The first time I heard my (now) husband Kevin speak, I thought he sounded like a cowboy. I mean, television portrays anyone with a southern accent as cowboy(ish) right? Through my business travels I had visited Kentucky, Tennessee (even Graceland) and Dallas a few times for international trade shows I participated in as a Marketing Coordinator. I found men in Dallas to be unapologetic in their manliness. I was engaged when I was travelling to Dallas (and substantially cuter with long thick black hair that men used to try to touch – seriously what is the “hair thing” with men?). Anyhow… Dallas men struck me as charming, mannered but lusty in general and not afraid to “go after a girl” if they wanted her.
Unlike the University men I knew that had to draft a forty-point strategy to get a girl to even go on a date. Sigh… I have always preferred the cocky, overconfident man.
Many visits back and forth, and back and forth… and back and… well, you know. The two years we spent ‘courting’ long distance made American Airlines really happy and dinged my bank account dramatically. Savings? What savings? But every trip I arrived with the anticipation of seeing real cowboy’s. I mean, come on… this is Texas right? Where the hell are the stretched Cadillac convertibles with long horns on the grille? Shouldn’t bad ass, slightly sweaty and dusty cowboy boot wearing men be riding their horses down highway 75?
Disillusioned I decided one day that Kevin’s Uncle Tim was a cowboy. I think it was because they have a beautiful ranch and acreage, he is a little bit of a poet and existential thinker (cowboy philosopher?) and he lived out in the country, liked bonfires and looked like one of those guys in a good country western movie. Plus, he’s handy and struck me as being the kind of guy that could fix anything. I liked Aunt Liza and Uncle Tim immediately and felt comfortable around them. You can’t fake genuine … and they are as kind, real, fun and genuine as human beings get and I love ’em.
In my head, Uncle Tim was a cowboy. Until the day that I told him he was a cowboy, at which time he laughed (and laughed) and then laughed and let me know that he wasn’t anything like a cowboy and asked why I thought so. I gave him my rationale and he laughed again and gave me a hug. Nope. Not a cowboy (not because of the hug but because he has never been in a rodeo, roped cattle and while he is handy, he is really a superstar contractor instead of a cowboy).
The truth of the matter is that you’d be more likely to see someone driving a Ford Mustang than a herd of cows.
Now in North Texas there is evidence all around me of cowboys. There are farms with cows and horses that hint of the existence of real cowboys. There are cowboy churches even (apparently you get steak and eggs for breakfast after mass…. seriously thinking of joining that Church let me tell you.. yum!). There are signs for rodeo’s around the Whitesboro area, so like… where there are rodeo’s there must be cowboys right?
In between helping my new friend Sonja and Kevin’s old childhood friend Damon do some renovation work on their 150 year old home restoration (it’s going to be so cool!) Sonja and I went out for health food. While we were standing in line, there were two men wearing big cowboy hats (one point), tight jeans (two points), cowboy boots (three points) and BOTH of them had spurs! DING DING DING!
Upon uploading my excited evidence of cowboys in their natural state of dress in the unnatural state of McDonald’s, I have been informed that they are dressed “too pretty” to be real cowboys. Apparently if your belt coordinates with your boots, you are a faux-boy … instead of a cowboy. The quest has become thus more complicated.
May 5th will be my first year anniversary as a resident of Texas. I’m going to find a cowboy this summer if it kills me. And when I do I will subject him to some questions to verify his authenticity. Then, I will ask him to take a picture with me… for evidence.
The photo above was taken in a real McDonald’s, eating not-real food surrounded by not-real cowboys. [Insert dejected look].