Trying to Cozy Up to Texas
I can't say it's because the image of Texas is often rural and conservative. Even though I don't want to live there, I have a deep fondness for rural Kentucky (which often shows up in my writing.) Kentucky people can be conservative, narrow hicks whose idea of a really good time is The Golden Corral (and that's just some of my relatives) but I still have this deep sympathy with the people and the landscape.
Driving across Texas with the Blue Bonnets out--Texas kicks ass when it comes to wild flowers. The mix of European, Central American and Asian influence? Coolest thing ever. I mean, I had Texas kolaches for breakfast and Bob will possibly have Vietnamese for lunch. Texas is just layered with societies and cultures. It's history is supremely weirder than the Alamo. In fact, the Alamo is pretty damn strange. And that's so cool.
But driving through towns where the largest cultural gathering is the Friday night high school football game just makes me feel 13 and misunderstood all over again. I keep telling myself that Texas is not the stereotype, and it isn't. But a lot of the stereotype exists because those behaviors are here. And sometimes they're large. We pass a billboard telling you where you can get a vasectomy reversal and I shudder. I associate Texas with swagger. With a peculiar arrogance. I want really badly to get beyond that and I think I might be starting to. But then I see some piece of furniture with a Lone Star on it and I realize I'm still wincing.