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I just wanted to share a great compliment that I got while in San Francisco. I was in the elevator in my hotel and an older couple got on with me and we just chit-chatted as the elevator about the weather and whatever other small talk came up. As usual, I was myself and just used the manners that I was bought up with. After some "Yes ma'am" and "Yes sir" as they got off at their floor, I held the door for them as they got off of the elevator and wished them a good evening. As the door was closing I overheard them say something that was the best compliment that I have heard in ages. They said "He must be from the South".
After spending the last few years of my life with a woman who made me feel ashamed of my heritage and try to tell me that Southerners are all racists and stupid and worthless in every way, I felt proud to know that people don't associate the South with those things at all. Only ignorant people still think those stereotypes are true. It occurred to me that many people still recognize southerners for their hospitality, manners, and honesty.
It made me feel good. I am Southern and proud and will stay that way until I die.