GRITS and GRINS

in Contributors/Lee Scott/Voices by

By Lee Scott

The Island News recently featured a story about the Beaufort History Museum’s tea party celebrating strong Lowcountry women – G.R.I.T.S. (Girls Raised in the South) who changed history. After reading the article, I realized that I am not a member of the G.R.I.T.S. Instead I am a member of the G.R.I.N.S. – Girls Raised in the Northern States; and there are distinct differences in the two groups.

First, G.R.I.T.S. tend to be much softer than we G.R.I.N.S. Maybe the difference is the rural nature of the south versus the populated cities of the north. When you are here in the Lowcountry, with the sounds of birds and frogs around you and it just not necessary to be loud and boisterous. However, when you are in the north, surrounded by the noise of trains, planes and automobiles, well you just have to talk louder.

There is also the difference in the weather which impacts our cosmetics and clothing. G.R.I.N.S. tend to wear more make up because it helps to protect our skin from the cold. G.R.I.T.S. prefer less makeup because of the heat and humidity. (Although lipstick is a staple in any self- respecting G.R.I.T.S. handbag.) As for the clothes, northern girls tend to have large collections of coats and boots. Southern girls own numerous sweaters and multiple pairs of sandals. We G.R.I.N.S. have lots of wool hats whereas the G.R.I.T.S. collect sunhats.

But there are similarities in the two groups. We are all like mother lions protecting our cubs when someone is attacking our family or friends. G.R.I.N.S. will go out in the snow and shovel a walk or slosh through the rain to help a neighbor. While G.R.I.T.S. have been known to pull on a pair of waders and trudge through the marsh to pull out the family dog from the mud. G.R.I.T.S. can get down and dirty as the well as any of the G.R.I.N.S.

Whether born in the north or the south, we are all daughters of the Revolution, of the Union and of the Confederacy; we are descended from indentured servants from Europe and slaves from Africa; we are immigrants and new American citizens. And whether we are Iron Maidens or Steel Magnolias, the G.R.I.N.S. and G.R.I.T.S. are still sisters, connected through our love of our God, our family and our country. Now, all I need to do is explain “waders” to my northern friends.