So, I have this dear friend who is living in Britain. And she has been known to quaff a pint or two. And drunk dial. Fortunately, she is terrifically amusing and I seldom mind her late night ramblings. When she lived in the states, I didn’t usually hear them until the next morning. However, with the time difference between Texas and the U.K., I now get to experience them live, in surround sound.
The latest was a Thursday night introduction to the new boyfriend, Steve. And a plea for a black Stetson. Apparently, she had decided that her adorable British boyfriend needed a bad ass black hat to complete the ensemble. And if the following sentence doesn’t convince you of how seriously I take my friendships, I don’t know what will.
I went to a western wear shop. Sober. In broad daylight.
And it was trippier than ANYTHING Alice saw. Believe me. Give me hallucinations over cowpeople ANY DAY. THIS was MY alternate universe.
Now, growing up, I had a brother who was a rodeo cowboy. So it’s not like I’ve never been around the vibe, right? And who hasn’t lusted after a hot cowboy or two?
But thangs is differnt in our country now. The Dixie Chicks are considered “communists” by most of the people I was shopping with. American Idol Carrie Underwood sings about the joys of destroying her cheatin’ man’s “pretty little souped up four-wheel drive” (which is completely oxymoronic in my book, anyway) and George Bush is still president.
Forget the fucking HEARTland. I’m ready for some BRAINland.
And the Saddles, Boots and Such Wearhouse isn’t going be the capital of Brainland, I can assure you.
I literally could have wandered into a store in a foreign country and not felt more like an outsider. These were not my people. My people don’t buy matching plaid, pearl-buttoned western cut shirts for Daddy and Son (although I convinced myself it had to be a Father’s Day affectation. Come on, I had to protect my sanity somehow!) My people don’t wear their pants so tight that they walk funny. That’s not a horse thing, y’all. It’s the jeans. Most of these people wouldn’t know how to ride a horse if it crawled up under ‘em.
But I patiently waded through the confederate flag bandanas and assorted yeehaw merchandise, grabbed a black hat on sale and got the hell out.
“Mission accomplished,” I crowed into the phone.
“Oh, sweetie! Didn’t you get my text message Friday morning? Steve is over. Done. I’ll explain when I see you. But needless to say, I won’t be needing the hat. I hope it’s not too much trouble to return it.”
No. No trouble at all. I’d like nothing better than to hear another tale of barrel racing gone awry. Or wonder if someone taught them to conjugate that way, or if it's genetic. No. No trouble.
On second thought, I wonder how I’d look in a black hat?