Thanks for your question. I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve had a poor experience in TX; I hope it’s not all bad :(
Where in TX did you move? I’m from Houston; it’s the 4th largest city in the US and as such, pretty much busy like every other major city in that people are going to be self-absorbed. Austin seems to be a bit better about being friendly, and especially great for 20-30year olds. As a Houstonian, I’m pretty much trained to dislike Dallas even though I don’t have anything concretely bad to say about it, nor do I have much to say about San Antonio except that the hill country is beautiful and the Alamo is awesome.
What I can say is that major cities will probably lack the southern hospitality that you’d heard of. You’ll mostly find it in small towns. My dad’s family is from Raywood which is right near Liberty and everyone there is friendly as can be, Howdy! and How d’ya do? and whatnot. My mom’s family is from Brenham, where the Bluebell factory is. And I went to summer camp in Hunt…everyone goes to summer camp in Hunt; it’s like the summer camp Mecca and everyone there was super friendly as well. I think it’s the whole small town mentality that makes people really value their neighbors and keep close relationships. When the town is small you get to know everyone.
I think it might also be a generational thing. Back in the day people would invite neighbors over for dinner, take fruit cakes to neighbors who just moved in, have block parties, town hall meetings, ask their neighbors to borrow a couple eggs or some sugar, kids played outside, etc. That doesn’t really happen anymore. Maybe it’s because of technology; maybe people think people aren’t as safe anymore, I don’t know, but it’s sad.
As for chilvalry, many people say it’s dead, but I will say that there are definitely some men I’ve met who still take off their hat indoors, stand when a lady enters the room, pull out the lady’s chair, open car doors for a lady, hold doors open for people, “Yes Ma’am and Yessir” etc. So it’s not completely dead and those kind of things I definitely see in Texas rather than in Massachusetts where I go to school. On the other hand, you will also find people who are more conservative and ignorantly or blindly racist/sexist/homophobic people in Texas, especially the small towns, that you won’t really find on the East Coast.
What I can say from my experience in TX and in MA is that Texans are slightly more laid back and slower paced, not in nearly as much of a rush. In Texas, even in the big cities strangers smile at me and wave or say hello as we cross paths. In Boston, that doesn’t happen; strangers pass right by you minding their own business. I think people in general are just ruder nowadays and it saddens me.
I feel like I’ve rambled but I hope this helps a bit. Let’s both try to be as nice and hospitable as possible to spread the love and respect :)
Much Texas Love,
Everything Bigger in Texas