The rest of the nation has probably given up trying to understand Texas by now. In the 170 years that Lone Star State has been a part of the United States, we have developed our own way of life, customs and traditions that you probably don't understand unless you live here. In Texas, we do some things that just don't make sense in other states. Don't try to emulate us; you'll just seem strange to all your friends and family. Here are 10 things Texans do that would be weird anywhere else.
10. Put our state shape on our clothing.
Texas has a pretty recognizable shape, probably because we put it on everything. The same doesn't hold true of all 50 states though, and for some, it could get downright confusing.
9. Turn our state flag into formal wear.
Most states have t-shirts that depict their state flag, even South Carolina, whose state flag consists of nothing more than a palm tree and a moon on a blue field. However, not many states decide that their flag is so awesome that it ought to be worn as a button-down. Unlike Texans, who sported this look at the 2012 Republican National Convention.
Now let's imagine the California delegation wanted to wear something similar in 2016. Here's an artist's rendering of what that might look like:
Somehow, it's just not as fashionable.
8. Compare our state to small countries.
Everyone knows Texas is bigger than France. You could easily fit all of England within the borders of the state, and Switzerland just doesn't stand a chance. The peace-loving, cheese-making Swiss are no match for THE MIGHTY LAND MASS THAT IS TEXAS! Texas Monthly even took the time to publish a well-researched article on the topic so that Texans could more easily and accurately brag about the size of the lone star state. Now let's imagine other states tried this, because, hey, countries come in all sizes. All of Ireland could fit inside New York (if it were squished out of shape, that is). This is the part where we make a joke about how there are more Irish people in New York than there are in Ireland anyway.
All of Romania could fit inside Oregon...just barely.
Just shut up already, Alaska.
7. Make food in the shape of our state.
Texas is delicious! You wouldn't believe just how delicious it is. There are Texas shaped waffles, Texas shaped cookies, Texas shaped cakes, and yes, Texas shaped tortilla chips.
There's no way they do this in other states. Unless you count this father/son duo from New Jersey who went viral with their clever food sculptures/word plays of U.S. states:
6. Take pictures of our babies in fields full of bluebonnets.
Bluebonnets are the Texas state flower, and it's a Texas tradition to plunk your kids down in a beautiful field of bluebonnets and snap their photos as quick as you can before the little rugrats start eating them.
What if we tried this in Kansas, where the state flower is the sunflower? It might look more like this:
It would be like playing real-life "Where's Waldo" with your children.
5. Name our kids after famous historical state figures.
In Texas, we have lots of kids named Austin because of Stephen F. Austin.
And most Texans probably know at least one person named Barret or Travis because of William Barret Travis.
But I don't think many people from Pennsylvania saddle their sons with names like "Franklin" because of this dude, awesome though he may have been.
4. Reverse the initials of our rival school.
Before Texas A&M moved to the SEC, the University of Texas/Texas A&M rivalry was one for the record books. Each school mentions the other in its fight song, and both had several long-standing traditions dedicated to besting each other in the annual Thanksgiving football game. One of the ways Aggies loved to disparage Longhorns was to reverse the school's initials, calling them "TU" instead of UT.
I wonder how the University of Alabama (otherwise known as Bama) would take to that, especially considering AU stands for Auburn University, who is the Crimson Tide's biggest rival school. It would probably confuse more people than it insulted if the Aggies went around with signs that said "Beat the Hell out of AU" at the Bama game. Then again, during last season's matchup, Crimson Tide fans sort of pulled that on the Aggies' quarterback:
BREAKING: Texas A&M announces freshman QB Dohnny Danziel will start 4th quarter... pic.twitter.com/U5a8ZbUm9V
— Happy Gilmore (@_Happy_Gilmore) October 18, 2014
3. Constantly talk about seceding.
It's a common misconception that Texas retained the right to secede from the Union when granted statehood in 1845. The U.S. made an exception in the annexation of Texas that allows Texas to split up into as many as five states if it ever so chooses to do, but all of those states would still belong to the U.S.
Nonetheless, more and more people have tossed about the idea of Texas going off on its own to become an autonomous nation. It's all well and good for a border state to talk about splitting off into its own country, but what if, say, Nebraska tried that? Smack dab in the middle of the country and surrounded on all sides by America, it would make the U.S. look like one giant, red, white and blue donut. Aside from being really, really impractical, it might be worth it just to see the Internet blow up with references to Petoria.
2. Randomly stick an expletive in the middle of a folk song.
"Cotton Eyed Joe" is a traditional American folk song and dance, but Texans have made it their own. Though there are lyrics, we don't sing most of them. We don't care about how long ago you'd have been married, all we care about is throwing our arms around each other and promenading around the dance floor while the band yells out "What's that smell?" and we respond with a resounding...explicit reference to cow dung. (WARNING: The video below contains the aforementioned curse word repeated continuously.)
I wonder what Woody Guthrie's "This Land is Your Land" would sound like with an extra colorful word or two. Let's not find out.
1. Dress our dogs up like Texans.
In Texas, we like to put bandanas on our dogs. Oh sure, they might do that in other states but we started it. Bandanas are traditionally used to keep the dust out of your face or the sun off your neck, and because it gets really hot in the lone star state, concerned dog owners will sometimes soak a bandana in water and tie it around their canine pal's neck before taking them for a walk on a hot day.
Wouldn't it be ridiculous if people in the northeast did something like... wait, is that a pilgrim hat on that dog???
The next thing you'll tell me is that people in California take their dogs surfing or something ridiculous like...
I give up.