So today, I want to take an informal poll. What do you think is the most important aspect for a man to earn the title “Cowboy”? What exactly defines that breed of men we all find so compellingly attractive?
When I pondered this question over the past couple of weeks, I kept coming back to three possibilities (I’m sure I’ve missed some and I hope you’ll educate me in comments!).
The three things I kept coming back to were occupation, such as a working cattle rancher, rodeo cowboy, etc.; attire, (does he know how to dress the part, and look comfortable in those Wranglers, button-down shirt and straw cowboy hat?); and attitude.
What if somebody has the job and wears the duds, does that automatically make him a cowboy? Or is he also required to have that cowboy mentality along with it? Are all three (attire, attitude and occupation) or possibly just two, required to be a real cowboy? Can you ever get by with just one?
Here’re my thoughts:
I’ve known men who could dress the part and look pretty darn good. To be honest, Mr. Lyons and my dad both come to mind. But no matter how much I might wish it, Mr. Lyons is not a cowboy. (It’s all right honey!) And my dad, although he can shoot with the best of ’em and look really comfortable in a western vest, Wranglers and straw hat, I don’t think he’s ever considered himself a cowboy and neither would I.
Living in the country, I’ve met men who work on cattle ranches. These are guys who don’t necessarily dress the part, but they are “living” it, and one in particular comes to mind who would probably be offended if anyone dared call him a “cowboy”.
So that kind of blows out of the water occupation and attire. Which left me with attitude.
Ultimately, when I brainstormed this, it was attitude I kept coming back to. You can dress a man up like a western movie star, but unless he possesses the ability and manner to pull it off, it’s a hard sell. And I don’t think it’s something that can be taught, I think it’s inherent.
Like a personality trait one can choose to hone or not, a man either has the Cowboy-gene cojones or he doesn’t. At least that’s my nonscientific conclusion. :-)
What’s your opinion?
When she’s not contemplating the meaning of Cowboyhood, Larissa’s been writing the very last chapter of her sexy Regency romance, Mistress by Morning, a full-length novel that will be released later this year.
Larissa Lyons loves all things historical and feline. She also has a soft spot for hard cowboys. Currently “hard” at work on finishing her current sexy Regency romance, she’s eager to turn her pen back to cowboys soon. Learn more by visiting LarissaLyons.com.