Cowboy, Take Me Away

When I first moved to Austin for college in 1996 (hook ’em!), I didn’t know that much about Texas. It was large. It was hot. Austin was in the middle. These were the important points, yes? Well, I made friends with three native Texans who became my roommates my sophomore year, and I learned a lot about Texas from them… specifically, the Texas Teenage Girl Cowboy Fantasy. This was the era of the Dixie Chicks, if you’ll remember. “Cowboy Take Me Away” was practically on autoplay in everyone’s car at one point during college, and it was explained to me that many Texas girls have the cowboy fantasy described in the song… you know, he’ll sweep you off your feet and you’ll ride into the sunset together on his horse and then live out your days on a ranch in the middle of Texas (but not near George W.’s) and all is happily ever after. I’m not saying this is true of ALL Texan ladies, but I know at least three who can back me up. After all this was explained to me, I still didn’t get it. I hadn’t though much about cowboys growing up; cowboys were, uh, the ones in charge of cows. And they wore boots! And spurs! There. See? I know about cowboys.

But on Sunday night, Casey and I started watching Lonesome Dove. And people? I GET THE COWBOY THING NOW. I specifically get the “Robert Duvall as a cowboy thing” now. Is there a word for being the opposite of a cougar? For having a huge crush on someone old enough to be your grandfather? Because I do believe that word applies to me now. I mean, I’m specifically in love with Gus McCrae, Duvall’s character in Lonesome Dove, and I can totally understand why Diane Lane winds up falling for him without even meaning to (sorry for the spoiler there) but WOW. He’s witty and sarcastic and loyal and weather-beaten and, my GOSH, he rides through the deserts of Texas to save a whore from certain death at the hands of Indians. That gets a plus in my book. Now I’m reading the book too and I think I love him even more.

And since he’s, you know, imaginary? My husband doesn’t even mind.

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4 Comments on “Cowboy, Take Me Away”

  1. I grew up around cowboys, so I can understand the appeal. But I can ALSO understand the opposite side – namely that they can often (and I know this is a HUGE GENERALIZATION) be a bit sexist. Plus, they are absolutely tied to their land and their animals. Ever heard “The Thunder Rolls” by Garth Brooks? Totally true.

  2. Raven says:

    I totally get it for movie cowboys! I have had a long standing crush on Sam Elliot. *swoon*

    Real life cowboys? NOT SO MUCH. My step-dad was a dairy farmer aka real life cowboy and it was a lot of really stinky gross type stuff, long hours and not a lot of time for anything known as a vacation.

    Hmmm, this post renewed my desire to get a pair of vintage cowboy boots.

  3. lizteubner says:

    My brother casually mentioned to me one day how much I’d like the movie Lonesome Dove. He threw the first DVD in for me to watch while he puttered around getting ready for work the next day (I was still in college).

    Um, he failed to mention it was an effing MINISERIES. I watched the WHOLE thing that night! He came out for work the next day to me passed out on the couch after FINALLY FINALLY getting through disk like, 37.

    Anyway, my point is that, yes: Duvall is hot in that movie.

  4. Manda says:

    I AGREE! We love Lonesome Dove!!! Bobby Duvall … if I was 50 years older and/or you were 50 years younger … HUBBA!


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