Moving to Texas has been, well, an experience. I’ve been here about a year now, and I’ve caught myself uttering many, many things that I never imagined I’d ever say.
“Wow, it’s cooled down a lot. It’s only 102.”
Texas is hot. And don’t give me the “It’s a DRY heat” crap. That’s maybe true in some parts of Texas, but over near the Gulf, not so much. I’ve given up wearing makeup during the summer because it melts during the WALK TO THE CAR. I’m not even kidding. When you turn your faucet tap to cold, what you get is “Slightly less hot.” turning on the hose outside can result in serious scald burns. I used to hate seeing people let their infants out in nothing but a diaper. My son now regularly plays in the front without clothing, sometimes even naked. And if I could get away with it without someone calling the homeowners association or Greenpeace on me, I would too.
“No, you can’t play at the park until the cow goes home.”
I’m so not even kidding. I don’t need that trip to the ER where I have to explain how my kid got trampled by a random cow coming off the slide.
“Texas isn’t so bad.”
I was born in Connecticut. I grew up in Hawaii and I’ve lived in Florida, but I’m a New-Englander at heart. A damn liberal Yankee. Before I moved here, I was told that I’d “never survive” and that I’d basically be drummed out of the state for my liberal hippie views. By “friends” no less.
But you know what? People are like, NICE here. My neighbors are awesome. Even the conservative ones. We moved in and people brought us “welcome to the neighborhood” cake. And when we all got the 24 hour flu-of-death, diapers and Gatorade were delivered to our door. Every weekend, if we need some social interaction with other adults, we just go outside. Neighbors congregate in driveways. With beer. Like King of The Hill. We are invited to dinner, and block parties every weekend. All of the kids roam the streets together and all of the parents look out for them.
Over the holidays, several different neighbors helped us decorate the house with blue and white lights for Hanukkah. No one cares that we are Jewish and Pagan. No one judges us for having different beliefs and political views.
Maybe I just got supremely lucky with our neighborhood, but even at stores, people are generally courteous and kind. Several times people have shooed me to the front of a line because my son was obviously OVER shopping and about to meltdown. Men in Cowboy boots hold open doors and usher me in with the wave of a hat.
It’s weird. Like living in a TV show.
“How old does my kid have to be to take a gun safety class?”
We used to be a gun free family. No guns. No toy guns.
Then we moved to a state whose motto seems to be “Welcome to Texas, here, have a free gun.”
It’s not just a stereotype. I swear, EVERYONE here has a gun.
(Hmmn. Maybe that explains why people are so considerate. When you know everyone is packing, it’s best not to piss them off?)
And living in a neighborhood where my 8 year old is often spending the night elsewhere, it seems prudent to teach her about gun safety. Or shoot a watermelon in front of her and remind her that could be her head. Whatever.
We are still a gun free house, but it doesn’t matter. The boys have taught Kira to make scarily accurate sub-machine gun replicas out of Trios. Or bread. And my son chases me around while aiming toilet paper rolls at me and yelling “PewPewPew!”
Some other favorites include:
“Stop licking the armadillo.”
“Did you guys see Kiss at the Rodeo?”
“What is your kid wearing for “Texas Day'”?
“I have horse shit on my shoe. Again.”
“Did you hear about the fire at Possum Kingdom Lake?”