Tuesday, December 15, 2009

In Your Face, Portland

These last few days have been pretty heady for me. You see, I was born in Houston, Texas. Most folks who know me are quite flummoxed to learn that my natal city is in that great state. To them I say that this is the state of Molly Ivins and Ann Richards so you don’t have to act all surprised. I do not usually call myself a Texan having moved to the Great Left Coast when I was a mere kindergartener, but many Texans have assured me that I have well maintained my citizenship due to the fact that not only did I spend one month a year throughout my childhood in Texas, that one month was August. Also, my daddy taught me to make chili.

While being Texan used to carry a certain heady power over Europeans until George Bush screwed everything up - when I went to Europe in the 80’s, Americans were just as hated as they are now, but if you said you were from Texas, all doors opened for the small price of having to tell a few cowboy and injun stories… now, they will shoot you – being from Houston was always anti-climatic. Houston didn’t have the pop icon stature of Dallas or San Antonio, nor the hipster vibe of Austin. And although it has its megachurches, it lacks any FLDS ranches or Waco-cult style crazy. Say you’re from Texas and people ask if you own an oil rig. Say you’re from Houston and people just look at you funny.

But now, thanks to the election of Annise Parker, the first (openly) gay mayor of a top-ten city, I can finally get something other than vaguely pitying looks when I say where I’m from. I don’t have to describe the allure of 2.4 million square feet of blessedly air-conditioned shopping mall. Nor do I have to explain how Houston’s lack of zoning laws has enabled the city to have more than one skyline. And I don’t have to explain what an empanada is (although I still have to settle for just yearning for one.)

All I have to say is: In your face Portland. We are totally more major than you are.

1 comment:

Magaly Guerrero said...

Bless your HUGE Texan heart, you are more mayor indeed!