Welcome to the Rodeo Rendezvous. This week is going to be full of stories about our country roots and rodeo experiences. You’ll learn fascinating tidbits of our history (Were we in Pecos Bill’s Wild West Show? Are we related to John Wayne? Do we have annual passes to Dollywood?) No. To all of that. We’re just your average redneck family, exposing embarrassing facts. It’s gonna be fun.
This whole FANTASTIC idea started with tickets.
My husband blew me away on Valentine’s Day this year. He usually does. Gift-giving is—well, it’s one of his gifts. I’m lucky that way.
It’s hard for me to surprise him though. I try, but I usually drop one too many hints or tell my children and I’m sure you know how that turns out.
This year, I was determined to surprise him with something he would love: a date. They happen, rarely-what, with the children and all. But I secured childcare and then I bought tickets. Concert tickets.
Before you say out loud to passers-by, “That’s it? That’s the surprise?”
You must know that the tickets were to see a little band called Rascal Flatts. At a sold out concert. At the largest rodeo in Texas.
There. Now you can be impressed.
I’m good, huh?
My husband was very pleased. And I must say, it was a proud moment when I knew I’d surprised him. Since the concert was several weeks away, we stuck the tickets in a safe place, far away from sticky hands.
I thought that was the end of it, you know, until we went to the concert.
But, I underestimated my husband.
He came home with these.
I thought it a little odd and wondered what in the world he would do with them. You think you know someone really well until they say, “I’ve been wanting these for a long time.” And he points to boots!
And then a few days later, he came home wearing these.
I’m slow, my friend. I hadn’t really put the boots WITH the jeans. I just thought my husband had a void only shopping would fill.
But then he dug up this from some scary box in the closet. “Where the heck did you get that?” I asked. I’m serious ya’ll. That buckle freaked me out! He explained: “My dad had it made for me when I was a kid. It spells my name.”
I tried for an hour to spell “Hick” and I couldn’t do it.
That’s when it hit me. OH, MY LANDS, He’s either infected with Mad Cow’s Disease or he’s assembling a costume. A costume for the Rodeo.
Now let me just say, the Texas Livestock Show and Rodeo is THE Rodeo. Not just for Texans. It’s world-known and was featured in The Southern Living Magazine a couple of months ago. (The article is actually what led me to search for concert tickets because you know, even though I live IN Texas, I need help, from Southern Living.) It’s where the best ropers and horse-sort-of people gather and compete and win livestock or something. It’s a BIG deal. Later on, I’ll get into our rodeo adventures . . .
He stared at me. Strangely, it wasn’t a happy stare; it was more a menacing glare.
“What costume?” he finally said.
“You know, for the rodeo?” I said sheepishly.
“It is NOT a costume. I used to wear this stuff all the time and I’ve wanted to wear it again.”
My husband is a salesman in a suit. We live in the city. I am a city girl.
Then he brought home these. For me.
I was scared, now. Really, afraid. If I tasted minty-fresh tobacco after a kiss, I was calling a counselor immediately.
“I like your costume,” I said in a southern drawl.
He pulled me close and said roughly, “Don’t you remember what you used to say to me in college?
‘Wrangler butts, drive me nuts!’ he growled. I pushed him away, laughing.
And then, I remembered.
Digging thru my box of old photos, I found an envelope from my mother-in-law. Before I even knew this man-child, he was a real cowboy. And it’s just the beginning of the story
This is what I found:
Yes, that’s my husband in his pre-pubescent 12-year-old body. Riding a pre-pubescent BULL.
Notice the truck-driver-looking man in the background? My father-in-law. Something to look forward to as my husband ages. Yeehaw (said unenthusiastically).
My hubby looked over his shoulder, making sure I watched him leave the room and said, “It’s not a costume.” This made my heart thud. Maybe I should be glad he was seeking out his western roots. I decided to do a little research of my own and followed the cowboy . . .
to be continued.