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,