Then I moved here. And I now I totally understand.
Don't get me wrong, I don't own any sequined Texas flag vests, or even any sparkly rhinestone jewelry shaped like the state. I don't wear a cowboy hat or big teased-up hair. Yes, there are plenty of people here who do, but thankfully I am not one of them. (When we moved here, my brother-in-law's parting words to me were, "Good luck in Texas...Don't let your hair get too big.")
But there is something contagious about the pride of Texans. And it has started rubbing off on me. I started listening to country music. I don't like all of it, but I like some of it. And the funny thing is, I've hated it all of my life until recently. I own some cowboy boots. They are very uncomfortable, but I have been known to break them out for a night on the town. Well, once anyway. I don't get out on the town that much.
About a year ago, Greg and I took the kids to the rodeo, thinking it would be something we might enjoy making fun of. I'm not exaggerating when I say it was the MOST fun thing EVER, and that we try to drag every one of our out of town guests there to prove it to them.
I'm starting to wonder if there is some brainwashing involved. Like maybe down in Austin there is a secret government headquarters producing propaganda to convince us that Texas is great. Otherwise, everyone might move away in July and August when it feels like we live two doors down from hell.
I know the kids here are brainwashed; public schoolchildren pledge allegiance to the Texas flag, for instance. I'm not making this up. They really do.
Also, they get an entire day off of school in order to attend the Texas State Fair. Every school district in our metro area has a certain day that they are out of school to go to a fair. And each student gets a free ticket. Now the Fair is a big deal, in case you didn't know. People around here don't ask if you are going to the fair, they ask what day. The first year that I lived here, I didn't go to the fair. It didn't seem like that big of a deal to me. When I said that to people, they looked at me as if I was insane.
But this year? We wouldn't miss the Fair. And the kids keep asking me when they can go back to the rodeo. Oh, and when we do, I'll probably wear my boots. Yee-ha.
But if at any time you see me flying the Texas state flag off the back of my minivan, or if I one day announce that I have purchased a large Lone Star State belt buckle, or even if you feel that my hair has gotten taller than the nationally accepted level, please, please stage an intervention. At the Rodeo, hair still normal size. Notice all the cowboy hats in the background.