Without getting into too many divisive topics, I don't like that the state executes a lot of people (with or without mental impairments) or that its citizens elected Rick Perry. I also don't like how hot it is or how the highway on/off ramps work. Surely, a state with this many issues must be full of terrible people. And maybe it is. I've only been within Texas's borders for a few days, so I've yet to meet everybody. But from what I've seen, I think I might've been wrong. Despite what I was confident of only a week ago, Texas might not actually be full of awful people, but instead occupied by some awful people, some great people, and mostly by a lot of people with who I might have some, but not all, things, values, and ideals in common.
A was in my class during law school. I didn't know her extremely well, but I did like her quite a bit, and I still do. At some point, I might've known that she was from Texas, but it must not have registered. She didn't seem Texas to me. In my ass-like state, I thought of her as so much better than Texan. The picture in my head of a Texan was not the person that sat one row down and seven seats to my right in my Adoption Law class. And perhaps that should've been the first clue that I was about to make an ass out myself. Where do I come up with these ideas of who and what people are when I've had absolutely no real-world experience with them? Further, how do I justify it? Why can't I just experience people for who they are, rather than always expecting them to be or do this or that based on something that really does not matter? I truly am a weird weirdo.
I suspected as much, but this trip has confirmed for me that A is quite remarkable. Even before I'd made my way to her home in humid-as-hell, Texas, she was treating me very well, making me feel truly welcome (and perhaps even wanted), and keeping me up to speed on the new arrivals to her home office turned Cat City (it is what it sounds like it is). To my surprise though, I've also experienced a good deal of friendliness from others that I've come into contact with in Texas. The good folks at McDonald's, these two guys walking out of the gas station, and the cashier at Walmart that sold us Blue Bell ice cream tonight were all quite warm. So I think I'm starting to see Texas, and Texans, a little bit differently now, with fewer undeserved preconceptions, and, hopefully, with a focus toward our similarities, rather than our differences.