It took awhile, but the New York Times is onto something. Set that Texas-shaped waffle aside, give your Texas-shaped tattoo a little scratch and listen up: Have you guys realized how people from Texas seem to really like Texas-shaped things?
“Indeed, the shape of Texas shapes Texas,” the piece reads. Although aside from literally that doesn’t seem to mean much, the piece is right in that, “A few states identify with their shapes, but not many.”
But the assertion that Texas’ “obsession with its shape is one of many age-old ways that Texas likes to separate itself from the rest of the states,” hits a little off.
Texas’ uniquely jagged borders, off-centered curves and, you know, the fact that it clocks in at about twice as large as many of the other 49 states surrounding it, serves to differentiate it without the help of its residents. Or their penchant for self-branding with tattoos in the shape of its likeness.
That is all to say — did we have a choice? You try looking at Texas and not wanting to own a throw pillow in the exact same shape!
Fort Worth Star-Telegram columnist Bud Kennedy said it all when he told the New York Times, “It’s not some boring box-shape,” and, “There’s a lot of homespun sense of place in Iowa, but there was no place where people served me waffles the shape of Iowa.” That’s because (sorry, Iowa) a regular square waffle is pretty close.
In the same way that Coca Cola need only print its name on a billboard, the shape of Texas, with all its ups, downs and strange buzz cuts (a.k.a the panhandle), serves as the perfect representation of all the good stuff you can find there and the people who really, really love it.
It’s not your fault that you live in less distinctly-shaped state, everyone else. But it’s also not our fault that we don’t.