Monday, July 13, 2009

Goin' Country

This afternoon I ordered four pairs of cowboy boots on Yes, four. However, I am only allowed to fall in love with one pair. Something I will probably have to remind myself of more than a few times. The rest are going back. I repeat, the rest are going back. Only the cutest, best fitting pair gets to stay. I promise. Oh, and contrary to what you might believe after reading that, I'm not about to blog about shoes. Again. After I ordered the boots, I got to thinking about the fact that I grew up in Texas. And even though I've spent almost half my life with a permanent address in Southern California, there's just something about the Southwest, or the Old West, or the Wild West. Whatever you want to call it, since Texas really falls into a category all its own. Something that sticks with you, no matter where you are or how long you've been away.

Sure, it was the boots that got me on the topic today, but it was the reason spurring the purchase of said footwear that has really been the biggest reminder of my long but still firmly knotted ties to my native state. Country dancing is a combination of mostly line dancing and two-stepping, with a few other specific partner dances thrown in. I hadn't done much of it in a long time, and certainly not in a fifty-mile radius of Los Angeles. Until I had the good fortune to come across a guy, who among his many other talents and noteworthy attributes that make me feel quite lucky to be in his company, loves to go country dancing and happens to be damn good at it.

After our latest visit to In Cahoots in Fullerton, I came to the conclusion that a replacement for my last pair of cowboy boots, discarded sometime before the new millennium, was long overdue. I'll admit that I'm a little too much of a girly girl to wear my chucks to the dance club, and anything with a heel over two inches is an impairment in a style where there are lots of stomps, kicks and shuffles. So now I'm eagerly awaiting their arrival and am ready to test them out. Seriously folks, how can you not love the two-step? It's a dance you can do forwards and backwards, facing your partner or side-by-side. You can do it fast or slow, twirl till you're dizzy and attempt moves like the butt spin or a back flip. Though a note of caution on the last one - don't try it when you're legs are tired, you might not find your footing when you come down. Which will result in you failing to extract the upper half of your body from around your partner's arm, leaving you looking like a demented pretzel. I'm just saying.

Somehow in the process of reuniting myself with my old friends, the Two-Step and the Tush Push, I've also discovered a new appreciation and enjoyment of country tunes. It might have also been helped by my boyfriend's variety of musical tastes and DJ-sized knowledge of music. I don't love all country music and I don't love it all the time, but there are some catchy beats and country's definitely got some of the funniest, most entertaining lyrics in the business. I dare you not to tap your boot and hum along.

And can I just wax poetic for a moment about a love that's held fast and true, despite many years in the land of sushi and vegetarianism. Let's talk about steak and Tex-Mex. I am a card-carrying red meat eater. Yes, the rarer the better and if it's still mooing a little when it comes to my plate, that's okay with me. Thanks to places like Maestro's in Beverly Hills, you can get a good cut in California. What you can't find is real Tex-Mex. Oddly, no Mexican restaurant in LA seems to know what queso is. You ask for it here, and you get a plate of melted cheese. Yes, I know. Weird. There's good Mexican food here, which is why I don't run screaming from the place. But for the great stuff, it's a three hour jaunt on American Airlines and a car ride to Cantina Laredo.

Thanks to mail order shoe companies, die hards who are determined to keep country dancing alive, if not in Los Angeles proper, then at least pretty close to it, iTunes and a steakhouse in Beverly Hills, I've found that even though I've been in So Cal a long, long time, I've still got a handle on where I came from and can enjoy some of Texas' finest gifts. Because there's nothing quite like hot bowl of chile con queso with a an icy cold margarita, a pair of boots that fit just right, a song that makes you giggle and tap your toes, or cute boy who knows how to "push his tush." The saying is true, as it turns out. You can take the girl out of Texas, but you can't take the Texas out of the girl.

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