“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


It's True What They Say About Texas

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Geek and I recently spent a few days visiting friends in Texas – the first time I'd ever been there.  We found out that the old saying is true: everything really is bigger in Texas.  We went grocery shopping one day and the shopping carts came almost to my shoulders.  I tried to buy a small box of cereal since we were only there a few days, but there was nothing smaller than what we here in the north call "family size".  So I bought a gigantour box and hoped that our hosts liked Cheerios.

We visited the Renaissance Festival (supposed to be the biggest one in the country) twice, spent way too much money, and had a ton of fun.

Yes, we have Renaissance costumes.  Remember, we're geeks and proud of it.

We also visited the Johnson Space Center.  Something really cool happened there, but it's a story for another time.  Seriously, cool story.  Hold me to it.

My point is that we went to Texas and that's about the most southern place in the US I've ever been.  I was born in the Midwest, raised in the Midwest, live in the Midwest, and will probably remain in the Midwest until the day I die.  I like it here, mostly.  I like the change of seasons (except when the temps hit negative numbers), I like that our bugs are not the size of salad plates, and I like that we only have to mow our lawns about five months out of the year.

But there are some things about the south that I'm a little jealous of.  Here's an itemized list, 'cause I'm like that.

1) Y'all –  I can't say y'all and get away with it.  I'd sound like a big old goofball if I tried.  But we northerners have no good second person plural pronoun.  We have you, and you.  So when we say "I really like you," no one knows if we're talking about one person or the entire room.  Y'all solves that.  I wish I could say y'all. (sigh)

2) Southern food – There is really no such thing as northern food.  Sure we have things like Swedish meatballs, lefse, and lutefisk, but they're really Swedish and Norwegian, not northern.  In the south though, you have cornbread, grits, pecan pie, and so much more.  Yeah, we can make them here too, but it's not the same.  It's not "ours", if you know what I mean.

3) Authentic Mexican food – We went to a Mexican restaurant in Texas.  I'm not sure if it was really authentic or not, but oh-my-gosh-YUM!  We have a favorite Mexican restaurant here that I thought was pretty darn good food, but it will never compare to what I had down there.

4) Warm weather – What can I say?  Not having to spend 3 months of the year donning 5 layers of clothes on every surface of your body before stepping out the door to let the dog out would be a pleasant change.

5) Southerners can say what they think and still sound nice – A friend of mine who moved to Tennessee several years ago has adopted the phrase "Bless your heart".  My understanding of this phrase is that it can be used in a variety of ways but a lot of the time it's used when someone does something very, very silly.  e.g. Someone walks face-first into a glass door and you say to them, "Bless your heart."  You're sort of making fun of them, but not really, and you still sound sweet.  We have nothing like that.  Anything we say to someone who walks face-first into a glass door is going to sound snarky.

6)  In Texas specifically – No income tax.  And that's all I have to say about that.

All in all we had a fantastic time.  I can see why those of you who live in Texas love your state so much.  It's a lovely place and I'm glad I finally got a chance to see it.



At 8/29/2013 7:23 PM, Blogger Jan/ wrote:

Bless your heart is a way so softening anything critical we might say about someone else. you, "She can't help being ugly, but she could just stay home--bless her heart."
;) And you can totally adopt y'all. It's such a handy term. Use it all you want. The more you say it, the more natural it will sound.


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