The second phenomenon in Texas that transplants notice are the people. That reputation of Southern hospitality is fact not fiction. You find yourself talking, laughing and sharing information before you even know each other’s names.
Third on the noticeable differences by those who are new to the South are the people. Yes, I know that I’m being redundant, but it is true. Invitations to get to know you are free-flowing.
Where did this amazing sense of interaction find its genesis? I am floored. Even when we were staying in a motel during our transition, we were laughing with a family in the elevator like we were long time friends on a road trip together. It was amazing.
So far even the driving in this newly adopted state of ours has been similar. Only two drivers have honked at me in nearly a month. That’s the average number per hour in other states where I have driven.
On a busy freeway when I engage my turn indicator, other drivers actually slow down and give me clearance to merge. I’m so used to allowing a couple of miles to change lanes that I am shocked when room suddenly appears. This courtesy on the road will take some getting used to.
I thought that the hot weather would breed road rage. In my mind I was prepared for the wide open spaces of Texas to multiply wild drivers. There are some as in any big city, but the prevailing number of pleasant drivers was not what I expected. It is a nice surprise.
My bride and I went shopping. She was off to make new discoveries. I asked a saleswoman, “Do you have a chair for tired husbands?”
Then, came a southern surprise that made me chuckle, “Why bless your heart, Darlin’. Let me fix you right up.” She led me to two chairs around the corner. There I promptly fell asleep.
Since, then waitresses, gas station checkers and receptionists all share a delightful repertoire of greetings: “Sweetheart” “Honey” and “Precious” seem to be the favorites. Each time I smile, chuckle and smile. There is something about being in Texas that is just part of the daily fun.
My whole anthropology may be taking a noticeable adjustment. It’s all about the people, Texans. Y’all hear?
photo credit: brucefong cellphone photography