1. We don’t all have accents.

…or wear cowboy hats or ride horses or talk like hicks. We don’t all fit into your Hollywood movie stereotypes. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to polish off this bottle of cab and finish binge-watching Stranger Things.

2. Yes, it really does take that long to drive across Texas.

Texans do not rely heavily on public transport. Sure, the bus system is up and running in many major cities, and DART is expanding across Dallas, but by and large we’re still a state of trucks and SUVs. How else are you supposed to make the nine-hour drive to El Paso?

3. We’re actually quite diverse.

Although Texans are predominantly white and Hispanic, we can trace our roots back to German and Czech immigrations. Just ask the inhabitants of Fredericksburg (named after Prince Frederick of Prussia) and West (famous for a Czech festival and kolaches) if the state is culturally diverse.

4. We will fight you if you mess with our food.

Taboo topics include insulting Tex-Mex or Texas BBQ (but who would, really?). Chicken fried steak is not made of chicken. A corn dog from Buc-ee’s is an acceptable lunch. Don’t even get me started on breakfast tacos.

5. We have the real UT.

There’s no shame in not being familiar with the other UT, the University of Tennessee. However, should you mistake that for the real UT, the University of Texas at Austin…well, there’s a reason a song was released with the lyrics “all my exes live in Texas, so I hang my hat in Tennessee…”

6. We don’t call our highways “the 101”.

Californians and Washingtonians may have “the 5”, “the 101”, and “the 405” in their neighborhoods, but Texas lingo is so powerful it needs no extra articles. We have I-635, 35, 20, 10, and 45.

7. We can have four seasons in a week…or a day.

I don’t know of many places on Earth when you can wake up in the rain with leaves falling, get sunburned and sweaty going outside for your lunch break, admire the flowers blooming in the later afternoon, and slowly freeze to death at night.

8. We’ve mastered the art of staying cool.

Whether this means slathering on some sunblock as you float the river with a cool Shiner Bock in hand or visit Six Flags Hurricane Harbor in the 100+ degree summer, Texans have found ways of adapting to the heat without staying trapped in air conditioning. We’re also pretty cool on our own.

9. If you don’t follow Texas sports, good luck starting conversations.

You’d be lucky to find more than a handful of people in the entire state who don’t follow the Cowboys, Longhorns, or Aggies. Although there are other topics of conversation (like complaining about traffic), inevitably, it all comes back to football and baseball for Texans.

10. Please, for the love of god, know what Six Flags means!

There are six flags over TEXAS. Only Texas. Spain, France, Mexico, The Republic of Texas, the Confederate States of America, and the United States of America. Six Flags New Jersey may be popular, but it’s affront to this great state…and I may have inadvertently started a civil war.

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