So I am sitting here almost one year into my tenure in The Lonestar State and I thought I would share what I have learned about Texans and the great state of Texas (spoiler, I will cram those two words into as many sentences about Texas from a non-Texans point of view as is humanly possible and since everything is “bigger in Texas” that really should not be a problem).
Now that all of that is out of the way, what exactly have I learned:
First, apparently the Central time zone only includes Texas, leading to it being referred to locally as the Texas Time zone. Now I understand that Texas spans two times zones (though only a very small part actually exists outside of the central time zone) and that you can drive for 12 hours and still be in Texas. It is a large state. But calling it the Texas Time zone completely disrespects all of the other states, countries, and people that live within it.
This leads to point number two. Texans are incredibly state centered. Anything and everything is all and only about Texas. As you may have seen in other posts, I have been told that both DQ and Noodles and company both began in Texas and people are surprised when I tell them that these restaurants exist beyond the borders of their lovely state. Believe it or not there is life outside of Texas.
Next, the old school belief that Everything is Bigger in Texas. This one I may have to lend something to. I am currently on the second largest continual campus in the US where every year there is a competition for who can have the biggest jumbo-tron and most high school football stadiums would put several university ones to shame.
There are, however, times when that is either not true or merely impractical. For this I lead you to the idea of the Texas Edition Truck. This is a truck with a small Texas shaped patch in the back that says Texas Edition. Yet people want it because so many of the Pick-ups sold in the US are sold in Texas. So naturally things are larger. I have never seen larger highway lanes or parking spots than I have in Texas nor have I seen a portion of the population less capable of handling such large vehicles than I have in my time in Texas.
Now since we are talking about trucks, let’s talk about the idea of a “panty-dropper” as I have heard some women say. Beyond the fact that you find a large truck driven by a guy who has no respect for the environment or his fellow drivers (I understand that there are several men who have these large vehicles for a practical purpose, but the majority of those here in Texas that I am referring to do not) you are disrespecting yourself and women as a whole with this terminology.
Ok, back from my rant. Let’s talk about some more touchy topics. I have learned that homophobia is incredibly strong amongst Texans as is Racism. As a disclaimer to some incredible friends I have met who are Texans, not everyone is this way, but you can certainly tell that the culture here is strongly favoring that direction. It is very strong and from someone who works with a predominantly black community, very uncomfortable at times.
Now the answer I inevitably get to that is it is because I am living in West Texas. That probably plays a large part in that. I have no doubt. But I also attend and work for a university where large portions of the student body are from the eastern portion of the state. Again, there are more complications than that, but it isn’t helping the case for my opinion of Texas at the moment.
One final note in my opposition of Texas, you can never call yourself a Texan unless you were born here. Don’t even try. I work with a gentleman who has lived here since he was two and is now, well, not. He did all of his education in Texas and has always worked in Texas, but he is not allowed to call himself Texan.
I do appreciate certain things about Texas. I appreciate the folks I work with, I appreciate the kindness I have been shown both by my office and by those around me, and I appreciate the sunsets, but on the whole, Texas shall serve me as a learning opportunity on areas I would prefer not to live again.