I’ve always been a Texas girl. But a bit of an anomaly for my small town. When my high school boyfriend brought up us getting married when I graduated (pause for a moment: he suggested this as a when not if, does that mean he technically proposed?) I laughed (I know I was horrible) and told him that college was going to come way before marriage for me. As I grew older and struggled with not having a date, my Mom consistently told me she thought I needed to move up North to find a man who wasn’t looking for a quiet Southern girl as a wife. We won’t get in to how scary it is with the insight she had.
There are times now that I find it hard to associate myself with the state that I love so much. I mean, first I was a Texan Countess all over Texas. And then I was that girl bawling as she crossed the Red River and sobbing along to “God Blessed Texas” somewhere in the middle of Kansas as I drove my way up to North Dakota. I’ve been identifying recently as a misplaced Texan, first in a small German village and now in a large Turkish city. As I’ve traveled the world and found myself embracing a more cosmopolitan view, it’s been harder to see my Texas roots.
But, much like a brunette who’s gone blonde, there are some things you just can’t hide.And when it comes down to it, I find that there’s a lot that I can trace to my raising out in the boondocks of Texas. Want to know how you can tell I’m Texan?
I have an accent. Most of the time it’s faint. Barely noticeable. Not worth mentioning. Until I talk about my home. Or to my Uncle Mike. Then it comes out thicker than swamp muck and sticks to everything just as badly. I also say ya’ll all the time.
I will ma’am and sir you to death. When I first met my MIL, she would constantly correct me with her name every time I uttered a “yes ma’am” her way. Then she started calling me ma’am in an attempt to dissuade me from using it. What I couldn’t get across was how habitual this was. It’d be easier for me to not breathe than to not use sir or ma’am. Luckily she sat next to a Texan on a plane and he ma’am’d her all the way to California. She gets it now. This actually fits in really well with the military lifestyle and just helps me to blend in.
I love hot summer weather. Something that never felt right in Germany was the temperature during the summer. I was astounded that people found any of the weather worthy of wearing shorts during. And then we came here. And everyone’s been warning me about how bad it gets. But so far? I’m loving it. It’s a dry heat here, and there always seem to be a breeze to stir the air at just the right moment. I’ve been out frolicking in weather that has everyone else complaining. I feel normal again.
I know that a well-placed ‘God bless your heart/soul’ means everything. A Southern belle I am not. But this I can do. I will stand up for myself and do it nicely but firmly. And if you push me to it, I’ll use my Texas drawl to make you regret you said what you did.
There are probably more. And of course I could talk about hospitality, family values, and so on, but I feel like a lot of places can claim that. What do you see in yourself that identifies you as to where you are from?