Monday, July 15, 2013

Lists I make in the shower

I was surfing through Facebook or Pinterest or something like that the other day and I ran across one of those "You know you are from/is/like..." lists that always seem to be circulating. You know the ones. They talk nostalgically about a decade you may have been born in, a state you hail from, or a fandom you are part of. You know them because you can't help but read them and nod along when they point out some generality that you can agree with.

I really tend to enjoy such lists. I find them silly and sort of pointless, but it is always an entertaining bit of fluff to distract me for a few minutes. I for one know I can use a little distraction during my work days.

The only thing is you read enough of them and you find yourself composing those same sorts of lists in your head. Or at least I find myself composing those sorts of lists in my head. Normally when I am the shower. What? I have to think of something while I am shampooing my hair.

Yesterday as I was waiting for the water to hit an acceptable temperature for my shower I once again began to think up one of these lists. Considering I start this same list in my head every time I have to stand around waiting on the water to get to the right temp, I figured I might as well share it with something so maybe I can think about something else in the shower, like new tiles or something.

So here is my list all about Texas:

-You may be from Texas if during the summer you have to wait to get cold water out of the tap. I mean I like a nice hot shower as much as the next person, but when it is 110 outside and you just got done working in the yard, really the last thing you want is a hot shower. A nice cold shower would be lovely at this point but you will have to wait on that as all the water in your pipes is already hot.

-You may be from Texas if you get confused when someone tells you they never took a state history class when they were in school. It is easy to forget that Texas has so much personal history. Some states may only cover their state history briefly in one year of elementary school or not at all. Whereas I had Texas history every year in elementary school, as a class of its own one year in middle school, and had it offered as an elective history class in high school. I am also pretty sure if I had been a history major I could have chosen that as a focus for my degree. I know the college offered multiple courses on Texas history.

-You may be from Texas if you get more than a little annoyed when someone asks you if you ride a horse to work. Or ask where your cowboy hat and boots are. Or assume chili and bar-b-cue is a staple in your diet. I mean I know how to ride a horse, and how to two step, and other cliche things like that, but I know more people who are Texans and have never been on a horse before. Also I don't even like Bar-b-cue or chili (though I know Texas chili has no beans in it. Ever.)

-You may be from Texas if you have stood on the side of a highway in your Sunday best as a child so your parents could get pictures of you sitting in bluebonnets. You probably have also been attacked by ants during said photo shoot.

-You may be from Texas if you know that the needles off a mesquite tree may very well be the sharpest and hardest material on earth. Those things will puncture a tire and go straight through the sole of good sturdy thick work boots (and right through your foot too).

-You may be from Texas if clear nail polish is part of your standard first aid kit as chigger relief. Nail polish is my chigger relief of choice, but there are others. Whatever you like, if you live in an area prone to the evil little creatures, you keep that cure on hand.

-You may be from Texas if you think nothing of driving 5 or 6 hours to go to another city to do something and the fact that you never leave the state isn't weird at all. Hell you could drive close to 15 to 20 hours in one direction and never leave the state. Totally normal.

-You may be from Texas if between the months of May and September you consider 90 degrees to be a cold front. Anything below 95 is considered mild really when it comes to summer temperatures. I had a friend traveling over seas and she mentioned to her cab driver that it was around 115 back home. He was apparently shocked. When she asked if they had anyplace in the area that got that hot he replied that they did, but nobody lived there.

-You may be from Texas if you not only know that every single town has a festival devoted to a flower/fruit/tree, but you have been to multiple ones. I love me some small town fruit festivals. Potite strawberry festival, Nacogdoches blueberry festival, Luling watermelon festival, Woodville dogwood festival, and the list is as long as there are towns in the state.  They all have a queen, they all have fried food, the all have carnival games, and they all are a really good time.

-You may be from Texas if you know that there are Longhorns and there are Aggies and that the two will never get along. Growing up you just had to choose one or another. It didn't matter if you were going to choose one of those schools to attend, you had to have an opinion on the matter. I grew up in Austin which made that choice all too easy. Although living in the DFW metroplex I have seen Aggie fans actually cheer on UT during the Red River Roundup simply because it is un-Texan to cheer on Oklahoma.

-You may be from Texas if you don't notice the sound of cicadas in the evening. You also recognize their strange alien looking shells when you see them attached to the trunk of the trees in your yard. I know some people find the noise irritating, but I think it is awful peaceful.

-You may be from Texas if you know the words to The Stars at Night, and can't sing them without clapping at the appropriate time. I suppose this required you to go to elementary school here. I know that at nearly every PTA meeting at least one class performed this song for the parents. It is like an invasive TV advertisement jingle. It works its way into your brain and never leaves.

So that is my list. You now know a little more about what it is like to be a Texan (or at least what is like for me being a Texan). You also know a little more about the things that run through my mind in the shower. Now that I have shared with you maybe I can devote that time to thinking of something more productive like grocery lists or chores. Though if I am being honest with myself, probably not.

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