Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Ladies Don't Swear in Texas
Here's a story for you, with a punchline that really punches...

Our Thanksgiving travels and travail had us in multiple airplanes, airports, hotel rooms, trains and automobiles. But it wasn't until we arrived in Amarillo, TX that I felt any comraderie with Steve Martin's character in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

We left Milwaukee very very early on Wednesday morning. It wasn't until after we were on our first flight, bound for DFW, that we realized we had left the car adapter to the DVD player...in the Jeep. That's not going to do us any good, and if you've traveled with a 2-year-old, you know what I'm talking about.

So, we called ahead and asked my parents to see if they could get an adapter that would work at the Radio Shack in Amarillo. The helpful folks at Radio Shack said they couldn't be sure without seeing the unit, so we had to go to Radio Shack when our second flight finally touched down.

We're all in a hurry because we are hungry and have a 3 hour drive ahead of us, so I run in to Radio Shack by myself, with the unit in hand.

But let me preface the rest of the story with a bit of backstory. Have you ever been to Amarillo, TX? I have. Many, many, many times. I love this town, from its quirky signs to the American Quarterhorse Heritage Center and Museum and that billboard for the 72 oz. steak. Love it. But, Amarillo is a cowboy town. There's no other way to describe it. There are cowboy hats, buckels, and boots as far as the eye can see. Many other places, these things would be a novelty, but in Amarillo, not so much. They are the norm. Cowboys in Wranglers...ah, but I digress.

Anyway, in this Cowtown you will find and witness niceties that have long since gone the way of the dodo in other parts of the country. This is the kind of town where a man holds open a door and tips his hat to a woman who is a complete stranger to him. Sure, you can find this same behavior, sporadically, in other parts of the country, but when you do it will be by men of a certain age. In Amarillo, it is pretty much all the men who are this nice. It is so...accomodating and welcoming and wonderful to be treated this way.

I know, a million new "feminists" just rolled their eyes and picked up their phallic paperweights to throw them in my direction. I don't care. I don't care! Do you hear me, feministas? I like being treated like I'm deserving of courtesy. So shoot me (if the idea of picking up a gun, even a figurative one, if that doesn't offend your Liberal mind)!

Okay, back to the story.

I walk into what is basically an empty Radio Shack and the nice young man behind the counter assists me in my purchase of an adapter that will make the 3-hour car ride tolerable with a 2-year-old. I turn to leave, bag in hand, and have my head down looking into my purse as I am trying to replace my wallet.

And...WHAM!

I walk right into a display, nearly toppling it and myself in the process. And it hurt...hurt so much and right away. The kind of hurt that makes you want to go "Oh, Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck!" You know the pain I'm talking about, right? Step on a nail pain. I nearly blacked out. Well, maybe not blacked out, but I definitely saw the little birdies circling my head with the stars twinkling. It bloody well hurt like hell.

Not to mention the humiliation, of course. That hurt too. Suddenly, that Radio Shack was hopping with witnesses to my idiocy. You'd have thought they were giving away iPhones or something. In particular, this one cowboy had just walked in the door. He had a clear view of me and my accident. It was his eyes that I looked into as the "Oh, Fuckfuckfuck!" was about to come out of my mouth. As proof that my brain was still working (though I wouldn't realize it until later), I managed to bite my tongue and keep the obscenities from spewing forth. Afterall, Ladies Don't Swear in Texas.

This is just something I've known all my life. Ladies Don't Swear in Texas. I'm sure that there are a few exemptions, like during childbirth, when gunshot, etc., but I don't think I qualified for the exemption. The cowboy who had the best view of my accident was quick to rush to my side, grabbed me by the arm, perhaps afraid that I was about to have a fit or something. Too bad all I could blame was my own stupidity! I said something to him, I doubt it was coherent. I was just concentrating on not putting into words this pain that was lingering. I was clutching my upper right arm and made a hasty retreat to the car.

What an idiot I am. I swear. Actually, I didn't swear, but I cried a little in the car. Damn, but it hurt! Now I have a 4 inch by 2 inch bruise and more than enough humiliation to keep me humble for at least a few weeks. But hey, I managed not to swear, so I retained a bit of my composure and my dignity (maybe just a scrap of my dignity). But can you imagine if I'd been standing there clutching my arm, crying, and swearing a blue streak? What would that cowboy have done?

I'll never know. And just so you know, I'm counting this one as a victory. A humiliating victory, but a victory. The ugly wins count just as much as the pretty ones, you know.

No doubt Christina will see the humor in this if nobody else does.
posted by Phoenix | 2:52 PM


>1 Comments:

At 8:37 PM, Anonymous Christina said...

Oh, bless, honey, they were probably waiting for you to swear.

And, that story I told you I would tell you? Well, thank Gawd it happened in Louisiana.

I must not be a lady, just sayin'.

; )

Well done.

 

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