I really do want a cowboy for Christmas...well, actually, I want the idea of a cowboy more than the actual cowboy himself. And, I am speaking from experience here. There is a romanticism about cowboys that I have held since early childhood on the flat plains of west Texas.
I went on a cattle drive for a week in Colorado once upon a time, and I felt like I was in a Cormac McCarthy novel (NOT the novel, No Country for Old Men, which you MUST see at the movies, by the way).
When I was introduced to the head wrangler (we'll call him John), it was all I could do not to physically swoon at his firm, cowboy handshake. He climbed down from his bay mare named Sister with his spurs jingling and the fringe on his chaps swaying as he walked toward me. He took off his hat and held it to his chest as he nodded his head gently. He smelled of cheap, drug store cologne, horse sweat and leather, and his eyelashes were long and black.
I fancy myself a fairly good flirter so I put'er into high gear from that point forward. On the 3rd day, when I was on KP duty and cleaning up after a meal over a campfire in the mountains, John walked up to me, and as he handed me his empty plate, he said, "This is how we thank our women out here in the west." He cocked his head and came directly at me, planting a soft, quick kiss on my lips, then backed away, smiled, got on his horse and rode out to the herd. Don't I sound like I'm making this shit up?? I'm NOT!
I could continue with more details, but I would sound like a total slut from a schlocky, bad, cheap romance novel which was exactly what I was hoping for with this cowboy. He didn't disappoint, but here's the thing... after I kissed him goodbye on that last day, watched him load Sister in his horse trailer and drive away, waving to me out of his window, I realized that if I ever tried to take him to an opera, he wouldn't get it. I would be afraid he might stack all of his plates at a sitdown dinner party. And, his politics would be way too black/white and simple for me.
So, I get to keep my cattle drive memory in my little back pocket and move onward through the man-fog as a single, middle-aged woman. Cowboys beware!!
Yeah, cowboys are all manly and protective of their little darlin's. I know that because in 1978, here in Austin, Texas, I sort of went a little nutty while working in the music business and did a lot of one night stands with cowboys. I'm just establishing my experience in this category. Also, as you daily readers know, I worked on a lot of western movies in the eighties and nineties (see movie credits over there on the right somewhere) and therefore was around many a teamster wrangler/stuntman.
Well, hell, I was 28 in Austin and Aids wasn't here yet and the band and celebrity I worked for played in a lot of honky-tonks so the cowboys were everywhere. My experience is that cowboys are fun to sleep with but they fart a lot. Also they spit very often and excuse me but I prefer the smell of Irish Spring soap to cheap drugstore cologne, leather and horse sweat. I once had cowboy ask me why I thought it was important to read. I think that was why that one was a one-night stand. One very handsome but somewhat dim horseman told me that standing there and looking pretty and being quiet was the mark of a good woman. Another one nighter. And then there was the bronc rider who wanted me to go off to Wyoming with him to live in a TeePee by the river. You have seen my picture. Can you see me cooking just-kilt varmint over an outdoor, wood fire with a t-shirt that reads, 'Grand Tetons' over my chest? Hellooo.
Ride 'em cowboy...