We have come into Texas and are immediately bombarded with the same and constant refrain: “Don’t Mess With Texas.” It’s on t-shirts, bumper stickers, roadsides signs, and even government vehicles. This brings out the armchair psychologist in me. How defensive is Texas that it has to tell everyone right away not to mess with it? Did its mom tell every teacher on the first day of school, “Dear Texas is a very delicate youth and takes things very personally. Please make sure that the other states don’t mess with Texas.”
Or maybe it isn’t a matter of “other states.” But, for that matter, who is messing with Texas? Where did this defensive stance come from? And, yes, we know that Texas presents itself as incredibly self confident. While wine tasting in Arizona, we sat next to a Texas couple that were eager to talk about their own vineyard. To the bartender, the Texan gent proclaimed, “Well, I’m just going to brag a bit about my vineyard.” To which the Arizonan bartender acknowledged, “yes, we are aware that’s what Texans do.”
Yet, does all this bluster come from some deep seeded insecurity? Perhaps Texas looks over the border and considers how nearly the state was not United with America. Perhaps they see all the skinny people on TV and think the rest of America is not eating enough of their Texas Long Horns. Or maybe I’m just in a foul mood from the overwhelming foul stench wafting in from the nearby oil fields and reading too much into things.