Story the first: The County Courthouse
The weirdness started the day we got married, when the cashier at the County Courthouse handed me a packet and said, "Here's everything you need to change your name."
"I'm not planning to change my name," I said.
"You do know you can't file joint income tax unless you have the same name, and it will cost you a lot more, don't you?" [Note: this is not a correct statement; I called the IRS to check.]
Cue foreboding music for the next two stories.
( Story the second: the dentistCollapse )
( Story the third: the glassesCollapse )
And that, my friends, is when I realized I was living in The South.
ETA: Argh. Okay, at the risk of creating more controversy: I'm going to apologize for that last sentence. It clearly comes across as a lot more derogatory in text than it sounded in my head, and I am sorry. The way it sounded in my head was closer to "And that's when I realized that the culture of the American South had some significant differences from the American Southwest, where I grew up." And a big part of that difference seems to be the emphasis on "who are your people".