Personal Statement

Personal Statement

Monday, July 18, 2011

Southern Girl 101: Geography Lesson

Dallas is not Fort Worth.  And Fort Worth, sure as shootin', is NOT Dallas.

Thus ends today's geography lesson.

Thanks to the Style Network, I now know how Arlington must have felt every time that a member of the sports press referred to the Super Bowl being held in "beautiful Cowboys Stadium located in Dallas, Texas."  See, moving west to east on I-30, you have Fort Worth, and then Arlington - home to "beautiful Cowboys Stadium" - and then Grand Prairie, and then you get to Dallas.  It's roughly a forty-minute drive - or, put another way, roughly five minutes outside of my bladder's comfort zone if I have a beverage before I leave the house or enjoy one in the car.  Seriously.  Ask my spouse:  every time we drove to Dallas as early marrieds, I would ask him to stop the car just outside of Dallas proper so that I could take a potty break.  Except that there is no feasible place to stop for a potty break as you are driving into Dallas on I-30 from Fort Worth.  Sketchy liquor stores, yes; high-end travel stations, no.

I learned to hold it.

We used to go to Dallas fairly frequently in our early married days, to see friends, or to eat at restaurants or shop at stores that had yet to come to Tarrant County.  But then we got more restaurants and stores - and now our Dallas travel is limited to:  (1) trips to the Dallas World Aquarium; (2) trips to the Dallas Arboretum (for "Dallas Blooms" at Easter or the pumpkin patch in the fall); and (3) the occasional trip to see a sporting event at the American Airlines Center.  Oh, and the occasional girlfriend trip.  Within the last twelve months, I have taken two of these - an evening trip to see a revival of "Cabaret" in the Arts District and an afternoon trip with Friend Robyn that began with lunch at Campisi's.  We checked out various antiques stores, bought Mexican dresses and blouses at La Mariposa and bought suzani and Ikat pillow covers at The Funky Turkish Store Next Door to La Mariposa.  (That is its actual name - okay, not really.)

That's it for me and Dallas.  Sharks, pumpkins, Mexican blouses and Turkish housewares.  Oh, and Turkish food.  Cafe Istanbul is one of my favorite Mediterranean restaurants, and it's in Dallas.  But, really, that's it - the Turkish stuff and the other stuff.  The rest of the time, I am more than happy to stay on the Tarrant County side of the county line.  We have our thing, and Dallas has its thing.

Except, the Style Network has decided to mix the chocolate with the peanut butter.  Friend Beth sounded the alarm on Facebook:  "Has anyone else stumbled across this show, 'Big Rich Texas'"?  She proceeded to set the scene:  big-haired women with big voices, acting catty - like the Real Housewives of New Jersey, but with bleached blonde hair and Texas twangs.  This, we have seen before.  Many times.  But then she dropped the bombshell.

The focal point of the show is "an exclusive Dallas country club."  And the name of that exclusive Dallas country club is . . . Woodhaven. 

Um, what?  Woodhaven?  The place off of I-30, behind Nolan Catholic High School and the Channel 5 tower?  Okay, I'll give you "country club."  "Exclusive"?  Yeah, that's sort of debatable.  It's more of a neighborhood thing (apparently, it's really become a neighborhood thing - read on). 

And "Dallas"?

Um, no.  Woodhaven is in east Fort Worth, as you approach Arlington.  And, as you learned from today's geography lesson (sing it with me, "The Arlington's connected to the Grand Prairie, and the Grand Prairie's connected to the Dallas."  Thank you very much.

Woodhaven Country Club is not Dallas - not geographically, and not otherwise.

And yet here are these women who, actually, factually, live in Highland Park or Highland Park-Adjacent (I confirmed this through the Dallas Observer blog - apparently, some Dallasites are as amused by the "Woodhaven's in Dallas" concept as we are over here) going on and on about how everybody who's everybody in Dallas is a member of Woodhaven Country Club.

Here's what I (and the aforementioned Dallasites) think happened:  Style Network pitched the idea about a show centering on the Texas country club lifestyle.  Every Dallas country club said, "Pass."  Then they probably approached the clubs in central Fort Worth (Colonial, Mira Vista, Ridglea, Rivercrest and Shady Oaks), who also said, "Pass."  But Woodhaven said, "Sure."  Because, apparently, Woodhaven was recently purchased by a resident of the Woodhaven neighborhood, and apparently said purchaser (1) wants to boost membership and (2) isn't a wallflower.  Far from it:  apparently, he is in the cast.  (When I say that we're obsessed with this show, understand that only Friend Beth has seen the show thus far - but I am totally watching it when it encores in one hour and nine minutes.)  And, I'm guessing, the members of the club featured in the show (including, but not limited to, the one who insists that all prospective members have to go through her first) had never heard of Woodhaven Country Club until their (comped?) membership packets came in the mail, mere hours before the Style Network production trucks rolled into town.

That town being FORT WORTH, people.  Hey, we're known for our entrepreneurial spirit, so, you go, Woodhaven Country Club Owner!
Stay tuned, as no doubt I will have hot sports opinions about this hot mess of a show.

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