1. You know what chopped and screwed music is.
To an undisciplined ear, it may sound like an awkwardly slow record is playing on the radio, but to you, it’s the hallmark of a song that has been “chopped and screwed.” Houston’s DJ Screw birthed this hip-hop music staple when he slowed down typically upbeat songs to a molasses-like tempo, creating what’s now a signature of Southern hip-hop.
2. Your side-eye is strong.
Southern hospitality is real down here, but don’t test us. We can cut a glance so quick that it will feel like a sucker-punch.
3. You’re between zero and two degrees removed from the energy industry.
If you don’t work for an energy company, you have a family member or friend who does.
4. You regularly frequent a Pappas Restaurant.
Whether it’s Cajun, Tex-Mex, Greek, BBQ, steak, seafood or burgers, the Pappas family has you covered. Their popular restaurants are dotted all around the city, so odds are; you’re sitting in one of them right now reading this article. We might as well call them ‘Big Pappa.’
5. The following condiments and spices are in your house right now.
Ketchup, Mustard, Mayonnaise, Ranch, Hot Sauce, Salsa, BBQ sauce and Cajun/Creole seasoning. Bonus points if you have several varieties of the aforementioned. Double bonus points if you have Tajín.
6. Your sense of scale is way off.
When you go somewhere else, you’re unimpressed with ‘big’ because ‘big’ is ‘normal’ in Houston.
7. You don’t flinch at a hurricane warning unless it’s a Category 4.
It’s not that you don’t respect hurricanes, it’s just that you’ve experienced enough of them to know when they’re something you need to worry about. After the Hurricane Rita panic, it takes, at least, a Category 4 storm to raise your stress levels. Maybe you top off your gas tank and pick up extra non-perishables for peace of mind, but other than that, you stay put and carry on as usual.
8. You own cowboy boots but you never wear them.
Puh-lease. We’re city people and it’s too hot and humid to be schlepping around our metropolis in cowboy boots. With that said, we will break them out for special occasions like the rodeo.
9. Shipley’s donut is the only donut you’ll ever need. Period.
Your first taste of Shipley’s donuts was probably as a kid eating their donut holes. Since then, you’ve graduated to other menu offerings but have remained particularly loyal to their classic glazed donut. Now that donuts have grown to be an over-hyped, zhooshed up confection, you’ve probably tried other places for a change of pace. But sooner or later, your taste buds lead you back to Shipley’s.
10. You’ve experienced fleeting episodes of road rage.
Everybody and their play cousin has a car, but none of them can drive worth a damn. This leads you to curse in your car for people to either signal properly or get out of the passing lane.
11. You’re regularly tricked by phantom parking spots.
Nope, that wasn’t an empty parking space. Rather, the F-150 and Chevy Suburban flanked the Kia to punk you into thinking there was.
12. You had emotional withdrawals during Blue Bell’s recall.
There are certain universal truths understood by all who have grown up in Houston — rush-hour traffic is a pain, humidity is ever-present, and Blue Bell is always in stock. So when a listeria outbreak prompted a massive recall of the beloved ice cream last March, your heart skipped a beat. First, you tried avoiding ice cream altogether, but then you ended up in the grocer’s freezer aisle sobbing staring at empty Blue Bell shelves like a crazy person.
13. You measure distance by time.
If you have to drive more than 30 minutes to meet up with friends, there’s a 50/50 chance you won’t meet up with them.
14. Your place of worship is a stadium or arena.
This includes where you praise Him aaaand pretty much all sports teams.
15. You get hourly updates on the weather.
It may sound over-the-top, but so is Houston’s weather. This morning may have been sunny, but now it’s raining at lunch time and your app just alerted you there’s a 20-degree drop in temperature coming your way at 5 p.m. What?
16. You rejoiced when Hwy 59 was repaved.
For a city plagued with perpetual road construction, it’s a miracle that a project has actually been completed (timely and successfully). You always knew you had a fine driving vehicle, now it actually sounds like it.