweet peach pit and had adopted the accent as speech developed; this was a grown-ass woman, some years older than me that was trying to impress all the Coloradans who love some good ol' Southern hospitality.
I couldn't seem to help myself any longer. "You do know then, that a true Southerner would never call one person 'ya'll'. One person in the south is 'hon'. That's spelled H-O-N, by the way. Only when you have two or more people does the term become 'ya'll'."
I did manage to regain my self control before adding that it was pronounced either "yaw" or "yawl".
She held out my cup and I smiled, brandishing all of my teeth, as I took it from her. I briefly glanced at the kids that had witnessed this exchange then back at her before saying, "Ya'll have a good night, now, ya' hear?"