1. You know wind that blows so hard that it bends the door of a Suburban off its hinges on a perfectly sunny day.
You understand what a windy day really is. Listen, Chicago seems nice — but we can all agree that Lubbock or Amarillo should really be considered the Windy City. But also, only in West Texas are the people so resilient that the local tennis team still practices with 65 mph wind, because that’s just a normal day. Don’t even get me started on Haboobs.
2. You’ve survived a Haboob.
Imagine a wall of dust a mile high, countless miles wide, and speeding in your direction. If you’re a real West Texan, you’ve not only survived a Haboob, but you’ve THRIVED in one. Somehow you managed to not only keep the dirt out of your eyes and mouth, but you’ve kept a garden alive, you managed a trip to the bank, and you trekked across campus to turn in your final paper.
3. You affiliate with and defend only one local TexMex restaurant.
Be it Garza’s, Savannah’s, or (insert favorite local Hispanic family named restaurant here). You’ve pledged your allegiance to one family restaurant and refuse to acknowledge the existence of any other. Every West Texas town has one — but you guarantee your favorite’s enchiladas are supreme.
4. You think that an 8-hour road trip is like driving to the grocery store.
Texas is a big state, and West Texas is massive, but chances are you’ve driven more than six hours to shop for school clothes or to go to a concert. You went on a high school physics trip to Six Flags — five hours there and five hours back — in one day. You have to go everywhere to get anywhere. So now, your brain instantly thinks a 12-hour trip is nothing.
5. You laugh when people bring up Friday Night Lights.
Because you actually lived it. Football is King in Texas — but in West Texas it’s practically a religion. Just like the whole congregation knows your Sunday morning seat, the whole community knows who sits where at the high school football game. They may not have won a game in eight years, but the whole town will cheer for them like the small town heroes they are.
6. You’re ready for snow, rain, and scorching heat…all on the same day.
It’s spring break and you’re trying to decide what to do for the day: the pool, a trip to the library, or maybe a day on the golf course. No matter what you decide, you’re prepared for a small blizzard in the morning, a 90-degree temperature by lunch, and a thunderstorm from hell (with hail) by the time you start making dinner. West Texans are not joking when they say the weather is as bipolar as former Texas Tech basketball coach Bobby Knight.
7. Your family threatened to disown you if you went to college anywhere but Texas Tech.
You sport a burnt orange shirt? Disowned. Mention a trip to College Station. Disowned. Even go to the zoo and say that you think bears are cute, and your dad suddenly thinks you want to go to Baylor. Disowned.
8. Your first addiction was Taco Villa. You could have worst addictions, but when you go to Taco Villa seven times in one week…you know you were raised in West Texas.
9. You understand that a West Texas sunset is unlike any other sunset.
Almost every night the sun reaches across the plains as far as the eye can see and a mix of reds, pinks, and blues intertwine with the brown fields around your house. Miranda Lambert said it best, “The Texas skies are the biggest ones I’ve seen,” but a West Texas sunset could have a song all its own. For a few minutes every night you know you’re right where you need to be.
10. You appreciate the simplicity in the names of small West Texas towns.
They might not be brilliant names, but you have to appreciate the early settlers’ ability to name towns for what they really were. Think, Levelland, Plainview, Shallowater, and Muleshoe. Plus, they make for a good laugh when you get to tell someone from out of state you grew up in a town called Happy, Texas.
11. You’ve always thought the geographical names for Texas make zero sense.
Looking at a map you were always confused why the Texas Panhandle was considered “West” Texas when really it’s the most northern part. That’s fine though, you’ll let the city slickers in Dallas keep the title of “North,” because West Texas is a league of it’s own. It may not have an Ikea, but it has friendly people, good food, and a beauty that only a true native will understand.