Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Marlboro Man

Yesterday after spending some serious time in the blogosphere I ended up at a site called Confessions of a Pioneer Woman. The title alone was enough to draw me in, but what kept me there until around 2 am and again for most of this afternoon was this statement on a sidebar: "The Night I met the Marlboro Man or Harlequin Romance meets Green Acres meets the Godfather in our wild tale of romance and cow manure." If you mosey on over to the site don't say I didn't warn you. Once you read the first installment, you'll be hooked. I've been reading off and on all day and I've only gotten to Chapter 28. So far there has been steamy, rolling around in a pick-up truck under a starry night sky making out. Actually, there's been steamy making out in lots of places. Mix that with some Lucille Ball goofiness and you'll be entertained.

Maybe it's just me. I've kind of had a secret thing for cowboys. Tall, muscular, boot-wearing, hat-dipping, Howdy Mam fellows that smell of hay and leather and Sassperilla. That fantasy flew out the window when I met my Sweetie. Let's face it, even though he walks with a John Wayne swagger, and wears a denim shirt that may have seen one too many rodeos, the man I love looks a lot more like big ol' huggable Santa than the Marlboro Man.

I'm not sure when my desire for cowboys began. And, truth be told, it's a bit odd because I'm afraid of horses, and have never been close to a cow that didn't wreak of manure - not one of my favorite smells. I may be a sucker for the advertising, but the other thing about the Marlboro Man that would turn me off today would be the cigarette smoking. The very thing that did the cardboard cowboy in.

There was a time, however, that my little heart would go pitty pat at the sight of a man who looked like he stepped out of the Marlboro ad. Back in the 80's when I was going through a delayed adolescence, we hung out a local honky tonk called the Bonita Store. At the time Bonita (a suburb of San Diego) was known for having the highest number of horses per capita in the U.S. A little known fact to everyone but the horse owners who actually had a place to bed their horse next to the 2 car garage. The town was full of cowboy wanna-bes. Sure there were horses in Bonita, but I don't recall seeing one cow except when the Holstein Exposition set up camp inside the newly renovated million dollar Convention Center.

Needless to say, there were a lot of denim wearing boys saddling up to the Bonita Store bar. At the time I was married to a man from Texas, i.e. God's country. A man who made me promise to bury him with his boots on. A man who wasn't overly impressed with the California version of a cowboy. A man who didn't really care for his wife throwing down shots of Tequila and ogling the bar boys.

It was about that same time that I went to my first (and only) cowboy poetry reading and attempted to line dance. Cowboy poems are full of campfire and roping rhymes. Line dancing, I quickly learned, has more to do with coordination and rhythm than looking good in a ruffled skirt and tasseled boots. Without fail when the line in front of me was facing forward, I was facing backwards; when the rest of the dancers were stomping their heels, I was still clapping my hands. For me it was much more fun to suck on my Cuervo soaked lime than risk being trampled by the urban cowboys.

But time marches on. The Marlboro Man, like the cigarettes he advertised, lost his allure. I wear JMS (Just My Size) "mom" jeans instead of low cut Riders. I prefer the comfort of Birkenstock sandals to narrow toed boots that looked better than they felt. I've traded honky tonk bars and tequila for Micky D's iced tea. In fact, until yesterday I had pretty much forgotten about cowboys.

That said, I admit to being older and wiser, but I'm not dead yet. Reading Pioneer Woman's blog has rekindled my desire for the look and feel of denim, not to mention the leathery smell of a man who just spent quality time in his recliner sipping root beer out of an ice cold mug. Step aside Marlboro Man, I think I hear my Sweetie calling.

Wishing for you fantasies that make you smile,
Merry ME

3 comments:

Aurora said...

Merry,
Ree has some great comfort food recipes on her site.
She has done a superb job of marketing herself, with the recent cookbook, and now a tv movie deal for her romance with Marlboro Man (husband).

They are VERY very VERY wealthy, and it enables her to have lots of help on the Ranch with her 4 kids and all the cooking/entertaining /advertising give-aways she does.

I know the lady who designed/maintains her blog and Ree pays her $2,500 a month just to keep her blog going, for example.
This blog is a business for Ree and one she has made a great success over.

I have mixed feelings about her.
She is a giver in terms of her website is free, and that is wonderful.
It is interesting with the various parts of it, the photography, the cooking, the ranch remodel, homeschooling, etc.

I get very sick (jealous perhaps?) of how she always acts as though her life is perfect and makes it so quirky and cute in every detail.

Almost as though nobody could be as fabulous as she is.

She doesn't seem like a real human being with worries, upsets, issues , bad moods and disappointments. It's all glossed over and made to seem 'Leave it to Beaver' perfect.

She never responds to a comment left on her blog now that it has gotten so popular (often more than 1,000 comments a day) and I for one cannot stand to slavishly slobber over and adore someone where it is one-way; meaning she'll never be spending time on my blog leaving comments on my posts, and so this will never be a rich cyber friendship where it is a two way street of give-and-take and time invested.

So... yes, Marlboro Man may be a great man, a great husband and a great father.
Ree is indeed a talented human being.
I may simply be green with envy.
I just don't like her.

Maybe it's that the things I'm learning/finding important seem to be of no value/interest to her.
She just feels... shallow to me, like a glossy ad in a magazine.

Your sweetie sounds a lot more real than Marlboro Man. And so does your life.

And I get more from what you write/how you seem to be as a person in a few short months than I've ever gotten from 2 years of having her as a link.

I'm glad you - like me - are wearaing Not My Daughter's Jeans, even if Ree is wearing the trendy ones with the cute cowboy boots and turquoise jewelry.

Meow - I'll go see if my skin is green now!

Merry ME said...

Aurora,
You get the prize for making the longest comment ever on my blog. Apparently unlike other more read (read, famous) bloggers, I still enjoy comments. Long ones make me smile as well as think!
I don't know anything about Ree's blog except the Marlboro Man story. It is just the kind of fluff I needed in between the heavier stuff I've been reading. Romance stories rarely have real life struggles. They are all about the meeting, the struggle, the rescue and the happily ever after. If Ree has found the happily ever after, more power to her. I'm guessing there's real life in there somewhere even if we don't hear about it.

I must also say, I had no idea, not whatsoever, that anyone could make money by blogging! I'm grateful to have a small circle of friends who encourage me.

Aurora said...

Merry : Escapism fiction/romance novels used to be a source of great comfort to me. Sometimes the fluff is necessary to get us through an intense time:)

And yes, you can definitely make money on your blog through advertising. Depends how many people come to your blog and click on the ads, I think.