South Texas vs. North Texas
Photo Credit: @redgypsea
Many of you already know this, but I am a Wichita Falls transplant.
I grew up in the Houston suburbs, and when I first moved here five years ago, there were a few strange things I started to notice that you never really think about. Figured you guys would find this humorous, so here goes:
Won’t You Be My Neighbor!
I have a little theory about the correlation between personal space and friendliness in public. If you feel like you don’t have enough personal space, or it is constantly being invaded without your permission, you tend to be more on-guard and closed-off when interacting out in public. Take New York and New Yorkers for example. But when people are farther apart, when they have plenty of space to mentally spread out, and seeing other people becomes less of a bombardment and more of a welcomed chance to socialize, people are kinder. That’s Texas. (Or at least Texas outside of major cities.)
Waving at your neighbors when they drive by is not something you do everywhere. When we first moved here, it totally weirded my husband and me out. “Do we know them? Who was that? Why are they waving? Is something stuck underneath our car?” Nope. Just being friendly. Now of course, when we visit home we do this to other people in our parents’ neighborhoods out of habit and totally freak THEM out.
Humidity (or lack thereof)
Houston is basically a tropical rainforest. You could fix your hair and makeup for an hour before work, step outside, and it’s immediately destroyed. Did you leave your car out of the garage over night? Looks like you’ll be defogging your windshield for the first 5 minutes of your commute, regardless of the temperature. But hey, you got another HOUR to go in traffic, so 5 minutes isn’t so bad. 😉
After living a while in Wichita Falls, I noticed a handful of small but weirdly significant changes to my life:
- One – Obviously, I’m having much better hair and makeup days, lol.
- Two – I drink a lot more water, because I suppose I’m not ingesting it directly from the air anymore??
- Three – My cereal in the pantry was lasting longer and didn’t get stale nearly as fast. Seriously.
- Four – Shower curtain mold doesn’t exist. When I was growing up, spreading out the shower curtain after your shower (instead of leaving it pushed to one side) was like religion. Like brushing my teeth, if I didn’t do this, my mom would get mad. Because you need to spread it out so it has any hope of drying during the day and not growing mold lightning fast.
Ordering Iced Tea
In Houston, ordering ice tea ALWAYS means unsweet tea. You want sweet tea? There are sugar packets and sweet ‘n low on your table. The end.
Let me tell ya, Oklahoma isn’t the only place where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plain. Like I said, Houston is a muggy, stagnant rainforest. If there is wind, it’s because a big storm front is coming through. This is true 120% of the time. It took me a while to get used to the fact that that’s not true in Texoma. Wind is its own event. Which brings me to…
Hurricanes vs. Tornadoes
I was used to growing up with the threat of hurricanes. I’ve lived through the direct hit of at least two. They’re scary and can be really dangerous, but the key is you know they are coming for DAYS. You have time to prepare and get safe. Tornadoes are a whole other, unsettling ballgame to me. I hate that they are so sudden, your window for getting to safety is so small. It’s something I’m still trying to get used to and don’t know that I ever will. (Does anyone?)
But We’re All Texans
It’s strange to me that each part of Texas seems to have its own culture, even though we are still all Texans. But then again, we’re the size of several small countries, so it makes sense. And each certainly has its sense of pride. IE – These adorable shirts I found the other day, and am SO tempted to buy for my fam, since I am South Texan, my husband is a Central Texan, and my son (born in WF) is a North Texan. 🙂
Dear Texas Humor – make toddler sizes!!!