Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mrs. Baird's Fruit Pies

The alternate title of today's blog entry is "Me Not Working on my European Minority Languages Presentation."

So, I want to write about something that I was adamant would never happen to me and, if it did, I was never going to tell anyone that it had.

People tell me that when you're away from something, you're supposed to appreciate it more and see it in a way you never have before. I definitely experienced this my first year at college. Every time my friends and I got back together on holidays, it was like this incredible high. It didn't matter if our activities were lackluster in comparison to our high school adventures because we were ecstatic to simply see each other IRL.

Before coming to Amsterdam, everyone told me I would finally learn to appreciate Texas and America. The truth is, no matter what people may think, I do appreciate both Texas and America. I always have. I just don't particularly like everything about them and most things that I don't like about them tend to be things that I find to be very important in my life. So, I've never really liked Texas, especially.

While being in Amsterdam, I started missing a lot of things about Texas. However, most of the things I missed (Chick-fil-A, Dr Pepper*, my car) are things that I don't really view as positive. Public transportation is better for the earth and junk food should really become a thing of the past. So, I shook the feelings off as needing to adjust to a less inflated, less consumer society.

Yet, when I get away from the concept of "missing things" and think more about the feel of Texas, the undefinable aroma of a home place, I have to thrust off years of antagonism and confess that I like Texas.

The culture of cosmopolitan North Texas suburbia, so different from the stereotypically small-minded rural towns, is a large part of who I am. This Texas is not beefy homophobic men in cowboy hats, the textbook debate or Rick Perry's christening of Glenn Beck as an official Texan.

It's sunny afternoons, driving down freeways for less than five minutes to get a Route 44 Cherry Coke at Sonic. Eating barbecue sandwiches and baby back ribs. Beige living rooms and bright blue swimming pools. Buildings growing wide instead of tall. Musty bookstores. Musty everything. Live music in Mexican restaurants. White T-shirts. Faded jeans. Sweaty faces. Thunderstorms and tornadoes on days so hot the cement begins to steam. Sunsets backdropping the airport. Star gazing by the creek. Being born with larger than life dreams and an enigmatic drive for independence. That's my Texas and I've finally learned to love it.

Here is what I will be listening to for the next 14 days until my return flight. Ignore the Ohio/hopeless girlfriend plot line and this is my favorite anthem to North Texas:

*I just learned that Dr Pepper doesn't actually have a period after the "Dr."


Anonymous said...

my sad confession--I kinda like Bowling for Soup (including this dopey song) or at least a half-dozen or so songs on Hangover...despite having fathered a Texan, the mysterious hold of the place kinda eludes me, I'm not gonna lie...but then I miss parts of la louisiane

Ronda said...

omg. i live in texas and i do really like it here. your paragraph about all the things you love about it was so funny cause its lots of things i enjoy but didnt realize. I never know how to describe texas to people who think we all ride horses to school, but now ill have to show then what you wrote.

anyways. kudos and i heart that ohio song.