Total strangers strike up conversations with Carolann and me everywhere we go. This is a sharp contrast to living in California where strangers don’t generally speak to each other except rarely and briefly to request and impart some specific information such as directions to a particular street. These exchanges are always short and businesslike. They rarely blossom into conversation.
Texans don’t need any such pretense to launch into idle and often very personal chit-chat. You can be standing in a line at the supermarket and suddenly find yourself swapping family secrets with three or four people, all of you strangers to each other. By the time you leave the checkstand you’ve exchanged names and maybe pie recipes.
Texans also have a great and dry sense of humor, intentional or not.
I had only been here a couple of weeks when I went for a haircut and mentioned all of this to the very young woman cutting my hair.
“I really like Texas and the people I’ve met here,” I told her.
As she snipped around the edges of my head she gave me the following words of greenhorn wisdom in a Texas accent so thick and sweet you could have poured it on a waffle:
“People say Texans are friendly,” she began, “and it’s true, we are friendly.”
“But,” she continued with no hint of humor, ”we expect y’all to take care of your own bidness. Texans will give you the shirt off their backs or a meal and bed at the drop of a hat but if ya’ll step into the street without lookin’ we will run you over!”
© D.L. Williams 2012