Throughout my life, cowboys have surrounded me. I took them for granted, believing that everyone grew up familiar with men dressed in sharply creased Wranglers that snuggly hugged their behinds, dusty cowboy boots, belt buckles big as saucers and jauntily cocked Stetsons. I thought all men opened doors for women, said ‘yes, ma’am” and “no, sir”, walked with a John Wayne swagger, and passionately defended their family and friends.
I was never surprised to see a cowboy walk into a hamburger joint wearing jangly spurs or a catch of whiff of livestock, rope, sun and leather as he sauntered past. The men I knew wore long sleeves and blue jeans all year round and never, ever put on sandals. They loved their dogs, guns and pickup trucks all pretty much equally.
Because this was the earth from where I was sprung, I did not really take much notice of cowboys. I was attracted to the exotic and unfamiliar, never realizing that cowboys were exotic and unfamiliar to someone. It was only when I started publishing books and an editor pointed out that as a country girl from Texas, I should be writing about cowboys, that I came to truly appreciate what I had.
The stereotypical cowboy is laconic, tall, lean, stalwart, stoic and rides to the tune of his own drummer, but stereotypes are stereotypes for a reason. This is the profile of most cowboys I’ve known. They’re loyal, compassionate, practical and honest. The kind of man you can depend on. Most of them can do a mean two-step, a lot of them play guitar and almost all of them like to take their time. Giving new meaning to the phrase “slow hand.”
Don’t ask them to dress in a tux unless it’s aTexas tuxedo. They’re not big on small talk or wasting time with inconsequential things. They work hard, but know how to play when the time comes. They live by a code of honor that’s rare in the twenty-first century.
Honestly, I can’t believe I took cowboys for granted all these years. My bad. These days, I make up for it by writing about cowboys and sharing these great men with readers who aren’t lucky enough to have a cowboy of their own.
How about you? Do you love cowboys? What kind of men did you grow up with? Are there people and things from your childhood that you’ve taken for granted? Leave a comment and be entered in a sweepstakes. I’m giving away ten copies of THE COWBOY TAKES A BRIDE, the first book in my Jubilee, Texas series.
Also, Christie Craig (she writes hot, funny stories about cowboys) and I are giving away a Boot Scootin’ Basket. Here’s the link to enter. http://freshfiction.com/contest.php?id=4511. Get your cowgirl on!