As far as odd couples go, Felix and Oscar have nothing on California and Texas. If you were to put two states side by side and declare that they were opposites, you could probably do that with the Golden State and the Lone Star State. "Don't California my Texas" tee-shirts and bumper stickers have recently popped up in response to the large influx of California Texans. Any time California is mentioned here in the Lone Star State you're bound to hear a collective sigh of irritation from listeners. Drought, high cost of living and economic woes have driven Californians out of the Golden State en masse. Meanwhile, Texas has some of the lowest cost of living in the nation, a booming economy and, no state income tax.
It's understandable to fear change, or to become irate when the familiar suddenly becomes alien. However, the motto of Texas is "friendship", so rather than gritting our teeth in annoyance, let's find a way to embrace our new neighbors. After all, this is the largest state in the contiguous 48 and we've got room. Besides, this nation is a melting pot, and if new people want to come learn how awesome Texas is while also making it more awesome with their own culture, that's just about as American as apple pie. So in case you don't have any reasons of your own, here are 10 reasons to love California Texans.
They caught the secession bug.
Until just recently, Texas was pretty much the only state seriously talking about secession. Granted, the secession movement in Texas can really only claim about a quarter of a million people (slightly less than 1% of the current population). Nonetheless, Texans are a hearty and independent people, and we understand the desire to break free.
They hate cold weather just as much as we do.
Californians are used to a much milder climate than Texans. The climate of California creates warm winters and cool summers. Here in Texas, we have scorching summers pretty much statewide. Some places in the Lone Star State get actual winter for a few days. For the most part, however, our winters are relatively tame. That doesn't mean we hate the cold any less, though. When the thermometer dips we don't like it. Well, neither do Californians. Check out the video above for proof.
They're sharing the wealth.
Californians aren't just moving their families here, they're moving their businesses as well. If there's one thing Texans appreciate, it's business opportunity. Former Governor Rick Perry prided himself on lowering commerce restrictions to create a hospitable environment for employers, and it worked. Toyota moved its headquarters to Plano. Apple and Facebook opened offices in Austin, and many more companies have followed suit. In fact, a seven-year study suggested that California may have moved as many as 9,000 businesses to Texas between 2008 and 2015. That's a lot of new jobs.
They can live without GPS.
One thing Californians pride themselves on is knowing how to get places. They will tell you exactly where you need to drive to get where you're going. What else could you expect from the people who coined the phrase "Carmageddon"? There will be a transition period, of course, where they figure out where things are in Texas. They also will need to learn to drop the "the" in front of the road names (it's just 45, not "the 45"). You gotta respect people who memorize their city roadmaps, though.
They share our obsession with Mexican food.
Okay, so West Coast Mexican food is not Tex-Mex. However, just like Texas, California was also once part of Mexico. So they do get it, even if their preferences are slightly different.
Two words: fusion cuisine.
Speaking of Mexican food, and Asian food, and American comfort food, I bet you never knew they could be so delicious when combined. Heard of Yard House? Locations are popping up all over Texas. Yard House combines American comfort food with Asian influences and adds incredible brews to round it all out. Guess where it came from? Yup. California. Here in Austin, we're watching Chi'Lantro flourish, which is a fusion of Korean and Mexican food. Chi'Lantro is owned by Jae Kim, a native Korean who was raised in (you guessed it) California. Y'all. Fusion cuisine is awesome, and Californians do it right.
They know how to handle a drought.
I know we have had a ton of floods in recent years, but don't forget how bad the drought was before that. The Texas drought lasted from 2010 to 2015. At the end of it, Lake Travis was nearly empty, and the Lost Pines had burned to the ground. California has been in a drought since 2011. In fact, the period between late 2011 and 2014 was the driest weather on record in California history. So Californians know how to conserve water, how to obey a burn ban and can weather our dry weather quite well. They even have come up with a creative solution to dead grass on your lawn.
They are healthy.
It's not just a stereotype, Californians are a healthy bunch. In a 2016 ranking of America's 10 fittest cities, California took two spots. The Golden State is constantly on the cutting edge of fitness and health trends. Their penchant for juicing and spin classes have already caught on here. Maybe Piloxing and FitWall will become popular next.
They elected AHNULD as their governor.
Any group of people who can look at the Terminator and think, "I really want that guy to run my government," have got to be a pretty fun bunch of folks. Arnold Schwarzenegger held the office of the Governor of the state of California from 2003 to 2011.
They won't mess with Texas.
If there's one thing most people know about California, it's that they're environmentally conscious. Californians are so concerned with the environment that out there, the Toyota Prius is considered a status symbol. Given that Texans really enjoy a good jacked up, gas-guzzling pickup truck, we might not understand the Californian's embrace of Priuses. However, as annoying as you might find a Prius driver, you can bet you won't find any Californians littering up our beautiful green spaces.