So Stereotypical…

This is my friend Kristen and me.

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I’ve known her since…..since a time…that I don’t remember…but since I lived at this one apartment, where we met! It was in college. We both went to Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah. I loved it there, because the weather is great and the scenery is amazing. It is beautiful there.

We went to the Holi Festival of Colors together…

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Yep, it’s true. Basically all the BYU students go.

We also did many other fun things together, just not all documented in pictures. 

Anyway….we have both since graduated, and that has not kept us apart. Yes, we are far way. I live in Texas, and she lives in…Utah? I don’t even know! No, we don’t talk often. Yes, we email. It takes us a LONG time to respond to one another, though. Like after a few weeks or months. But most recently, I just responded to her email from a year ago. It’s just that I wait until I have time to write a thorough response!

I love our emails, because sitting down and typing things gives me time to reflect and think through things that normally I would just speed through if I was talking instead of taking the time to type it all.

Last year we were talking about stereotypes, and I found it very interesting and she said I could share with my small world of readers…

Kristen:
Also, I have never been to Texas but my daddy grew up there (in El Paso–the armpit of the state, I hear). So, here is my question for you: what is the culture of Texas? Are the stereotypes true? You don’t fit them (no cowboy hat or football/barbecue/oil obsession) so I assume they’re not wholly true 🙂 

Also, do I fit Utah stereotypes?
 
Me:
Culture of Texas….well it is pretty diverse. I am from the suburban area of Houston, which is why I am not the cowboy type. But don’t get me wrong – I love me a cowboy! And for the record, I DO have a BBQ obsession 🙂 And steak – I LOVE steak!
 
I moved from Utah to Texas in 3rd grade. Before I moved, a boy named Logan went on vacation to Texas and came back in full cowboy gear – boots, chaps, cowboy hat, etc. So, that’s what I thought Texas was! So my family moves here and I’m like “WHAT?!” Obviously Logan was LYING. But then as I got older I realized that Logan had simply not been to Houston. He had been to a DIFFERENT part of The Great State. 
 
Yes, there are parts of Texas where people live that TOTALLY match the Texas stereotype. I even have friends like that – one friend from HS was raised on a ranch and he rides in rodeos and has a heavy Texas drawl and such. And I have another friend who married a cowboy and they live on a farm and have horses and such. But, for the most part, my friends and associates are all from the suburban areas as well. Now, if you go out to West Texas, it’s another story. A whole lotta nothin, just fields and fields…crops, oil, etc. I love it all. Well, driving through West Texas is hard because there’s not much to see, but I also love the beauty in the simplicity. 
 
I love Texas due to the diversity. Especially here in Houston. For example, as a white girl, I was the racial minority in my high school, with the majorities being Hispanic and African American. I loved it. I have so many friends from various cultures that have taught me that there is more than one way to live your life. I love it. I love learning about their culture and lives and history. I mean, yes, America is very diverse in general. But Houston has it all!
 
Ok, ok. Confession: I also love Texas because of the Blue Bell Ice Cream, the Texas-shaped foods, and the Texas flags flyin’ high with pride. 
 
Let’s see…when I think of a “Utah girl”, I think of a skinny Mormon girl with blonde straight hair who puts it in a big Utah poof…ya know, the bump on top of the head? Yeah…that. I also imagine that she doesn’t understand how I can have more non-Mormon friends than I do Mormon friends, doesn’t think I should have friends who are attracted to people of the same sex, and has had a generally easy life (meaning lacking in hardships of the truly taxing variety). 
 
Now, my dear Kristen, you definitely do not fit my idea of a “Utah girl” stereotype. In fact, I have not met anyone who does. I have met many people who are almost a 100% match, but most people are nothing like my initial stereotypical thoughts, or they only fit a few of the “conditions”, or they are only missing 1 or 2. There may or may not be someone out there who is a 100% match for that, but if there is, I have yet to meet her. 
 
Okay well, I have met people who I THOUGHT lived up to my “Utah girl” stereotype perfectly…but then as I got to know them, I realized that even though they may fit some of my “conditions,” there are so many hidden things in each person’s life, so many quirks you will never know until you get to know the person, and I would have missed out on some beautiful friendships if I had let my idea of a “Utah girl” stop me from getting to know people. 
 
It just goes to show that stereotypes are not usually correct. And I think it is a beautiful, wonderful thing. There are so many things that you can learn from each and every person. You just have to get to know them. 
 
And wow….I had never spelled that out before. I thoroughly enjoy our discussions.
  
As I said before, I love my talks with Kristen. Well, emails 🙂
She said after that that she used to fit that stereotype when she was in high school, and was an “ultra self-righteous jerk”…but she said she is “all better now.” 
And I love her. 
Basically, don’t judge someone based on a stereotype. You’ll most likely be wrong. There is so much to learn about each person in this world. Go learn. 
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