One of the awkward things about growing up in Whitman County is that it's really white. (86.5%, according to the US Census. ) In fact, it wasn't until 2000 that they decided to change the name of a prominent local landmark to "Negro Creek Falls." (Yes, the previous name was what you think it was.)
Consequently, there's a lot of times when I feel as though the word "redneck" is permanently tattooed on my forehead. I try to not act like one, but the baggage is always there.
Living in such a cosmopolitan area as San Francisco, I'm acutely aware of the differences between my upbringing and many other people's. And sometimes they're really funny. But I'm always afraid to laugh at them for fear of drawing attention to my own "redneckedness."
For example, a lot of the nurses I work with are originally from the Philippines. Most of them were educated there and then moved to the US, although many of the younger ones moved here as children with their families. The other day, as I was on my break at work, I overheard the following conversation (names have been changed to protect the innocent) between two of the Filipina nurses:
"Is Steven [one of the yonger male nurses on night shift] Mexican?"
"No, he's Filipino."
"Wow, he's really good looking for a Filipino man--are you sure he's not Mexican?"