I write this with a heavy heart, free of sarcasm, anger and expletives. Oh, who am I kidding?

I miss Japan. I miss my next-door convenience store, the sandwiches at Homeworks, the efficiency of public transportation, the skinny women in their fishnets, stilettos, shorty-shorts and sweaters, the views from my apartment. I even miss those freakin’ obasans who refuse to move out of the way when walking like an old, Japanese version of Charlie’s Angels down the sidewalk. But most of all, I miss Japanese hospitality. I know this issue is a dead, mummified horse for me. I just can’t stop beating this one problem to death. Southern hospitality sucks.

I picture a time when hospitality in Texas doesn’t make me want to scream, curse and act like a jerk in front of my parents. I long for a proud Southern state whose business establishments don’t employ incompetent assholes who take no pride in a job well done. I yearn for Texas pride, not Southern excuses.

They say a smile goes a long way, but I’d rather get things done. When I’m back in New York, I don’t often get smiles, but I do get service. Whether I’m in Saks or Starbuck’s, the salesperson or barista is attentive and quick, competent and efficient. In Texas, the salespeople drag their feet when you ask them a question, the baristas get your order wrong. Yes, I’m generalizing, but not by much. I wish I were.

I don’t think Southern hospitality ever existed. It was a myth created by those of us who grew up in the South. Maybe it was a reaction against what we saw as quick-witted and assertive Yankees. I left the South for New York as fast as I could, but I don’t hate it (at least not always). More than anything, Texas depresses me.

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