Updated June 24, 2016
On June 10, 2015 after a little hesitation, I published the “10 Signs You Grew Up in Charleston” list. Over 2,000 shares, 100 comments and I don’t know how many Facebook mentions later, it became my first “viral” post.
Exactly 7 days after that list brought us so many laughs and stories, tragedy struck: 9 people were killed, 1 of them being a dear friend of my mom, during bible study at Mother Emanuel AME church. Our trip down memory lane came to a devastating stop. Even though Charleston received so much support from people all over the world, the Charleston community became the angels the Holy City needed.
June 10, 2015: Original post
Like a lot of people, I didn’t appreciate my hometown (Charleston, SC) until after I left for college. Besides walking on “The Battery” and splashing in the pineapple fountain, there wasn’t much to do if you weren’t 21. Although I complained back then, it’s hard to imagine what life would be like if I grew up in any other city. “You Know You’re from Charleston if” type lists already exist, but I wanted to write one based on the “Holy City” I’ve grown to love.
10 Signs You Grew Up in Charleston:
You’ve been sent to the corner store for a Chilly Bear.
You actually know what a Chilly Bear is.
You went to the Christmas parade specifically to see the High Steppin’ Burke Bulldogs.
Frooties were a legit party favor.
It’s acceptable to cancel plans, especially Downtown, when it rains longer than 5 minutes.
People from other cities ask if you’re from Jamaica, ya know, because you have an accent.
Your friends from out-of-town ask you to say, “Y’all boy look ya”.
You think Chewies should be on the dessert menu at local restaurants.
Saying “init” is how you agree during a conversation.
Mayor Riley was the mayor for most of, if not all, of your life.
Fast forward to June 2016
One year later, and still in need of more love and unity, I’m adding to the original post! There were some unimpressed readers who felt left out of the loop because they couldn’t relate. One person even took the time to comment to say this list was made for Black people from Charleston. Welp, since I based the list on my personal experience, and I’m Black — she’s right. This list was created because I didn’t relate to most of the other lists.
Hopefully, more folks will recognize the new additions!
10 (more) Signs You Know You Grew Up in Charleston
- You’ve climbed into a stranger’s yard to pick Japanese plums. (Post comment from A. Monroe)
- You eat rice with every vegetable or meal. (Post comment from E. Fleming)
- You either bought Sweetgrass roses from kids on Market Street, hid from the kids selling Sweetgrass roses on Market Street, or you were the kids selling Sweetgrass roses on Market Street.
- Tourists assume you’re a shrimp and grits expert.
People: “Where do you go for good shrimp and grits?”
- …Speaking of grits, you Alway them at any time of the day. (With salt, not sugar)
- The pineapple at Waterfront Park was basically a swimming pool. (It was a better idea when we were kids who didn’t know better.)
- California Dreaming was your dinner spot for prom, birthdays, and any other special occasion.
- You know “Huger” is pronounced HOO-jee.
- You bond with your friends and family over “eating crabs”.
- You know where to stand to watch the Riverdogs’ Friday night fireworks, without having to actually go the games.