Send in the rodeo clowns

A funny thing happened to me on the way to menopause; I became a fan of professional bull riding. As if that weren’t enough, I bought a musty smelling, second-hand snakeskin and suede western jacket – WITH FRINGE. Did I mention that it is dyed forest green and has long dangling laces at the cuffs with heavy miniature musket balls attached to the ends? Each time I reach up to brush the hair out of my eyes, these decorative yo-yos from hell swing away from my body, gathering speed before arcing back to bludgeon me in the face. Not everyone can pull off that look.

I’m pretty sure that hormones are involved, because the same time that I began listening to Tim McGraw, I lost all desire for chocolate. I wish I’d known that one of the side affects of menopause is a desire to visit Dollywood. They don’t mention that in the brochures at the doctor’s office.

I decided to run with it and paid top dollar for the best seats when the PBR (Professional Bull Riding) tour came to town. As the cowboys were introduced, I cheered and clapped, smacking myself repeatedly with my jacket laces. We were in the front row, right next to the gates. From this distance I could see every acne scar on the faces of the kids who were riding thousands of pounds of angry pot roast. The cowboys didn’t look old enough to shave, and the lineup included one Amish lad on his Rumspringa. Can you imagine? After living a simple life for sixteen years, you’re given a year to go nuts and you choose serial trampling over Jäger?

Soon I found myself staring into the bloodshot eyes of a huge white Brahma bull, with only two feet and a flimsy rail separating us. It seemed to be fixated on my green jacket. It stood staring long enough to give me plenty of time to reconsider my recent fashion decisions. When he finally returned to the chutes I had made up my mind – I’ll cancel the line dancing lessons.

I don’t know where this mid-life affinity for all things country will take me. I only know that when I get there, I’ll smell like Grandma’s attic and have tiny pellet sized bruises on my face.