I was initially reticent about my move. Besides a brief stint in Florida (which is full of New Yorkers), I have lived in the northeast for most of my life. I was reluctant to give up my fabulous full-time teaching position WITH MEDICAL BENEFITS at an IVY LEAGUE institution to become a gypsy adjunct making less money than I did at age 16 working as an appetizer waitress at Chi Chi's Mexican Restaurant. (NOT EVEN A REAL WAITRESS---A HOSTESS WITH THE MOSTESS WHO SERVED GUAC DIP AND NACHOS)
In an effort to stay positive about my cross-country/cross-cultural move, (it's not just the time zone that's different), I decided to make a list about all the GREAT things about the Lone Star state. (at least the Dallas area--I would HATE to make rash generalizations about the entire state)
1. Creative Fashion Attire
Where else can I wear gold-python boots, belt buckles and faux-zebra cowboy hats for occasions other than Halloween?
Dallas has more highways, parkways, interstates and turnpikes of any place I've been. In case I happen to FORGET I'm in Texas, there are big red stars on every concrete pillar. ADDED BONUS--Everyone drives superfast and there are many daily accidents. When feeling homesick, I can pretend that my fellow road warriors are former NYC cab drivers.
The highway near me has red stars. I found this image on google on site about public art. I'm open-minded, but this surely doesn't count as PUBLIC ART
A mega-church is defined as a church having 2000 or more members. There are 195 of these churches in Texas. I think most of them are in my neighborhood. I went to one last weekend where the pastor said that there were 760,000 people living within a 10 mile radius of the church. His goal is to get them all in his church. Needless to say, building plans are underway to sit 2000 people/service. Right now there 1000 seats---he's only reaching a measly 3000 people/weekend. He also videotapes his message and broadcasts it to satellite locations. This way people can go to church and never have see the pastor face to face.
4. Lawn Maintenance
There are huge benefits to lawn care in this great state. For one, it is so FREAKIN hot, that all the grass is scorched. With 60+ days of 100+ degrees, I don't have to worry about keeping up with the Jones in the landscaping maintenance department. You can't mow dead grass. The drought is another added bennie. No water--it's illegal to water your grass more than 1x/week. The last benefit is living on a zero lot line. (.1 acre actually). Not much grass fits on .1 acre. I get a lovely view of the neighbor's fence. The only disadvantage is that the backyard feels like a dog kennel run--even the dog doesn't want to go out there. Incarcerated prisoners have bigger recreational areas.
5. Cookie Cutter Communities
I was initially concerned about having to become a stepford wife. However I haven't actually met any of my neighbors, so maybe stepford wives are passe. The great thing about a cookie-cutter neighborhood is that every house looks the same. No one needs to worry about individualism. I don't have to worry about overly friendly neighbors, since no one ever goes outside. TOO FREAKIN HOT--The temp reaches 95 by 7am and stays in the 100's past 9pm.
This is the view from my alley, which accesses the garages. I don't actually ever SEE my front yard, unless I'm getting the mail.