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Thursday, December 27, 2012


“I’m confused.” It was a text message I seemed to be getting lately and, quite honestly, he wasn’t the only one who was confused! What? YOU’RE confused? How do you think I feel! Oh, you meant YOU are confused. Ok, well, then, I better start back a few days and bring you up to speed. Guess that’d be like watching a barrel racer run out of the arena with a leading time but the clock is still stuck on 0.000.

Now, let me set the stage for you: Brayden and I had recently made acquaintance in a western store and struck up a conversation. We exchanged numbers and emails and, almost immediately, I received the first message from him. For several days we kept up a constant stream of text and phone chats. Very soon after, he asked me out to dinner. Things went swell! He was warm, he was funny and, most importantly he was educated and employed… I call that the “Momma Trifecta” – that means you can take him home to momma and there’s a check in the ‘WIN’ column for each of those divisions on her scorecard. And trust me, that’s not an easy feat to accomplish.

The longer we talked the more I felt at ease with him. Sometime during the date he hinted that perhaps we could get together again. Yikes! This was going better than I anticipated! In fact, in the back of my mind I actually started thinking “Wow, we may really have a second date”. Well, since he loaded that thoroughbred into the starting gate, I figured I may as well ride it. Taking a deep breath and crossing my fingers under the table, the words shot out like that thoroughbred out of that gate “Hey, you know something? My friend is having a cook out next weekend. Would you like to go?”  Then I held my breath. I saw a light frown come across his forehead. “What day is it?” he asked. (That’s a question we usually ask when we’re devising the “I’m sorry I have to wash my hair” answer.) “It’s Saturday.” “Saturday huh?” More breath holding. For a split second there was that pin dropping silence. Then, it happened. I saw the smile first, “Sure, that sounds like fun.” Finally, I could breathe again. I felt like I had been training for a pool length underwater swim by this point!

So, to here, the wheels are still on the wagon. We lived a little distance apart so when we parted company it was back to texting and phone calls, which were numerous. Finally, Saturday gets here and so does he. We went to the party and, again, had a good time… How could we not? Good people, good food, good music and last but certainly not least “I WAS THERE WITH A DATE!!!” He was saying all the right things, things like “I really like you and enjoy your company and I hope you feel the same”, “I’d like to see where this goes for us. Why don’t we give this relationship a try.” Wow, I was walking a couple inches off the ground I was so happy.

Now here’s where the wagon starts losing an axle. After that night, he advised he was suddenly feeling ill and the beginning of what I knew from experience was the end was once again upon an up-to-then blossoming relationship.

Here’s how it happened: Remember the numerous calls and texts I told you about? Yeah, well, they declined quicker than Mel Gibson’s popularity. I would periodically text him and check on him asking things like “Hey, you ok?” or “Hope you’re feeling better?” and even “Well, if I were there I’d nurse you back to health lol.” His response? Let’s just say I could hear the Jeopardy theme music playing over and over. And axle number 1 is in the mud!

When it had been a couple of days with no word from him, I decided to finishing ripping the bandaid off, sending him a short and sweet text ‘I wish you well.’ Yep, you guessed it… Axle number 2 is in the mud! His answer “I’m confused.” 

I decided that ok, I’ll take the bait.  ME: “What are you confused about?”
BRAYDEN: “Are you dumping me? Why?”
ME: “Well, seeing as how I haven’t heard from you in 2 days when before it would be close to every couple of hours I figured you weren’t interested any more.”
BRAYDEN: “Gee, I sent you a Happy 4th text.”

Let me stop you right here… REALLY????? “A” message? Oh, where do I begin? Now your wagon is up the creek without an axle!

Oh, we understand during the day we all have to work and it’s not always possible to communicate. BUT, if evening rolls around and we still don’t hear from you well that quarter horse just turned into an Appaloosa of a whole other color. See, we take ‘in communicado’ as ‘uninterested’ or ‘otherwise occupied’ - either of which being about as acceptable as Kim Kardashian dateless on New Years Eve.

Guys, let me give you a couple of tips here. For one thing, minimums (meaning the LEAST you can get away with) are for government standards not for communicating with your girlfriend. Secondly, if we have to constantly prompt you to hear from you then to us that’s the same as reminding you to not to forget to remember us.

Moral of the story today: If you’re really interested in being with someone then leave the ‘minimum to get by with’ to HUD and send that special little lady a quick ‘thinking of you’ text. You’ll have more Brownie points than Betty Crocker! 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Do I Have a Choice?

Saddle up boys and girls because boy do I have a campfire story for you all today! It’s been kind of a hectic time for me, as I’m sure it has for you all, too. Heap on top of that all of the evil that seems to have been unleashed like the Wal-Mart doors opening on the eve of Black Friday and it’s been a real roller coaster ride. Today, though, I’d like to talk about another type of evil – RUDENESS.

Yes, I consider rudeness evil. Why? Because like evil, a person chooses to commit it, that’s why. The only difference here is if you do it to me then everybody around the globe gets to read about it – including probably some of your friends. Geez, I don’t know what’s got into people these days and, yes, I’m talking about a specific incident involving a specific person.

Details? Here ya go! I had been corresponding with someone who for all intents and purposes seemed very nice, educated, funny, (and most importantly country – oh, wait, that one’s for me).  Anyway, time stretched on and he’d been saying all those nice things like “I sure would like to get to know you” and “Wouldn’t it be nice if we could meet?” and my personal favorite “Attraction is just the icing on the cake… I want the total package”. Yep, you got it! Falser words were never spoken.

So, I decided to take the bait and meet him. Oh, I was so excited and nervous and happy all balled into one that I probably resembled Lindsay Lohan getting a ‘get ouf of jail free’ card from the judge. Heck, I even wore some of my good perfume (no, not from Wal-Mart).

So, I’m sitting there in my truck waiting on his arrival to the restaurant where we chose to meet and, while sitting there, began running all sorts of negative scenarios in my head (you know the ones… a) he’s nothing like his picture, or b) he shows up with someone else, or c) he has the manners of a three year old. I’ll take c for $200, Alex. Honestly, I’ve seen three year olds with lots better manners than this jerk.

We met in the parking lot, he was walking up talking on the phone (to his mother which momentarily gave him 1 brownie point) and he extended an arm to give me a friendly hug (brownie point 2). Trust me… he didn’t get to 3!

We went in and sat down and a few minutes later a friend of his walked in and just happened to sit behind him. From that moment, it went downhill quicker than a Colorado avalanche! He spent the bigger part of the time with his back to me, turned around talking to his friends. He would momentarily turn around to stuff his face when our food arrived but then would turn around again. Determined not to stoop to his level of rudeness, I fought with all my might not to dump the rest of my beer in his lap (ok, I didn’t want to waste a good beer anyway). But, the point is, I was the bigger person in the situation. 

 Now guys (and girls too) let me tell you something right here, right now. If you’re not interested in someone, say so up front; don’t string them along only to ignore them in a crowded restaurant –for one they may not be as nice as I was and actually will dump that beer in your lap. And to those of you who are sitting there staring at the back of that person’s head noticing how their neck needs a good scrubbing – do the right thing: STOP THE WAITER AND ASK WHERE THE NEAREST FIRE EXIT IS AND RUN LIKE HECK! Trust me, if they’ll treat you like that initially then don’t worry it CAN and probably will get worse!

Moral # 1 of the story here: 4-wheel drive in your new truck is optional equipment…manners come standard.

Moral # 2 of the story here: I don't care how good looking you think you are there's always someone better and if they have manners - guess who wins? 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Believing IS Seeing!

Seeing as how my soapbox has asked for a day off to go to the chiropractor I thought I’d take this opportunity to write about something a little different today. As you know by now, I like to take a lope down memory trail from time to time. Given that it’s the holiday time of year, I guess this is as good a time as any to go for a trail ride.

I know we all have memories from Christmas (or Hanukah) as kids. There’s a line that I really like from the Tim Allen film “The Santa Claus(e)” that goes “Seeing isn’t believing…Believing is seeing”.  As kids, we understand that but, for some reason, as we grow older we lean more and more towards the ‘seeing is believing’.  To me, therein lies the problem. We go for the things that we can see at Christmas – whether it’s the Christmas bonus at work, or the newest computer, or the latest fashion craze – and the old ‘out of sight out of mind’ takes over.

What do you mean “I’m not seeing it”? That’s my point exactly. You’d think with all the new styles of glasses, lasik surgery and contact lenses they’d come up with something that’d help us see a soul as well as the stitching on that new saddle you had under the tree last Christmas. Come on.  We can hear that text come in we’ve been waiting for but not that bell being rang by the kettle worker outside Wal-Mart?

Hmm? Memory trail? I’m gettin’ to that. I remember one Christmas I wanted this Ballerina doll so bad that I bet I bugged my Mamaw and Papaw for it starting around Labor Day. Oh, how I loved that doll. She wore a pink tutu and had a pretty pink crown on her head with a knob that you could use to make her spin and dance.

Of all the Christmas trees over the years, I remember the tree from that year the most. We always had a real tree, fit with those multi-colored old C7 bulbs, bright red and green breakable ornaments, garland and, of course, tinsel. I still recall staring longingly at it on my way to bed that Christmas Eve night. Passing it in my mind’s eye even now I can still see it standing there, its reflection dancing off of the shiny hard wood floor in the den, and I can even still feel its warmth. 

That next morning I bet it didn’t take me four leaps to get from my bedroom to that tree… and there she was all ‘pretty in pink’. I could barely speak (of course my Mamaw’s version has me shrieking at the top of my lungs) when I saw her.  But looking back now, that doll represents something else much more precious to me.  It reminds me that she (like all my other presents then and over the years) were the product of love and sacrifice by my grandparents. I wish I could have seen that clearer then.  

We should all take a moment every now and then even after Christmas is over to remember those times as kids when we waited for Santa Claus, when we dreamed of dancing snowmen and flying reindeer. That’s because during that part of our lives we simply believed, believed with no pre-conceived notions and with no prejudice, in something much greater than ourselves.

I’m not talking about believing in the presents, I’m talking about believing in the love and the spirit behind them. I'm talking about not turning a blind eye to those who may not have it so good as you do.  And of course don't forget to remember your grandparents or that special aunt and uncle that even though they're older now never seem to forget you. I can assure you, I’d give back every Christmas present I got as a kid to see my Mamaw and my Papaw around my tree now.

Folks, believing really IS seeing. This Christmas, how about looking with your heart rather than your eyes? I bet you’ll be surprised at just how clear that panavision will be.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Someone mentioned to me that maybe I should do a chart.  It’d be kinda like the eye chart the eye doctor uses to see how bad your eyesight is. Only here rather than testing to see WHAT you can see, with this you can see IF you see… Get it?
1.     Provide transportation
10.  Require it
2.     Be cordial
11. Be condescending
3.     Look sharp
12. Look around
4.     Share dreams
13. Share the tab
5.     Call her darling
14. Call her sister
6.     Appreciate her appearance
15. Appreciate the waitress’ cleavage
7.     Show interest
16. Show off
8.    Respect her
17. Disrespect her family or friends (or both)
9.     Take her hand
18. Take a hike
Now, all of you who have been out with the majority of the right-hand column please raise your hand. Wow, that many? (Well, I no longer feel alone then.)  Those of you who have gone out with those in the left-hand column are probably still going out with them so I reckon this wouldn’t really apply to you.
What was that? The worse offender you ask? Well, recently I went out with someone who was numbers 10, 11, 16 and 17 all rolled into one – so you can bet that led to number 18 real quick. You know the type, no matter what you do, they’ve done it better (and don’t hesitate to let you know that).
Or how about this one: Every time you try to tell them a little bit about the people you know or the things you’ve done they pounce on you saying things like “It ain’t nice to brag” or “You don’t name-drop to sell a horse” yet for 15 minutes you’ve heard nothing but their recount of the people who think they’re great. Trust me, honey, those people may think you’re great but we won’t.
Ladies, one way to check them out is to watch and see their body language.  I’m big on watching facial expressions and body language for little discrepancies so here’s a tip for you guys: Don’t sit there making faces and roll your eyes when your date is sharing a story.  If you do, then I assure you she’ll be doing the same thing as she races out of the parking lot, leaving you sitting in the middle of a crowded restaurant and thinking to yourself: “Man, she’s taking a long time in the bathroom”.


Thursday, December 6, 2012


Well, you know how they say “feast or famine”? That seems to be the case for me and my love life (both are rather skinny these days). Why does it have to be that because you’ve had four kids, if you’re tiny and blond you must be anorexic or something? Yep, you guessed it, here’s another Wal-Mart story!
I was in line the other day at a self checkout in Wal-Mart minding my own business for once when I noticed the guy in line behind me kept eye-ballin' me - talk about the self check-out! I tried to ignore him but being stuck between a "Toddlers in Tiaras' level tantrum in front of me and  a guy who could've been a towee on "Lizard Lick" towing, the odds were not in my favor. And so of course it had to happen... he struck up a conversation opening with “Excuse me, mam, but are you single?” Not wanting to be impolite I did what anyone in my situation would do… I LIED and said “No.”  Oh, these conversations never end well!
Why is it when you’re in a hurry (or in an awkward situation) there’s no gaping hole to swallow you up when you need one? So I stood there patiently… ok, now not so patiently… waiting on the couple in front of me with the screaming toddler and runny nose infant hoping they didn’t need that cashier to help for a fourth time. And of course they did.
Finally, as the kiddy storm blew out of the store, I placed my purchases on the conveyor and began scanning. The guy behind me had continued babbling on apparently oblivious to the fact that I wasn’t really paying attention. Or, that is until I heard him suddenly exclaim “Wow, you eat THAT?... You sure are an itty-bitty thing. Are you one of them that eat then sticks their head in the toilet?”
Now, let me stop you here for a moment – in what life do you think that line of questioning will get you a date? Trust me, Charlie Sheen would have a better shot at a nun! What was that? What did I tell the nit-wit behind me? I told him if that was his idea of a compliment then I’d venture a guess his New Years date was playing dominoes with his mother.
Seriously, guys, if you want to pay a lady a compliment first rule of thumb is it shouldn’t include the word toilet. Otherwise, I can assure you that’s exactly where your chances are of getting a date!


Monday, December 3, 2012


Ok, Ok, get your mind out of the gutter (it’s crowded in there already). I didn’t mean that “IT”. And, NO, I’m not cranky because of a bad weekend. Actually, I had an overall good weekend. Friday night I hung out with a good friend (that’ll be another blog post – just a little tease there). Saturday, I went to the NRHA (National Reining Horse Association) finals in Oklahoma City where there were Wranglers for days! I mean, talk about your sight-seeing….! Of course there were some sights I’d rather have not seen, too (again, another entry there). And, Sunday, I spent at Southfork Ranch (where the TV show “Dallas” was filmed) with my daughter and a friend paying respect to the late Larry Hagman.
What? Oh, what I don’t get… yes… sorry, got side-tracked for a moment. Anyway, as I was saying, I just don’t get it. What ‘it’ is? Well, a couple of things that seem to go hand in hand: one is text etiquette (or lack thereof) and the other is negativity (what I like to call “David Downer”).
First, texting: Why can’t guys understand when you tell them “Please don’t text or call first thing in the morning because you know I’m working outside” you’re actually talking to THEM? They’re like a crooked Louisiana politician – they think the rules only apply to the other little politicians.
 And, have you noticed they’re the same guys who when they text you and you don’t answer right away you suddenly get what I call ‘text rain’? That’s where they rain texts down on you like the 40-day flood and they all amount to the same thing – you haven’t answered them within 60 seconds. Well, here’s a little tip: it’s a little hard to answer a text when you’re either on a four-wheeler feeding livestock in an icy wind or, as was the case on the return trip Saturday night, driving your boss’ truck barreling down the highway at 80 mph! I mean, really, guys, come on.
Now, another thing I’ve noticed that goes along with the “desperately seeking text” attitude is the “desperately seeking anyone” attitude. That’s the one where the person you’re chatting with starts to give you the impression that you could be anyone and they’d be happy.
What are the signs? For one, they always seem to be down or negative mostly because you haven’t messaged or talked with them 10 times a day. Do you really think answering “How was your day” with “Lonely” is gonna score you the happy face emoticon? Not with me it won’t. Nor will constant comments like “I don’t understand why you can’t just stop and talk whenever I call” or “It would only take a couple of seconds to stop and answer a text”… Yes, I’m gonna drop that fourth 50 pound sack of feed I’ve just unloaded right there in the barn alley and answer your one word text of “HI”.
And you seriously wonder why you’re single? Talking about not getting it… well there’s a surprise!