There’ll Always Be Texas

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By Sugar Mama

asksugarpic-finalBWAs a required part of his fifth grade curriculum, my eldest son was asked to write a report on the pope, who, at the time, was Pope Benedict XVI. The timing also coincided with the news of his retirement, and each student was asked to include his or her feelings about this decision. My son is not Catholic, and he really has no opinion on anything other than how buying him a Porsche now, when he’s 10, is a good investment given the high inventory of luxury items in our current, low demand economy. But he did manage to eek out a few lines about the papal party line of feeling old, tired and struggling with arthritis. “What a cop out,” my son wrote. “He was probably just scared of failing.” I warned him that this could result in a trip to the principal’s office given his is a Catholic school, but who was I to censor his feelings when I refuse to do the same?

Especially when they cost me love, friendship and wheels of brie?

My family and I had just returned from a summer vacation in Texas when I ran into a couple of friends at the grocery store. One had just come back from Jackson Hole, Wyo., and the other, Paris. I have family in Jackson Hole, so all the things she enjoyed were not lost on me. As my other friend launched into her Paris trip, however—how great the community bikes were, how there was an unseasonably pleasant breeze standing in line at the Louvre, blah, blah, blah—I shrugged my shoulders and, said. “Eh, I’ve never really been a fan of Paris.”

“Never been a fan?” they repeated back, utterly in  unison.

To my defense I’ve been to Paris three times, and, each time, a little less destitute than the last. But even as the opportunity to eat three meals a day progressed from one baguette and a travel-sized package of Nutella every other day, the city of romance has consistently failed to woo me.

“But a dirty little farm town in Texas in 100-degree weather does,” my friend said as the other silently mouthed, “Wow.”

Right there in the middle of an Albertson’s parking lot, my desire to shoot firearms at Coke cans over shooting le breeze with Mona Lisa had single-handedly blasphemed the most beloved city in the world.

As it turned out, my son ended up receiving an A on his paper with no incident. There was even a note in the margin that said, “Interesting point of view.” Not so with my lack of joie de brie. I continue to find solace, however, in one of Pope Benedict XVI’s most famous quotes: “An ‘adult’ faith does not follow the waves of fashion and the latest novelties.”

But, of course, he had never been to Texas. LBM

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