1. They lose their accents.

I never had much of a strong accent in the first place, having been raised in Dallas, but after two years in Japan, one in Korea, and several across Europe, Oceania, and South America, even old friends are a little surprised how my twang has flattened out. The downside of this isn’t losing the accent, but constantly explaining to non-Texans and Texans alike why you don’t have one.

2. They hear other people claim Texas is not the best state.

Everyone thinks their state is the best. Texans are the only ones who are right. Therefore, we can only conclude: there are about 300 million people in the US deluding themselves.

3. They realize there are some foods you just can’t find outside Texas.

I understand Tex-Mex, as there are a few places in the US and abroad capable of delivering good Tex-Mexican food. But Texas-style BBQ? Chains like La Madeleine? Even Dr. Pepper used to be a rarity outside the Lone Star State.

4. They (eventually) forget how to talk to people.

Texans don’t lose their grasp of the English language simply by hopping on a plane or traveling west for the holidays, but months or years away from home is enough to make even the most Texan of us lose our penchant for small talk. How are you supposed to make friends if you can’t talk about how hot it is or how much traffic is going to ruin your day?

5. They learn they can’t bring their guns with them.

TSA is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to legally getting firearms past security. Most countries don’t allow visitors to bring in guns or large knives. At least, not too many Texans are stupid enough to try that at the Mexican border, where they would be arrested immediately.

6. Their winter attire gets laughed at.

Have you ever seen a new Texan in Canada in January? Of course not; he or she would have died of exposure. Because it seldom drops below freezing in the Lone Star State, not too many Texans have a proper parka and boots when traveling to experience a real winter. I shudder to think what would happen if a Texan arrived at Everest Base Camp in shorts, a T-shirt, and a heavy jacket.

7. They spend all of their time correcting stereotypes.

…or more than likely, getting tired of hearing stereotypes and just mastering the art of the shrug. Yes, I have a car, not a horse. Yes, not all people in Texas talk like that. No, I’m not friends with Beyonce…yet.

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