Friday, September 24, 2010

Deep in the Heart of Texas

I think Carrie Bradshaw once said you have to live in New York for ten years before you can call yourself a New Yorker.
When I first moved to Texas, a coworker told me that you have to live in Texas for ten years before you can call yourself a Texan. Texas has other sayings, too:
  1. Don't mess with Texas
  2. I wasn't born in Texas, but I got here as fast as I could
  3. If you don't like the weather in Texas, wait 15 minutes
  4. Everything's bigger in Texas
  5. Hot enough for ya?
That last one is what you say to strangers or acquaintances to make small talk about the weather when it's the second week in a row of temperatures above 100 degrees and we're in a drought. It's meant to be funny and lighthearted. Everybody says it, including newscasters during the "friendly banter" portion of the broadcast.

Like New York, Texas has a distinctive identity that sets itself apart from other states, and its residents are filled with a kind of pride that could be mistaken for snobbery. Texans love being Texans. What I find interesting about Texas is that it's a state with a theme, the way New Orleans has Mardi Gras and beignets Las Vegas has gambling and Wayne Newton. Here are some things that make Texas "Texas";
  1. westernwear
  2. livestock
  3. horses
  4. firearms
  5. flamboyance is celebrated and rewarded (i.e. flaunting of disposable income and a confidence to showcase fake boobs, hair extensions, acrylic nails, spray tans)
  6. infusion of hispanic culture
I love living in Texas, but sort of figured I'd always be an Alabama girl at heart. Sort of like Texas is a sorority I'm not invited to pledge.
Today I was struck with the realization that after only four years of Texas residency, my assimilation may be complete and I may officially be Texan--and not just because tequila is my favorite liquor. No turning back now!

On our way home from the pediatrician, I was sitting at a red light and reading a sign that listed all the stores and restaurants in a nearby shopping center. One sign was for an Italian restaurant named "Josephine's", but in my head I pronounced it:
I'm getting Spanglish all up in here!

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