Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Separated At Birth: Texas and New York.

When I moved to New York, people asked if the culture shock might be too much. Hell no. New York was easy. Why? because contrary to conventional wisdom, Texas and New York are so much alike. The two places hate each other so much, not because they are so different, but because they have so much in common. This Texan would have suffered far more serious culture shock in one of those earnest taciturn upper Midwest states like Minnesota or Wisconsin.

People hate New York and Texas for the same reasons. Both places think that they are the Center of the Universe with all the planets and galaxies revolving around them. Both Texans and New Yorkers feel sorry for anyone who isn't them. The inhabitants of both places can be loud, vulgar, arrogant, and insufferable. Both places are full of people who can be astonishingly rude (although in my experience, Texans are more aggressive in their rudeness). Both Texans and New Yorkers can be very neurotic (New Yorkers can be very whiny and prosecutorial while Texans always walk around with giant chips on their shoulders). People can also be surprisingly friendly in both places. New Yorkers are never nice, and neither are Texans though they won't admit it, but people in both places can become real friends very quickly. People in the Midwest, in my experience, can be very nice, but are not always very friendly (I've heard the same complaint about Californians).

I've only seen a couple of real differences between Texans and New Yorkers. The first is in hypocrisies about money. Texans are far bolder in their hypocrisies about filthy lucre than New Yorkers. Wealthy Texans will feed you steak and lobster for lunch just to impress you with how rich they are. By contrast, very rich New Yorkers will serve you left over spaghetti on paper plates to show you how little they think of you. While rich New Yorkers always try to buy a measure of culture and class that they don't really have, Texans loudly proclaim that they are rich as Croesus by Divine Right. God gave them all that loot for being so righteous and believing so correctly. New York, by contrast, has a kind of reverse hypocrisy with people frequently pretending to be worse than they really are. That guy on the corner who looks and dresses like a hit man almost certainly isn't, and probably takes his mother to daily Mass. The woman in the store dressed like a femme fatale probably takes care of younger brothers and sisters together with some other kids in the neighborhood.
The other difference is that Texans are acutely self conscious and very prickly about what other people think about their state. By contrast, New Yorkers genuinely couldn't care less about what other people think about their city or about them.

I know that almost everyone who reads this blog hates Texas (and probably New York too). So this month, think of the Red Cross as your swear jar. Go ahead and complain about Rick Perry and Dubya and all those insufferable mean old rattlesnakes who don't believe in Global Warming or gravity, and be generous and swear enough to make a whore blush. Here's the Red Cross site. Please be generous.


Muthah+ said...

So true! Texans and New Yorkers are so provincial in their attitudes when they they think that they are so cosmopolitan--expecially those from Dallas!

Leonard said...

I love New York (but then I´m just a surfacefriendly jolly from Hollywood).


JCF said...

I have very little experience w/ Texas, so I'll just speak about New York.

Now, I grew up w/ a hearing-impaired (but won't deal w/ it) father. That means I learned to speak very loudly, w/o thinking about it.

I give the above as a preface, when ***I*** say I was shocked, when moving to New York (1990-94) with JUST HOW LOUD!!!!!! New Yorkers are, in everyday speech. It's like (said the Californian), EVERY personal conversation has to be broadcast to 50-75 foot radius! (And then, there's where their passions are inflamed, and it's 200 feet plus! :-0)

After 4 years of it, it was one thing about the Big Apple I was glad to leave behind...

Anonymous said...

OMG, this blog is so refresing to read. I am in total agree on everything that is written regarding the State of Texas and the Amazing State Of New York. I am a NYker by birth and at heart. I relocated to TX in 2007 and I found a ExTREME difference. Gosh I got called Yankee, liberal, Democrate, Union Loving, "you may not be marketable in TX" statements. Gosh, it was 2007 and I thought we were done with that type of bias and discrimination. "NOT", it has truly been an adjustment for me and I do miss my home state very much. I decided to give TX one more shot and bought a home, which btw, is quite lovely. Taxes are high, but all in all, similar to Upstate Albany New York area. I currently reside in a very nice area in Fort Worth TX.

A major contrast I notice is back home (ALBANY, NY) when we are invited to a birthday celebration, a home for dinner, or a housewarming WE bring welcoming gifts. NOT here; ie, I was invited to a birthday dinner and I was the only one who brought a gift. I guess, I am a princess or high maintenance. I thought it was polite to bring gifts for special occasions.

The weather is hot, Hot, HOT in the summer, and NY is cold, Cold COLD in the winter, but no big deal. I just switched the season in which I would pay a higher electric bill. My Italian, curly hair loves the months from October to May cause the weather is perfect. The Summer, well, me and my hair just go to the pool and put on a NY baseball or NYCPD baseball cap on.

All in all I am surviving. I don't find Texans to be that friendly and dating one is a learning experience.

I will probably purchase property back in Upstate and then do the snowbird thing. I miss it that much. Hope this helps.

Jazzy J117