Welcome to Paradise

11 Sep

I’ve never liked Texas. Before I lived here, it was one Longhorn or Aggie joke after another, jokes about the Okie, the Arkie and the Texan. It’s the legacy of old football rivalries, my distaste for Texas is genetic.

I don’t remember the Okie/Arkie/Texan joke, by the way. I think it had something to do with ‘maters, ‘taters and ‘naners. It’s probably a dirty joke. RIP, Papa.

Despite this distaste, I’ve lived here for the last five years. The first five in Austin, the last few weeks in Houston. While in Austin, you can make believe it’s not actually Texas, so long as you ignore election season and avoid Congress Avenue North of the river. And don’t acknowledge all the orange.

In the rest of Texas it’s, well, harder to avoid.

A large part of my disdain is probably due to the transient nature of our stay here. First for grad school, and now for a post-doc, I’m just along for the ride. Waiting, impatiently, to be planted somewhere. Somewhere where I can’t see an expiration date.

I’ve lived in California, New York, Arkansas and Texas. I’m over moving. Moving to a new place used to be a new adventure, a new place to explore, fun things to do, new people to meet. Now it’s a pain in my ass. A new lease to sign, new roads to figure out, lamenting over some food that was plentiful in X but nowhere in Y, never getting around to the fun things that make the place famous, new people I’ll have to leave in a few years and try to maintain long distance friendships with. It’s all very exhausting.

Once we move away from Texas (god willing), I’ll lament the loss of Freebirds, Amy’s Ice Cream, Chuy’s Tex-Mex and the jalepeno ranch I can practically drink, the Texas barbeque. I’ll miss the lack of state income tax.

I do want to make clear that by and large, I like the people of Texas. I like that businessmen wear cowboy boots in the boardroom. I like that playing Frogger with hipsters in downtown Austin is always amusing.

I don’t know where I was going with this except to say, man, I want to be settled somewhere already. My diamond shoes are too tight, I know. I envy those that live in one place their whole lives, or at least for a longer chunk than a few years

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