Last night I got on a red eye to Los Angeles. After lurking around the terminal there for about three hours, I got on another plane for Dallas, as in Texas. And then I was picking up a car and driving to a hotel. By the time I figured out where I was going to be able to stop moving for a while, I was really happy. It was only about 3:00 p.m. but I had a hard time even remembering what day it was and the last meal I ate. I was going to take a shower and go to this farm to table restaurant that I had found online but then I was afraid that if I did that, I would actually not leave the hotel room. That seemed like a bad idea.
The place was really easy to find, across the highway heading back towards Dallas on the opposite side. And I was glad that I went. It is kind of cavernous and it was mostly empty. I was there at an off time. Part of me thought that I might sit at the bar but woman alone at a bar seemed to not be how I wanted to end my day of travel. I asked the hostess, who looked Filipino to me, if I could sit at a table in a corner somewhere. She asked if I wanted a high top or a booth. I told her about sitting at the bar and she just understood. She said that sometimes she brings something else to deflect them if she is alone. I so appreciated that she wasn’t like, ma’am you are way too old to have someone hitting on you. I told her that I had brought a book. She gave me this giant booth in a corner where I could see almost the entire place. It was great. I thanked her for giving me a place to sit where I could see anyone coming.
I don’t know what I was expecting of Texas and the people that live here but it is wildly opposite of everything that I thought. I think that I got my view of Texas from Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure when he is at a rodeo sings, “the stars at night are big and bright” and everyone around him (decked out in cowboy boots, flannel and cowboy hats, replies “deep in the heart of Texas”. I can tell you right now that it is not like that. Yes, there have been cowboy boots (my waitress for example) and I saw one cowboy hat but that was in the L.A. airport and I don’t think that he was on my flight. There has also been a significant lack of southern drawl as well. But I digress. Perhaps as I get out further from the small circle of my hotel and the airport tomorrow, I will have more to report back. It makes me think that there are more things that unite us in this country but we all carry our stereotypes and, well, maybe they deserve some rethinking. Granted, I have not gotten into a political discussion and it was unlikely that I was going to wear my “I like Obamacare” shirt here but I’m not even talking about that kind of disagreement but more on a superficial level.
Then there was my waitress. She was super chatty and awesome and helped me pick out some tasty beer from their all TX beer menu for my flight. I ordered the fried green tomatoes because I kind of felt like I had to. She recommended the blackened snapper tacos which came with a salad since I had been eyeing them. It is not something that I would have chosen. She told me that she had them for lunch. She told me that she was from NY and that she has taken trips to see concerts in the past. This was after I told her that it was my first day in TX. She told me she was thinking about moving back to NY. I understood. She treated me really well and gave me some tips on where to eat after I make my way to the Dallas Art Museum tomorrow afternoon.
And these encounters, with these women, who were easily young enough to be my daughters, just made me feel like part of the female tribe. To have these kinds of conversations and to be able to connect because we are female and in the same boat was kind of awesome. Age didn’t matter and I liked it. Deep in the heart of Texas.