But I also love them for less mercantile reasons. In my experience, they are—without exception—very friendly people. I started skiing late in life (mid-30s), and I paid for it in the early going. When you're struggling to learn, there's nothing more important than the presence of sympathetic fellow stumblers. New Mexicans acted snooty. Texans shared my pain, and I had many deep, meaningful lift conversations that went like so:
Me: "How's it going?"
Texan: "Woooo. Man. I don't know."
Me: "I hear you, pardner."
Texan: "What I don't like is gettin' off the dang chair."
Me: "Me neither. But you hang in there."
Texan: "You too. And y'all have a GOOD day, awright?"
Just before Christmas, I "celebrated Texas skierness" by driving to Angel Fire and taking a lesson with a group of beginner Texans. They did not disappoint. There was a squealing mom with big hair and her husband's duck-hunting coat. There was a woman wearing enough makeup to terrify a Mary Kay rep. My favorite, though, was a high-school kid I'll call A.C., a huge, loud lunk who competes in calf-roping back home and basically ignored everything the ski instructor said.
"You pull that stuff up on the hill, you're going to get hurt," the instructor lectured.
"I don't give a shit," A.C. happily replied. Before long he was crashing rampantly and having a great time. We should all be so reckless.