Okay, so here’s the thing. I’m from Texas. You know, the Lone Star State. Now, it’s important that you know there are some cowboys here, we do have a lot of trucks, and there is the occasional hoedown.
But Texas is more than that. Dallas is a freakin’ technological mecca, we have some really great schools, and um, most of us haven’t even been on a horse.*
So, when I was watching an episode of the best show ever to grace television Castle the other day, and I saw a man wearing a bolo tie, something died inside me.
I called to my husband in the kitchen, “See that guy in the bolo? Ten bucks says we find out he’s from Texas.”
He didn’t take the bet. He knew it was a lost cause.
About thirty seconds later, the character said something about how back in Texas those sorts of things just aren’t done.
Dammit. Why is that the cue for a Texas boy? I don’t think I’ve ever even seen a man wearing a a bolo out in public– and I’ve been here all my life.
But, I know enough about them to know that is the stereotypical outfit for Texas guys.
It got me thinking about other stereotypes in general. If we see a girl with ratty hair and a tacky accent, we assume she’s from Jersey. Blondes are from California… Corn fed Iowa boys wear flannel shirts and, um eat corn.
Ugh, I want to hate stereotypes, really I do, but the truth is, they make a writer’s job a little easier. I know part of our job is to bust out of those sorts of thinking and get people to believe things they wouldn’t normally believe, but the thing is… sometimes a guy in a Bolo Tie is just what you need to tell your readers that he’s definitely not one of those smooth talkin’ carpet baggin’ Yankees.