Just kidding! It's not that late!
I've been in Texas for three full days. Here's what I've observed:
First of all, airport security is kinda like being strip searched. I couldn't help but pity the poor schmucks in front of me who hadn't had the presence of mind to dress for the airport. Slip on shoes are key, guys. Don't wear a belt. And never EVER assume you're going to make it through security with a blazer on over that sequined spaghetti strap tank top, because you're just not.
It's weird, 'cause one minute you're walking through the airport, avoiding everyone's gaze, and the next you're all standing in a line together, half naked and barefoot. For some reason, once we all get through the metal detectors, I always half expect to get a slap on the butt and a "hit the showers!"
The next thing I've discovered during my time here is that Lowes is better than Home Depot. How did I suddenly become an expert on this topic? Because my parents have a sick sense of humor, that's how. They must have noticed that after two years at a cushy desk job, my hands had become silky smooth and particularly vulnerable to the elements. What better time to cash in on one of the billion favors I owe them by handing me a rough-handled shovel and telling me to "dig for my dinner"? (P.S. Mom, that phrase still isn't making much sense to me.)
We went to Lowes first. We needed ten 40 lb bags of sand. We had just loaded one bag onto our dolly when one of the employees rushed over to help us. He loaded all our bags on to the dolly, rolled them up to the counter so we could check out, and hoisted them all into the back of our truck. He was like an angel of mercy, sent from Heaven to protect us from unnecessary back strain.
Several hours later, we realized we needed more sand, as well as about a billion paving stones that they only carry at Home Depot, so that's where we went. We heaved one bag of sand onto our cart and then paused for a moment, anxiously awaiting the sounds of another strapping young man springing to action. No such sounds reached our ears. In fact, as we painstakingly loaded the rest of the bags, I noticed a couple of layabout employees just standing around instead of what they should have been doing: all the hard work so I wouldn't have to.
Lastly, it seems that each time I prepare to return home, I'm so excited about all the great food and the fact that you can get a four-pack of personal sized bottles of Lambrusco at the grocery stores here that I forget about one very important thing: bugs. The bugs here love me. My dad always used to say it was because I was so sweet...which honestly wasn't all that comforting as I surveyed the 75+ throbbing red lumps that seemed to perpetually cover my arms and legs for most of my childhood. I got a few mosquito bites over the weekend, but I threw down on some bug spray and things seemed to improve...that is, until tonight, when I'm pretty sure I was bitten by the largest and most vengeful fire ant ever to scurry over God's green earth. I remember hearing a lot of screaming and crying and thinking to myself, "Whoever that is really needs to get it together! After all, what could be worse that what's happening to me right nooOOOOOOWWWWWAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH - oh wait...that's MY agonized wailing, isn't it? I thought it sounded peculiarly melodic..."
So in short, what I've learned so far in Texas is that I'm better than everyone else in line at the airport security checkpoint, I have a blister on my thumb the size of a half dollar because my parents made me use a shovel for the first time in my life, and fire ants are the devil.