I was just reading a food blog (what? I'm the only person in my office. Deadsville today.) and the native Texan author was talking about the heresy of screwing up Texas pecans.
Texas is such a funny thing. It seems that everyone has an opinion or an impression of it. In foreign countries, people automatically make assumptions about someone from Texas that they wouldn't make from someone from...Idaho, or Tennessee. Everyone can immediately identify the state from the shape.
I am not proud to be from Texas. There are lots of things I love about it, but they have more to do with geography and landscape than with any kind of state identity. I have never heard thunderstorms like the ones in Texas, where the thunder makes your ribcage shake and you feel the power of the storm through your whole body. I've never been in a place where I could turn in a 180 degree circle and see the stars meeting the ground all the way around me, like being in my own private dome of uninterrupted sky. The pine forests. The amazing soil. The smell of the land (okay, I'm sure that's probably about the same as the smell of the dirt anywhere.)
But what I miss most are the assumptions one can make. When you talk about pecans to a person from Texas, you know immediately which camp they'll fall into. Same with grapefruits. The idea that the shade of a parking spot is much more valuable than proximity to an entrance. The respect for personal space.
I had that crazy roommate from Texas. We did have some good days, borne primarily from the things we had in common, even though I really didn't like her much as a person. But reading that entry I was reminded that she definitely knew about pecans, pronounced them right, and kept her hands off my damned nuts even when she was tempted to keep her hands around my throat.