things are bigger in Texas.
Our first night there, our ride, from a badass Uncle in a huge truck, took us on a terrible and long detour (too much construction around DFW Airport) through the cold darkness.
But there was a cooler in the back full of (high point!) beer and we stopped for a Whataburger.
I had never had a Whataburger, and being a fan of burgers, Eli saw one on the side of the highway and hollered "PULL IN HERE!!!"
And it was the biggest burger I have ever had, including the expensive 1/2 pound ones at fancy restaurants, and this was just a typical Texas fast food burger.
Chas (the badass Uncle) told me that it is some of the best cheap beef you'll ever find and I don't know if it was the late hour and excitement of being in a new place, or the fact that I'd been on a strict anti-candida diet for 2 weeks and I was indulging, but that Whataburger was DAMN GOOD.
If we had had time, I would definitely have enjoyed another one before we left, but alas all of our other meals were booked out to enjoy Ft. Worth's finest food.
We stayed with my hubby's aunt and uncle in their beautiful Cape Cod style home outside of Ft. Worth.
We slept in a tiny bed that pulls out of a closet of some sort, in the boys' play room. There were murals of fish all over the walls and it was all blue, so it felt like we were sleeping in a small underwater grotto, complete with ceiling fan!
The third night I slept walked and I'm not sure quite what I did, but I woke up with bruised ribs the next day!!
That was also the day when my body started screaming for mercy from all the grease we were consuming. Texas food is tasty but sooooooooooo fattening.
Which was nice, in a way, because in Utah I am classified as a "curvy girl" compared to these stick thin blondes that compete in pageants and think taking their babies to the grocery store is a secret beauty contest. Yes, I am blonde, but I am lazy blonde. In Utah women are BLOOOOOONDE and keep up on their hair appointments and use the expensive conditioners to maintain their golden sheen. I can't afford my stylist right now and I'm being good if I remember to throw in a few highlights 'round my bangs every couple weeks.
Salt Lake women scare me. They're just so judgmental and seemingly perfect and everywhere you go in Utah people give you the stink eye. Who knows why.
But in Texas, I am considered thin. Shockingly thin, apparently!! This was news to me.
I had several people on several occasions, including strangers, exclaim over how "tiny" I am.
Even Eli started heaping my plate with more barbecue, saying "you need more meat on your bones!!"
I embraced this wholeheartedly!
Enjoying my food rather than feeling guilty about it reminds me of this quote I like:
As a people, we have become obsessed with Health. There is something fundamentally, radically unhealthy about all this. We do not seem to be seeking more exuberance in living as much as staving off failure, putting off dying. We have lost all confidence in the human body.
And the girls there in Texas are nice. Not fake, simpering-smile-then-death-stare-once-you-turn-your-back nice, but genuinely sweet and thoughtful. It blew me away.
I was suspicious of it at first, being a born and raised Utahn, but it is true.
In Texas you can have a deep and meaningful and hysterical conversation with a stranger, and they don't want anything out of it...by that I mean, well, it is difficult to phrase, but in Utah strangers don't just engage one another on the bus or in line at the restaurant, because they don't see the point. In Texas, they consider minutes wasted if not in fun conversation, regardless of if you know the person and if you'll ever see them again.
It's kind of a "hey, you're a human and I'm a human and we're in the same place for a second, so how the hell are ya??"
I love it.
It might make some people uncomfortable but it makes me feel appreciated and pretty and all kumbayah.
And you can act silly in public and no one rolls their eyes at you!! They laugh with you.
I was trying on a shirt at Eli's favorite BBQ joint, where even his Dad grew up munching on pulled pork, and the girls working there weren't rushing me going "So do you want the medium or the large???" and acting impatient. They were enjoying picking out the right shirt with me and told me that this particular shade of yellow looks swell on me and asking me nice questions about myself. Like they cared! And they did!
And they weren't looking me up and down in a snide way like the Utah women do.
Just the other day, after Eli and I got back from this splendid trip, we were getting some new shoes for him and in a jam-packed store, and he needed to sit down to try them on and all the little shoe benches were packed with people. One of them had a woman sitting by herself, for no apparent reason (she wasn't trying on shoes) and there was room for someone else, so Eli said "do you mind if I share with you for a minute?" and she looked at him, eyebrows narrowed, didn't respond, and continued to sit there! He waited a second, then sighed and sat down on the smallest amount of the bench possible.
She immediately stood up and took off. He looked at me and said "I miss Texas."
So true. It really put things into perspective.
I didn't realize people could be so nice, and experiencing it firsthand made me see how mean I can be, being a Utahn myself. You don't even realize the prejudice that gets into your spirit here, but when you're given the stare-down on a daily basis, you start to do it too, and maybe even get preemptively snarky in anticipation of everyone else's attitude. Not healthy.
I'm trying to keep the lessons of Texas fresh in my heart, as they were very uplifting.
I am also trying to remind myself that I look goooooooood, particularly in the eyes of Texans, but also anywhere. Because although I'm not what Utah girls deem "perfect," I shouldn't be feeling guilty about me curves when a few states away I am considered hot shit,
and, even better,
appreciated for my spunk, goofiness, and brains.
Don't bring me down, Utah!