For some time now, I have harbored a not completely inexplicable fascination with Texas: the second largest state in our vast, wild, glorious union, its expanse of geography and history and culture is iconic. I have not yet been, but, like many who have never met the breeze or basked in the sun or walked the paths or driven the roads or tasted the food and drink, I nonetheless feel a sense of familiarity with the place. A sort of imagined, fictional nostalgia, one built from a collective cultural consciousness of the state, an almost personified aura that is palpable and potent for even us strangers, foreigners, to this land, almost its own nation.
A few months ago, I obsessively watched the entire series of Friday Night Lights; interest in specific character development and plot trajectories aside, I was enthralled with this sort of phantom connection I felt, for the town of Dillon and for the broader state. Where I grew up in Baltimore, lacrosse is god, football something you played in the off season to stay in shape, keep limber. The town did not close for Friday evening games. More than a handful of fans in the stadium, beyond the family members, was a successful crowd turnout. Personally, if I had been to two football games while a high school student, I would be surprised. Yet the notion of small-town football, never a direct visceral experience, is one I know; it is an American trope. The football coach, the clean-cut quarterback, the disgruntled and aggressive defensiveback, the zealous and fanatic parents, all archetypes that those who have lived here in this country long enough recognize, can feel empathy for, can find bemusement in satirizing.
On the Fourth of July, while gorging and guzzling with friends, we all shared a pack of Texan-themed temporary tattoos and applied them each other, selecting bizarre body locations for the stereotypical symbols. I chose the longhorn and, aptly, placed it on my left shoulder blade. When I spied this white leather snake hide clutch, embellished with a longhorn skull, I immediately wished it was a piece I could carry with me every day, no matter the occasion or the purpose. My clutch collection has not had a new addition in quite some time; the cross-cultural exchange with my vintage patent leather and wicker bags could be interesting.
(image taken from Bag Poor)