If you’re thinking of working as gate guards in Texas and you’re a Yankee (a Yankee is anyone not from Texas or the South) you cannot be a Texan. Ever. You are and will always remain a Yankee who talks funny. You’re welcome to live in Texas as like as you like, just don’t call yourself a Texan.
Being a Yankee, I’m not sure I’m qualified to write about Texas truisms. I’ll just share what I’ve observed and have been told since arriving in The Lone Star State. Take this post with a splash of Tabasco. As a matter of fact, take everything with a splash of Tabasco! Condiments here are hot and spicy, forget bland things like mayonnaise. Tabasco is even served with your mush.
Go to McDonald’s and you’ll have to ask for ketchup but there is always a bottle of Tabasco at every table and in every booth. At McDonald’s, you’ll find they only serve ‘sweet tea’. Order ice tea anywhere you get ‘sweet tea’, the ice is a given and so is the sweetening. And if there’s a Starbucks on every corner in Portland, there’s a DQ in every incorporated town in Texas..
A few other food facts: it seems all soft drinks are called Coke. Moving from Iowa to Oregon, I’d just transitioned from pop to soda. I have no explanation for calling all soft drinks Coke and no idea how you order a 7-Up. Maybe someone can write and enlighten me.
Supper is usually at noon and sometimes again in the evening. Texans have a 2nd supper like Hobbits have a second breakfast. Dinner seems to be infrequent and at totally random times. It’s not meat and potatoes, it’s meat and beans and you’ll find that combo generously offered with breakfast and with noon and evening suppers.
Dine in or take out, forget Chinese or pizza, it’s tacos, fajitas and beer. Wine is wimpy, Texans drink beer. Although wine has almost 3x the alcohol content of beer, it’s a sissy drink. If you insist on ordering it anyway and don’t see it poured, it probably comes from a box. And remember if you do have a beer, it’s illegal in Texas to take more than three sips of beer at a time while standing. (I’ve read this in multiple searches of Texas law).
While I’ve see some Big Hair, the hairspray has to be fierce to beat the heat, I can’t confirm or dispel the the truism of the Big Belt Buckle. Most everyone I meet is sitting down or wearing a jumpsuit so I just don’t know about that one.
By the way, my observations are limited to rural Texas and don’t necessarily apply to city life in say, Dallas or Houston. Cities have their own truisms but I haven’t had a chance to observe them. I do know that in Houston, it’s illegal to sell Limburger cheese on Sunday and beer can’t be purchased after midnight on a Sunday but may be purchased on Monday.
When addressing a Texan, it’s nice to show your respect by using both their first and middle names (e.g. Billy Bob, Lisa Marie etc… Yes ma’am and Yes sir appear to me to be more of a type of punctuation at the end of a sentence, like a period or an exclamation mark, than a sign of respect. A Texan will let you know they’re done talking to you. They’ll often say something like: ‘Well you better let me go now so I can get some work done’ even if you haven’t been saying anything and they’ve been doing all the talking.
I’ve only scratched the surface of Texas Truisms. I’ll add more as they crop up. Feel free to add your own. I’ll just end this post with the ever popular bumper sticker: “Everything is more Texan in Texas”. I don’t really get it, but then, I’m just a Yankee.