When I was in line to order my vegetarian sausage kolache (also very Austin), I was standing behind a woman wearing a bracelet that said “She’s so Texas” and another bracelet with a charm of the state of Texas on it. I see that type of stuff a whole lot.
I’ve only lived in places with very serious city or regional pride. Pittsburghers bleed black and gold and will seek each other out around the world. Same goes for Chicagoans. A solid one quarter of my friends have that “Midwest is Best” shirt. And, southerners love it down there. (Or, over there, I guess.)
But I’ve never really experienced state pride like this; Texans looooove to be Texan. I mean, there are songs about it. I’ve seen dozens of bumper stickers and t-shirts and accessories about being a Texan.
I guess I’m not the only one a little mystified: Just google “Texan pride” and the first results are articles and listicles and forum questions asking, basically, what the deal with these people is.
In fourth grade we all did “state reports,” which were exactly what they sound like, and I don’t know why I put that term in quotes. But for some reason I chose Texas. I remember being stoked about that choice, but I don’t remember why. Was it the size? Was it the mystery of it? That my parents watched Dallas?
Whatever it was: Perhaps my decision to spend six weeks exhaustively researching the state for my multiple-pronged project (hahaha just kidding, I believe this was, at 10, one of my first all-nighters) was prophetic. Who knew that 25 (!!!!) years later, I’d be just as Texan as the hat I made to wear in our state parade – huge, red and covered in a giant, glittering star.
I’m not there yet, but give me a minute. I just need to find one that will fit over my bouffant.