By the way you drawl and the way you dress.
You’re from Big D, my oh yes
I mean Big D, little a, double l, a s
And that spells Dallas, my Darlin’ Darlin’ Dallas
Don’t it give you pleasure to confess
That you’re from Big D, my oh yes
I mean Big D, little a, double l, a s!
To be honest, that song was definitely one of my college audition songs. I literally sang it all across the country. I’m sure it sounded okay, but man- would I love to sing that song now at a Cabaret sometime. It’s a funny song. From Most Happy Fella, a Frank Loesser musical, Big D is just plain ol’ fun. And it speaks to my heart.
I’ll be honest again, I’m THAT Texas girl. Ask any of my college friends or my husband. I’m a tad on the obnoxious side. Examples: I own a pair of shorts that are of the Texas flag; I own my own life size Texas flag that I used to hang up in my dorm room; I kept my old Texas liscense plate and it is currently displayed in our office; and, I always criticize the barbecue and queso, wherever I’m at.
As the joke says: You can take the girl outta Texas, but you can’t take the Texas outta the girl.
But, I have a confession. And it’s a doozie. This October I’ll have been a Florida resident for TWO YEARS. I’ll also be voting in my first national Floridian election. A big milestone. My drivers license says I’m a Floridian. My taxes do too. And when people ask where I’m from. I now say I’m from West Palm Beach!!!
What is happening with my life!!!!
I feel like I’m betraying my best friend.
Okay, yeah that was dramatic. I know. But seriously, what is my life coming too? There will soon be a time where I will have lived outside of Texas more than I’ve lived in it. Then what? My parents aren’t from Texas. They moved there after they got married. Both moved around a lot as kids and never really called a certain state home. I loved being able to be that girl- the standard Texas girl in the room. “Well, let’s ask Texas” they’d say. Many of my sentences usually would begin with “Well, in Texas, we do…”. Everyone in the room would roll their eyes, but I didn’t care. I am proud to be where I’m from. Now, I realize that moving to Florida wasn’t a huge culture shock. I didn’t emigrate to a foreign land, or leave everything I know behind. But moving 2,000 miles from home at 18 years old is a big deal. In fact, it is not something that happens too often any more. More and more students who go to college usually stay within a 5-6 hour radius of their current home. I’m also noticing that more and more people return to their hometowns after they’ve gotten settled into their lives. And that is completely fine.
I envy them. Because for those of us who do go away and never return, it’s a bit of a challenge.
When I was in school I never went home to Texas during Thanksgiving. Easter, or Spring Break. Just Christmas and Summer. Granted, that was my and my parents choice; however, let’s be realistic - for a four day break, the last thing I wanted to be doing was spending two days of it flying. It sucked, but I also made some amazing memories with new friends and family. Now though? I still only go back to Texas maybe twice/three times a year. For the important things. And when I go, I’m technically using vacation days. Talk about heartbreak.
My relationship with my parents changed real quick. I moved to Florida and they were not there to help me out if I got into a jam. Say I ended up in a hospital? It would have taken them over a day to get there by my side. Therefore, I learned real quick what independence was. Also certain adult things. Like managing my finances, learning about insurance, my social, etc. All the boring “adult” things that I find some of my friends two years after graduating still don’t know how to deal with. My parents also learned quick that they had to trust that I knew how to take care of mysef. Growing pains on both ends. Nowadays, as a married lady, my parents don’t “check up on me” as much. Our conversations are much more of ‘friend’ calls. It still sucks though, when I think that if I ended up in a hospital, it would take them over a day to be there.
You’re hometown changes and people move on without you. I think this is a real hard one. When I go back to Texas now, I play tourist. No longer is there a “oh she’s just back from school -let’s hang and pickup where we left off”. You have moved. And people have moved on. Sure there is family and those very few close friends. But there’s not a “welcome home” gang any more. Because you are not home.
Let’s also mention learning to settle down in a new area is DIFFICULT. Finding the right doctor, dentist, HAIR STYLIST, are important things. And it takes time. I think I’m about to go and see my fourth doctor so far. If anyone has any suggestions- hit a girl up.
Eventually, you forget the taste of that one specific food of your hometown and settle for what’s in front of you. For me, that’s margaritas. I’m ashamed to say that I will order a margarita here in West Palm that in Dallas would definitely have been returned to the bar. And I enjoy it too.
Don’t get me wrong, there are so.many.pros. of moving to a new place. All the new foods, friends, places to explore, and more. And really, what more is a home that a place that is filled with loved ones and your life’s passion? A home is not a city. Or a house. It’s a community, and part of your heart.
So I guess to answer the question: am I a Floridian now?
The answer: I am; HOWEVER, (because there will ALWAYS be a however) I am originally from Texas. I will always prefer beef ribs instead of pork. I will always rate Blue Bell Ice Cream as the best ice cream around. I will always miss having a frontage road, a garage that is specifically built to be used in case of hail, parking lots where I don’t have to parallel park , and I will always wish that high school homecoming girls wear mums.
Here’s to the great Lone Star State. May she be forever strong.