Southern guilt.

Georgia is known for many things. People raised here don’t understand a world without Chick-fil-a. Chick-fil-a embodies some of the best and some of the worst things about southern culture. This photo is tangible evidence of the southern expectation that apologies be attached to something physical, proof that the expression of remorse was meant in earnest. In other words, if an apology was needed, an unspoken debt was likely created. When that debt is repaid, the apology is deemed legitimate. Some might say this perspective is from an older generation and it’s gradually lessening, but I’ve seen the embarrassment on mothers’ faces when they were scolded because their daughters didn’t send thank-you cards for wedding gifts within four weeks of the wedding. Debts take many forms here. Chick-fil-a asked me to park to the side and wait for my nugget meals. I didn’t even wait long enough to finish a one sentence text on my phone before I was greeted with a giant smile, several apologies, the classic and corporate required “my pleasure”, and a mound of sauces. There was no debt, merely the belief of one. Of course, I appreciated having extra sauce because I do love to dip my waffle fries, but it feels a bit sad that we live in a world where it’s not ok to wait a couple of minutes for some food without expecting to be reimbursed for that slight delay.

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