If you’re going to write about Texas…

Dear Authors everywhere,

It has come to my attention that some of you would like to include the great state of Texas in your literary works. Excellent. In order to help you write the most accurate portrayal possible, I’m going to give you a little consulting, free of charge. Having lived here my entire life, I hope you consider my qualifications adequate and take these lessons to heart.

  1. Food. texmex vs mex(JR Ward, I’m looking at you.) Tex-mex does not equal BBQ does not equal Mexican food. Although we (Texans) will call Tex-mex Mexican food, because the term Tex-mex is stupid. Real Mexican food comes from a whole in the wall or a truck, you may not be able to understand everyone who works there, (which is only worth mentioning because I think it gives credence to their authenticity,) and there will be no “American food alternatives” on the menu. No chicken strips, burgers, grilled cheese, etc. That would make it a Tex-mex place. Texas barbecue is served with sides such as fries, ranch beans, corn on the cob, or a baked potato. Any sides with cumin or cilantro belong, once again, at the Tex-mex place, not the barbecue joint. Also, chili is only one color — brown. If you can pick out what’s in there outside of meat and not-meat, you’re doing it wrong.
  2. Sports. Yes, football is a way of life. We are not all Cowboys fans. Personally, I hate them. Not big on the whole, “I beat my girlfriend, but it’s okay because I can run fast and catch a ball” attitude of the NFL. We grow up watching it. Some of our kids play or *eyeroll* look forward to being cheerleaders on the sidelines. (Over my dead body.) We go to games on Friday night. There’s the whole Texas homecoming mum thing. That does not mean that this is accurate:
  3. Accents. shoot meNor do we all sound like that. Screw you Van Der Beek. We also don’t all sound like Foxworthy, Daisy Duke, Hee Haw, or Dallas, (the old one or the new one.) I watched frickin’ Mickey Mouse put on a cowboy hat today and he was all, “Howdy Partner, this here is Mickey Corral!” So now besides being an ego maniac who has everything named after himself, he gets a hat and talks even more like an idiot, (while also enslaving my toddler.)
  4. Accouterments. We do not all have guns, cowboy boots, or hats. There are no bull horns on my car. We have not all ridden a horse, roped a steer, or branded a cow. We don’t eat vittles when cookie rings the triangle up at the farmhouse. Personally I don’t have a hat, boots, a belt buckle, or a gun and I live in a place named after it’s western wear. I can also buy a gun next to housewares at the local Wal-mart. Oh! And hair. Big Texas Hair. It happens. When it does, nine times out of ten I give people the side eye.
  5. Political leanings. It’s a red state. There’s no getting around that. And yet there are some of us, (a minority,) who don’t go for open carry in schools or restaurants, are not convinced President Obama is planning on “invading” Texas, nor should we secede, who support Planned Parenthood and the legalization of gay marriage, and think it’s ridiculous to have to drive to a different county to buy alcohol on a Sunday. So before you lump us all in with the crazies — and we know who they are too, we just can’t get rid of them — remember there are perfectly nice, logical people here, even if they don’t agree with all your views. (Not looking at you specifically, Chris Godsoe; I’ve done my best to set you straight. But maybe a few people your friends with on Facebook.)

Now, if you have any further questions, please ask them in the comments below. I am more than happy to help stop some of this ridiculousness.

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