A little background first…
I’m a born and raised Texan. I grew up in small towns where football ruled Friday nights all over the state from September through December. It didn’t matter if you had a child who played football or not. If you lived in a small town, the place to be Friday night was at the game.
BBQs were mandatory on certain days like Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day. I’m pretty certain that every single wedding I attended from birth into my early twenties served BBQ at the reception. Every man has his own special secret recipe that brings them pride. Although, a little secret…the women buy the food, season the meat, chop the vegetables, and pretty much do everything but cook the damn meat.
Fall was a time where the men (and some women like my mom) hunted and filled up the freezers with the 3 D’s: Deer, Dove, and Ducks. After the Thanksgiving meal was served we would watch our beloved Aggies Beat The Hell Outta t.u. However, during the years that we played on Fridays, as soon as the meal was over my parents would load up and head out to their deer lease. Although, I, myself, don’t really hunt, I have spent many hours on deer leases. Hunting is a way of life in Texas.
I attended Texas A&M University and received a degree from the College of Agriculture. I was surrounded mostly by like minded people. Sure, there were many from bigger cities in Texas and some from out of state. But for the most part, everyone understood the culture and could relate.
Fast-forward about 9 years…..
To when I started a new job in the Fort Worth/Arlington/Grand Prairie area of the Metroplex. I had worked at other companies around the state and even worked remotely with many people around the country. I’ve never had issues with anyone considered me a “redneck” or any other typical stereo-type that are sadly often associated with Texans (at least not to my face). However, from Day 1 at this new company it was clear that I was the odd man out. Most of my co-workers (men and women) were from the Dallas area. Let me be very clear that I have nothing against the people of Dallas, but they are just a bit different than the rest of the state. I would tell my co-workers about my weekend or stories from my life and they would look at me crazy. I remember once incident very clearly.
Co-Worker – “So, Nancy, what’d you do this weekend?”
Me – “It was my husband’s birthday so I told him we could do what he wanted to do. Well, he wanted to go out to his deer lease…”
Co-Worker – “His what?”
Me – “You know, his deer lease. Where he goes to hunt. He has access to it year round (it was April) and it’s turkey season so he wanted to go hunting.”
Co-Worker – “He, like, kills turkey?”
Me – “Yeah. And he also wanted to look around for arrowheads, so we..”
Co-Worker – “Wait, who the hell are you married to? Grizzly Adams?”
Well in my mind, I’m married to a typical (but oh so special) Texas man. I would continue to tell these people about my normal life, such as buying a tractor, building our barndominium, and life around town. One day that same previous co-worker interrupted another one of my stories with this gem:
“You know, Nancy, you don’t really talk like one, or act like one, and you’re really smart, but sometimes thing things you say or talk about….well…..you’re kind of…yum….well…you’re kind of like Upper Class Country.”
That her polite way of calling me a redneck. While most people would probably take offense to that, I really kind of liked that title, Upper Class Country. It sort of became my mantra. I would joke with another co-worker who I was close to about this saying. “Oh, well that’s not Upper Class Country,” or “That’s because I’m Upper Class Country.” It just fit.
So, I guess in a nutshell, Upper Class Country is someone who is educated (doesn’t have to be formally), well-rounded, can enjoy the finer things in life, but who also really enjoys the country life. In my opinion, its someone who can fit in anywhere. I can mingle with the high brows, but also talk soil to a farmer.
That’s what this blog will be about. I hope you enjoy my stories and can share some of your own.