Sunday, March 07, 2010

Why I will not wear cowboy boots to SXSW

Yes, I own a cattle ranch. I am out standing in my field. But I will not wear cowboy boots to SXSW.

beckymccraySee, we have cattle, but no horses. We're ranchers, but not rodeo-ers. I don't even own a cowboy hat or cowboy boots.

There are plenty of folks here-abouts who live and breathe being a cowboy. It's the most natural thing in the world to them. The guys who park their stock trailer outside the cafe, and wear their spurs everywhere they go. That's my brother in law, for example. I get that.

That's not me. 

The city folk at SXSW are having a great time. They are visiting, and Texas is like a whole other country. Dressing up in boots and hats is fun. I get that.

That's not me either.

My husband does much more than I do at the ranch, but I help haul hay, pull windmills, feed cattle in snow storms, and fix fence. My work boots are more like hiking boots than ropers, and they get plenty of use. I've been doing this for a long time, not quite all my life.

It's not my whole life. It is part of who I am.

That's why I don't wear cowboy boots: I recognize that it's only one part of me. In a way, I don't really qualify as a cowgirl by local standards, and in a way, I don't want to be stuck in such a rigid definition of who I am. I'm too far away to wear that kind of cowboy gear like I mean it, and too close to consider it fashionable.

So forgive me for laughing at your cute new cowboy hat and boots; they're not very practical. I'll stick with my work boots. 

Photo by Rebekah Workman, used with permission.

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