By Will Barksdale | Multimedia Journalist
Texas is one of the largest, proudest states in the country. Why do most Texans never leave their state after living their entire pre-pubescent and teen lives there? Why do they have such amazing state spirit when confronted with any other area of the country that claims to be better? I honestly could not care any less because that topic has been overdone. Since I, along with a good amount of Baylor students, am not from Texas, it’s easy for us out-of-staters to band together and bond between the distinct differences that are seen when leaving your lives behind for the great, somewhat boring, expanse that is the Lone Star State.
Having left Illinois and all the corn that it holds, Texas was a whole new world with many opportunities and new and exciting cities to be explored. After regaining my consciousness from the bewildering shock of an amazing Texas world that lasted about a semester, I realized there is nothing special about the place except that the more people make it out to be that way, the easier it will be to fake it. While hearing shouts of “everything’s bigger in Texas” and having the state flag waved in my face at every opportunity given, what was once a new and exciting land to an outsider quickly became one of the biggest gimmicks ever fed to the entire world.
Yes, Texas is large and full of many different people, but no, it is not the marvelous land of milk and honey that was described in all of the brochures distributed in rest stops from Memphis to Dallas. During this realization, I found that there are five things that define my time in the rest of the U.S. compared to good ‘ole southern charm Texas.
1) The states can be traversed within one solid day of driving.
2) We don’t say “y’all.”
3) I miss Italian food (good Italian food, that is).
4) Seasons that show the lapse of time.
5) People complain about it being cold when its appropriate.
Why is Texas so big? If it takes more than 10 hours to cross a state from any direction, it’s time to split it into at least two states. Almost anywhere else in the country, you could travel for ten hours and cross at least two or three states. Going on a 10 hour road trip anywhere else in the country usually means crossing multiple states and creates a sense of excitement and adventure within said road-trippers. But, the idea of going from the northern tip of Texas to the most southern creates a sense of dread inside of me that has only been felt when watching the Cubs win the World Series in 2016.
The phrase “y’all” is one of the laziest and most irritating thing about not just Texas, but of the entire southern United States. Everywhere else in the country it is “you all” or maybe “you guys” but never the phrase “y’all.” This is the reason why whenever I catch myself saying the phrase I immediately wash my mouth out with soap as if my mother had just heard me use the F-bomb A Christmas Story’s Ralphie style.
My home city of St. Louis has some of the best Italian food in the country on The Hill (shout-out Amighetti’s Bakery). During the almost three-year stint while living in Texas, I have never found Italian food as good as I could find in the Midwest. With how “great” the barbecue is in Texas, a human can only eat so much brisket before craving a nice home-style portion of lasagna that will carb you up to maximum overload.
I am convinced that Texas is in a perpetual state of summer. The South never ceases to amaze me with its lack of seasons and constant denial that the world is spinning. Yes, I do realize that it is the “South” and rules don’t apply to it, but once fall comes around why can’t there just be a few weeks that leave me feeling as if I am about to freeze my little-toe off please? Once this happens, Texans can finally complain about it being cold. As of now, when Baylor students start to bundle up for 65 degree weather all I can do is hope and pray they never end up in the North.