And, the penultimate post for The Twelve* Bloggers of Christmas brings us the amazing Kevin from Always Home & Uncool. Aside from being the motivation for my first (and horrifying) vlog, I've always pictured Kevin to be a famous Op Ed columnist who works from home, writing novels for fun on the weekend. Then I met him at BlogHer, confided in him about my phobia of all things Texas, and witnessed what could only be a cackle followed by a hand motion that mimicked a slitting of his throat. That pretty much ruined the fantasy for me.
The pending move to Texas has Kristine a bit more freaked out than usual these days. I'd like to take some credit for that.
Kristine and I are Northeasterners down to our very marrow, which generally clogged with fresh maple syrup in the spring, apple cider donuts in the fall and suspicion of strangers at all times. We live only one county away from each other but we never visit because we have been conditioned from birth to believe that it is a schlep to travel more than 15 minutes on our region's congested, narrow roads for anything other than a paycheck or sex. (If you exceed this commute time because you earn your paycheck through sex, you give special meaning to "going around the world.")
When the two of us finally met in August, after she swept my legs out as I walked past her lair under a breakfast buffet table at BlogHer '10, she confessed her fears about her likely relocation to The Lone Star State and sought solace from me.
"I hear you survived … Texas," she said sotto voce.
"Yep," I replied veal scaloppini. "Six years, three months and 13 days of it before my sentence was commuted."
She uttered not a sound, but her lips formed what I thought were the words "help me" (what she really mouthed was "Hoda Kotb" but that's another story) so I tried to oblige with as much helpful information and advice as I could before she went screaming from the room:
Texas is part of the West, not part of the South. You know this by the type and brand of shotgun they prefer.
Contrary to popular belief, Texas does have four seasons: The Green Season (the two weeks between spring tornadoes and hailstorms around mid-April), the Brown Season (the other 50 weeks), Hunting Season and Football Season.
The most popular Dallas-area health club is what most people would refer to as the plastic surgeon's office.
No matter what they say, it is most definitely NOT pizza.
Stores are least crowded on Sundays during football season because everyone is home or at a bar watching the Cowboys game. However, customer service is at its worst at this same time because all the workers are busy listening to the Cowboys game being broadcast over the in-store PA system.
Screw your Ivy League degree! You are an Aggie or a Longhorn or you might as well be cleaning out the grease traps at the Whataburger.
Dye your hair blonde or risk being mistaken for the wait staff.
If you live in a "wet" county, you can purchase Shiner Bock beer in every supermarket. If you live in a "dry" country, you can still buy Miller Lite because, most likely, the water supply is rancid.
Women always enter and exit elevators first. This is not a courtesy. It is so the men folk can evaluate your hips for birthing.
Remember the Alamo! (It's right across the street from the Ripley's Believe It or Not exhibit and the Wax Museum.)
Pretty much everything in the state has the word "Texas" attached to it as a modifier. Even the French toast.
You may eventually enjoy it, buy you will never get used to the experience of Christmas shopping while you wander the mall in shorts and flip-flops.
If you have kids and you do not have a wooden sign in your front yard proclaiming your son's football team or your daughter's status as cheerleader for a football team, you have failed as a parent.
No matter what they say, it is most definitely NOT Chinese food.
You wear a cowboy hat for only three reasons: a) you work on a ranch, b) you ride in the rodeo or c) you want to try to pick up some strange in a bar by making others think you work on a ranch or ride in the rodeo.
When he's not alienating the massive Lone-Star State (along with me, it would seem), Kevin can be found at:
And The Twitter (@homeanduncool)
*I've completely lost count. Whose blog is this again?