The first three questions that every Alabamian must answer something to ponder. It is a complete rite of passage that you must answer these three questions. Depending on how you answer these questions could influence your circle of friends. Also, the level of respect you are given. Real talk! Born and raised Alabamians take the answers to these questions seriously.

Question #1: Alabama or Auburn?

The rivalry between the University of Alabama and Auburn University is unmatched. People really want to know where your allegiance lies.

I stepped foot in Alabama in February of 1999. And I'll never forget it. I was in the middle of Best Buy in Birmingham. I was having a conversation with a friend of a friend. Little did I know, this friend of a friend apparently caught some pass to help win a championship for the University of Alabama.

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He asked me directly. Are you for the University of Alabama or Auburn? I felt the pressure. My friend was looking at me with big eyes. So, I quickly did deductive reasoning. I’m in Alabama, so pick Alabama. I said, The University of Alabama, with a smile on my face. He looked at my friend and said Mary could come over to the house anytime.

Question #2: What is your favorite barbecue joint?

People in Alabama hold barbecue in high regard. To some, depending on your answer will determine if you actually have taste or not. And sometimes the wrong answer can cause a huge argument, sometimes get you kicked out of the house. My love for barbecue runs deep. This means I have many favorites, and I can never pick one.

One time I was out with a group of friends, and the debate started on picking the top choice for barbecue. [Here is my go-to answer to the ultimate question that I have used since 1999] I haven’t had enough choices to determine the top barbecue place.

That started a near war, the person who asked turned out to be really good friend. It became his mission to introduce me to as many barbecue restaurants as he could. I think all I ate in the first five years of living in Alabama was BBQ.

Question #3: Where is your favorite beach?

Just know your answer needs to be an Alabama beach. Trust me, you better never ever say anywhere in Florida (even if you are from Florida and you know Alabamians go to Florida beaches all the time). Pick an Alabama beach for the win!

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