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A woman’s take on what a cowboy ought to be

05 january 2012, 10:27
3

Betsy Model is a playful rascal. When the New Mexico resident read my recent blog about tips on being a cowboy, she shot me an email that said: “Hal, you crack me up – you do – and I thought your blog was a hoot.”

Then she sent me what she calls a “woman’s perspective” on what it takes to be a cowboy.

Those of you who read my original cowboy blog will remember that I asked a buckaroo friend, Mike Slattery from Nebraska, to offer advice on being a cowboy to Yuri Bibikov, an ethnic-Russian pal from Almaty.

Before I serve up Betsy’s list of a woman’s take on what a cowboy should be, let me explain who she is.

Betsy runs the Zephyr Group, a public relations agency in Albuquerque, a city that boasts a sizable stampede of cowboys itself.
Betsy and I became acquainted by email through a Hollywood-actor mutual friend.

She has a zest for life, and my email exchanges with her have been lively, smart-alecky and fun.

And she appreciates humor, even from a snarky old journalist like me.

By the way, “Model” is her real last name – not a stage name.

Betsy, bless you for your list. And here it is, folks:

1. A guy who wants to be a cowboy should remember that “it’s one thing to smell like leather, hay and the fresh outdoors,” but if you “want up close to a cowgirl,” you mustn’t be too tangy.

2. “Absolutely agree on the ‘no pointy toes’ on the cowboy boots.” Also, they shouldn’t be “too new, too shiny.” And “no turquoise, no red, no endangered species, no multicolored (models) or emblazoned with the Texas Star.” Unless a cowboy’s “choices are brown and black – period – you’ll be called out as a poser, for sure.”

To make sure a tinhorn like me could understand what cowboy boots are NOT supposed to look like, Betsy sent me photos of some sissy-looking boots – the kind that no self-respecting bronco buster would wear even to a country-music jamboree. The caption that accompanied the sissy-boot photos was: “Not only no, but hell no!”

Check out the boot photos in this blog.

poser boots 1                         poser boots 2         New Mexico resident Betsy says no self-respecting bronco buster would wear either of these pairs of frilly boots. Photos courtesy of Betsy Model

3. “Cowboys wear belts. They do NOT wear belts with buckles the size of dinner plates.” Let me offer my own interpretation of what Betsy is saying about bluejean wraparounds: Never wear a belt that’s as big as a World Wresting Federation champ’s.

4. “Cowboys do drink beer . . . but never a ‘light’ beer and never out of a mug or a glass. Drink it out of a long-neck (bottle) or keep moving straight to whiskey. In shots, not over ice.”

5. “There's a big difference between being a cowboy and being a redneck. A woman can tell the difference from halfway across the bar.”

A note to non-American readers: A “redneck” is a pejorative term for a country bumpkin who is uncouth, belligerent, racist and has other undesirable traits. Someone kind of like my Uncle Billy Bob from Tifton, Georgia.

6. “Real cowboys drawl. I've never met one yet who didn't.” Translation: They have a twang in their voice like the country singer Willie Nelson.

7. “George W. Bush, by the way, was no cowboy.”

8. “Cowboys wear denim -- and probably denim that has a Wrangler or Levi tag somewhere discreet. Cowboys do not wear denim featuring ‘by Tom Ford, P. Diddy or Russell Simmons.’”

Background: Tom Ford is an American fashion designer and film director. P. Diddy is an American rapper with his own clothing line. Russell Simmons and his partner Rick Rubin run the U.S. hip-hop music label Def Jam and the clothing labels Phat Farm, Argyleculture and American Classics.

9. “Real cowboys work hard for a living, and are rarely fat. They're also rarely phat. If they are, they're not real cowboys.”

10. “A real cowboy would never buy a high MPG Prius (a small Toyota gas/electric hybrid). Or a Mini Cooper (a klunky-looking British mini-car). If their vehicle gets more than about 14 miles per gallon, it's not a truck and therefore the man driving it isn't a real cowboy.”

Betsy, you’ve captured the essence of a cowboy about as well as my bronco-busting buddy Mike Slattery, who I thought couldn’t be topped.

Thanks for your help, Darlin’.

Don’t forget to take off your cowgirl spurs tonight when you fall asleep to “Carry Me Back to the Lone Prairie.”


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