I Hate Houston

“Beth, why do you hate Houston?”

This question came completely out of the blue and gave me pause, because while I do dislike Houston on general principle (and really all principles), I wasn’t aware that it was a well-known and discussed fact.  Like many prejudices among people who consider themselves cultured or worldly or educated, I thought I had fairly successfully kept this one under wraps,

Why I Hate Houston

Texas is a large state and as you probably heard we like to use the word “big” a lot when referencing anything concerning our state.  In fact, “bigger” is preferred to the less grand “big”, because we believe everything is “bigger” here.  Now one of the features of being a “bigger” state is we have several distinct geographical regions, at least we feel they’re distinct and we’d prefer they not mix with our own personal region unless tourist dollars are involved.  We have deserts, forests, beaches, plains and mountains.  Each region typically has its own defining qualities and its own dialect.  True story, we don’t all sound like we tumbled off the set of The Lone Ranger and those who do that hail from East Texas, don’t sound like those who do that hail from West Texas.  Being from Texas, we’re aware of the different drawls and dialects, but it’s ok by us (or me) that you’re not.  It’s a “big” place.

Photo by: Walter Iooss. Jr./Sports Illustrated

My family is from Dallas.  They were born in Dallas and I was born within the Dallas Metroplex.  We like that word “Metroplex” because it sounds big and kind of smart.  My birthright includes a love of the Cowboys, the Rangers, the Mavericks, Six Flags, a desire to see every State Fair, a crush on Big Tex, a bizarre love of wrestling (I try not to indulge, because it makes me feel a bit dirty) and a disdain for all other large cities – all of which happen to be not as large or as grand as Dallas. Tom Landry is our patron saint and if truth be told, I aspired to be a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader (anyone who knows me probably just spit out whatever they were drinking, but there you have it).

Growing up, the only university that mattered was SMU (Southern Methodist University) where my grandmother attended and was president of her sorority.  I believe her brothers went there as well, but my memory is hazy and there aren’t a lot of people around to ask these days. At the time, the only thing I knew about the University of Texas was that some rowdy students would descend on our blessed Cotton Bowl to disrupt the State Fair over some ridiculous rivalry with an equally unimportant school, Oklahoma University (OU).

Dallas has its own culture and style and Dallas is proud.

Then there’s Houston.

When I think about the other large cities through the eyes of a proud daughter of Dallas, I mostly shrug with indifference until you get to Houston.  I could make up a lot of things about Dallas’ ugly older cousin, but it would just be mean and somewhat untrue.  Plus, if you don’t understand it’s the armpit of the state, there’s not a lot I can do for you, bless your heart. And let’s admit it, they’ve got some things working for them – the Astros, the Oilers (I mean the Texans), Rice and they had AstroWorld if your parents couldn’t take you to a real theme park. They do have astronauts and astronauts are cool I suppose if you’re into astronauts or have some fond memories of Tang, but seriously, despite all they’ve got working for them, they’re just not Dallas.

So, to answer the question: What it comes down to is I just don’t like Houston because it’s Houston – plain and simple – my Zen of Disdain – Houston just “is” and I find its is-ness disagreeable.  Blame my genetic code.  It’s something I can’t help.  Any other reason you may have heard is pure bullshit.

… and neither of them are Austin.

12 thoughts on “I Hate Houston

  1. Haha My friend moved to Texas and he hates Houston too.

  2. wagnerowicz says:

    this reminds me of how people from the five boroughs of NYC hate upstate NY and vice versa. I’m one of the 5 borough people 🙂


  3. […] as a sarcastic middle-aged Texan.  I’ve made outrageous claims only to state them as fact: “Houston is the armpit of the state”. I might not have said it quite so boldly, but the careful reader could easily read between the […]

  4. Know both cities – this was great. The two really can’t be compared – each so totally different…the people, the land, the attitudes. Pick your poison! ….now Austin, that’s a whole different thing

    • Beth says:

      I completely agree; they’re two fairly different cities – neither necessarily better than the other, just different. While my family is from Dallas and it’s my duty to sing Dallas’ praises (or face getting voted out of the family), I do have some truly great friends from the Houston area and we all love to throw in some good-natured jabs as each other’s cities when we get together.

      Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving a comment!

  5. […] safe to say I hate square dancing. I may even hate it more than bowling, or Houston. Advertisement GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

  6. […] I Hate Houston – this is a very inside joke between me and another friend, although I am proud to claim that at one point it was among the top 3 searches if you Googled “I Hate Houston”.  Sadly, it’s slipping in the ratings.  Anyway, it’s my most read blog piece.  Oh, and for the record, I’m just indifferent to Houston. […]

  7. Peter says:

    I have been here 3 weeks from NYC and this place is so ugly, it deserves THE BIGGEST LOSER and WHAT NOT TO WEAR to come here as well as TABATHA to just make it better. WHAT AN UGLY CITY…I am trying to find the charm of it,and there is nothing charming or pretty about this piss poo.

    • Me says:

      Peter I came here from Florida and feel the same way. Still trying to figure out how yoga pants are some how appropriate for any occasion in the Houston area.

  8. britt says:

    I haaaaatttttteeeee houston!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. […] Hmm. Urban blight vs. maples. Or the oak vs. the maples, whatever. Still better than Houston… […]

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