Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Northeasterner's Guide to Texas

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.

Thanks, Kevin.

*****

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?


33 comments:

  1. I think shorts and flip flops would be appealing to see around Christmas myself. If you see them in this neck of the woods around Christmas you know the person wearing them isn't quite right.

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  2. As a Northerner, I love living in Texas. The Army has brought us to many different places and Texas is by far my favorite.

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  3. I live in FL so shorts and Flip-flops are normal wear here

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  4. You have to read this post with your eyes closed while you sniff your own farts out of a champagne glass.

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  5. I think I'd rather live in Texas than Idaho...

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  6. I agree with everything he said.. as a Northerner from NH who has lived in Texas for 4 years, its all true. Youll never get used to the lack of seasons, the no snow on Christmas (although this isnt ALWAYS guaranteed in the north)or the crazy loyalty Texans have to their football teams. Unfortunately, Texas has yet to grow on me but I am surviving it only for my Husband! LOL

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  7. Hilarious as always, Kevin! But is 'everything' big down yonder??

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  8. Yummmm, veal scallopini! You will find it common in TX that the Chinese(?)fried rice contains copious amounts of Spam and that the bugs are bigger than dinner plates, (ok, that was a slight exaggeration) but you will get used to that. As a native North-easterner, I also NEVER tired of answering the question, "Wheer yooooou from?". Have fun, Kristine!!

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  9. I think i could survive in texas... no problem actually. I'm from Alberta Canada. Instead of Brown season we have a white season. Instead of football we have hockey. But everything else is pretty much the same minus the schools thing. Up here its which oil company you work for that matters.

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  10. My favorite part: elevator-based hip evaluation. Genius.

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  11. Is is ever pizza anywhere past NY?

    And now I never have to go to Texas.

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  12. Texas is the place for me, as long as it's Austin.

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  13. there is not pizza anywhere outside of new york, unless a new yorker relocated and opened a pizzaria.

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  14. I will say this about Texas: I agree with The Holmes. I, unfortunately, lived in Plano.

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  15. I'm a Minnesotan who has been living in Texas for over 11 years now...it's not so bad. You'll get used to hearing all the rednecks shooting their guns in the air at night.

    I'm not even kidding.

    Can't wait for you to get here, lady! We are sooooo hanging out in person. Whether you want to or not. It. Is. Happening.

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  16. I must say, y'all, this Texas talk makes me homesick. I was born and raised in Phoenix, but I call Austin home since 1984. There's no place like it. If you're anywhere near there (where they ride 'em hard and put 'em up wet), you'll learn to love it in a hurry. In fact, I'm fixin' to move back next week. Yeehaw!

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  17. But, but, but, but, wait! It'll be just like you never left home. Once you get the hang of speaking Texan, idjits will guess you're from the South. Fahgettabout what Kevin said about TX being in the West. It's Texas. It belongs nowhere. You'll soon be basking in the glow of the same type of disenfranchisement you're coping with now. New England doesn't recognize you and New York wishes you would just stay away. Whee! It's gonna be awesome.

    Are you moving to Austin. Because, WIN! (Plano really does suck. I spent a year there one weekend.)

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  18. Funny stuff! Being a native New Yorker born in Binghamton and grew up on Long Island in Stony Brook I have lived in Dallas area most of my adult life. I can honestly say I don't miss the cold winters and would take the summer heat over cold any day. As far as pizza there is no comparison to the greatness of the NY dripping with grease pizza. The funniest part of this post is the amazing accuracies of your description of wooden yard signs n yards, the importance of football in schools and the vacant malls on Sunday. You can also add the word y'all in the vocabulary. Frequently get back to the great NY state to visit relatives or attend reunions and of course get my fix of seafood and NY pizza. Enjoy the blog!

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  19. And don't forget to stop on by Frenchy's Beauty Parlor to git yer 3 inch acrylic nails. You gunna need 'um to reach your scalp once ya git yer hair dun.

    - Mom of 2 (From AHAU)

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  20. I've lived in Texas my entire life and I want out. I hate football and the stuck up Aggies and Longhorn crowds. Their life seriously revolves around football, it's pretty sad. I'm a Democrat for Christ sake and I'm opposed to hunting. I've should of been born a Northeasterner, although I don't think I could survive in the snow. I was there in the blizzard of 2010, not fun.

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  21. Flip-flops and shorts at Christmas are fine. As long as you're in California. I'm trying to think of something nice to say about Texas for the sake of Kristine's nerves. Umm....oh yeah, Austin!

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  22. Before you depart, look up Sid Vicious's opinion of said cowboys.

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  23. Love this post... went to visit my step-son & DIL in Texas for Christmas two years ago and was SO out of place. Also went to San Antonio for the NCAA Women's Basketball final four and went to The Alamo. Laughed because YES, it is right across the street from Ripley's - went there, too.
    Texas is a WHOLE other planet!

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  24. I took my daughter down to Dallas to see the Redskins get stomped for her birthday. We had fried pickles at Aspen Creek. West or South, begin practicing - 'yall' and you will fit right in. You will be doing it before you leave. Texas may be the greatest state in the union.

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  25. Born in Buffalo, living in Austin and man, momma misses some pizza!

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  26. @MindyAnn What are you talking about? We, in DFW, had snow on Christmas last year!

    I'm so sorry so few of my fellow Yankees found anything to like. I grew up in NY and love my little part of Texas. I also love the excellent job market and the beautiful little house we can so easily afford.

    I even found (one) good Chinese.
    Pizza's a different story though, I admit it.

    I wonder if you're not looking for the enjoyable differences, and just clinging to a familiar past?

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  27. I'm from Texas, but have traveled lots of places. I always enjoy the differences. Just because the pizza or Chinese food isn't exactly the same as back home, it doesn't mean it doesn't taste good.

    Enjoy the fact that you get either bread or chips and hot sauce before every meal in every restaurant.

    You will find lots of diversity in the bigger cities (Dallas, Houston, somewhat in San Antonio). Austin is like someone put a little piece of California right in the middle of Texas.

    Have fun, and bring your shorts!

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  28. @MindyAnn What are you talking about? We, in DFW, had snow on Christmas last year!

    I'm so sorry so few of my fellow Yankees found anything to like. I grew up in NY and love my little part of Texas. I also love the excellent job market and the beautiful little house we can so easily afford.

    I even found (one) good Chinese.
    Pizza's a different story though, I admit it.

    I wonder if you're not looking for the enjoyable differences, and just clinging to a familiar past?

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  29. Born in Buffalo, living in Austin and man, momma misses some pizza!

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  30. I took my daughter down to Dallas to see the Redskins get stomped for her birthday. We had fried pickles at Aspen Creek. West or South, begin practicing - 'yall' and you will fit right in. You will be doing it before you leave. Texas may be the greatest state in the union.

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  31. Funny stuff! Being a native New Yorker born in Binghamton and grew up on Long Island in Stony Brook I have lived in Dallas area most of my adult life. I can honestly say I don't miss the cold winters and would take the summer heat over cold any day. As far as pizza there is no comparison to the greatness of the NY dripping with grease pizza. The funniest part of this post is the amazing accuracies of your description of wooden yard signs n yards, the importance of football in schools and the vacant malls on Sunday. You can also add the word y'all in the vocabulary. Frequently get back to the great NY state to visit relatives or attend reunions and of course get my fix of seafood and NY pizza. Enjoy the blog!

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  32. Hilarious as always, Kevin! But is 'everything' big down yonder??

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