This week for a work project, I had to conduct a phone interview with a gentleman I knew very little about, except that he had some insight into the project that I needed. But within a few minutes of our conversation, I knew without a doubt that he had a heaping portion of Texan in him. (Which, for me, is always a comfort, like sipping Jack and Coke and wrapping myself in a quilt that’s been passed down through the years.)
Some might think it was the guy’s accent that tipped me off, and I’ll admit I’m still a sucker for a long drawl. But that was only a small part of it. Texas men, in my experience, have certain traits that other men don’t have. (I know it’s always dangerous to generalize, but bear with me here. I like danger.)
1. Texas men begin most conversations with strangers by injecting a sense of humor. Maybe it’s something about the weather. Or traffic. Something general enough not to offend but common enough that you get the joke in it, no matter who you are. And before you know it, you’ve chuckled with each other, and things just seem easier now. It’s brilliant, really.
Ironically, I think it’s a coping mechanism. Texas men don’t typically trust complete strangers right off the bat, so easing into a conversation with humor sugar-coats that mistrust a bit and gives them time to size up the situation. Like I said, brilliant.
2. Texas men respect women. Now, I’m not saying that chauvinism doesn’t run rampant in the Lone Star State, because it certainly can and does in many circles. (I always had a love/hate relationship with that whole “let me help you with that, little lady” philosophy. On one hand, I can handle just about anything on my own and don’t need a man’s help. On the other hand, let’s face it. I really don’t mind if a man in a Stetson and Wranglers offers to fix my flat tire or pump my gas. And yes, I’m aware that not all Texas men dress like cowboys, but you have to admit the image is a nice one…)
But my professional experience, at least, has been that Texas men have a deep-seeded understanding that women are just as smart as they are. Back when I worked at Texas A&M University for many years, which was pretty darn male-dominated, I always felt that my male counterparts valued my opinions and typically began our relationship from a point of mutual respect. I didn’t have to work hard upfront to earn it—likely because many strong and intelligent Texas women before me had paved a nice, smooth path. (Thank you, Mom, Mammaw, Granny, Mary Nan West, Ann Richards, Molly Ivins …)
In contrast, after having spent 11 years now in Colorado, I’ve found that I have to prove myself for many months before most of the professional men I’ve worked with will begin to truly respect me and seek out my opinion. And this is not a dig on Colorado-grown men, because as everyone here knows, there are only about 10 Colorado natives in the whole state.
So, there you go. That’s my take on Texas men. Maybe it’ll stir up some real controversy and my blog will become famous overnight. *Crossing fingers.*
Now, I’ll leave you with a little humor myself.
Check out this photo (taken by Kelsey Blair) of my friend Briana Wenholz being chased by a seriously annoyed turkey. She (Briana, not the turkey) was visiting a friend in North Texas, in a seemingly benign, friendly, little suburban neighborhood. And then … she learned a valuable lesson. Turkeys mean business in Texas. And you never know when you might encounter one … Aunt Betty’s farm? Yep. Future Farmers of America petting zoo? Sure. Gated neighborhood where Rich Uncle Ted lives? Of course.
I’m telling you. Texas men may be cool, but Texas turkeys will take you down.
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