I sensed he noticed, as my skinny heels obnoxiously clomped along the pavement of the driveway. That's when the spike heel of my boot got caught on my parents' brick sidewalk. By my mid-20s, I'd dated practically every category of cute boy under the sun. After rescuing me from falling flat on my face, this cowboy, this Western movie character standing in front of me, was, with one strong, romantic, mind-numbingly perfect kiss, inserting the category of "cowboy" into my dating repertoire. We talked all through dinner; if I ate, I wasn't aware of it. At the end of the evening, riding in a Ford F-250 diesel pickup with a cowboy, I knew there was nowhere else on earth I wanted to be. In an instant, I saw my life and my pride pass before my eyes as my body lurched forward. I missed the anonymity of living in a city—the ability to run to the market without running into my third-grade teacher. I didn't need anything derailing my resolve to get back to civilization. I decided to stick close to home through my oldest brother Doug's wedding in the spring and leave for Chicago a couple weeks after that.I'd always intended for my time at home to be a pit stop, anyway; before too long, Chicago would be my new home."I'm pretty free this week, so—""How 'bout tomorrow night? "I'll pick you up at seven."He didn't know it, but that single take-charge moment, his instantaneous transformation from a shy, quiet cowboy to this confident, commanding presence affected me profoundly. I opened the front door of my parents' house the next evening.His blue denim shirt caught my eye only seconds before his equally blue eyes did. I heard it was a visit to the rainbow nether regions of MMs schwetty balls.
After a few minutes of staring, I inhaled deeply, then stood up. I meandered to the section of the bar where he stood. He was a fourth-generation cattle rancher whose property was more than an hour away. My friends giggled where I'd left them, oblivious to the fact that their redheaded amiga had just been struck by a lightning bolt.We stayed up late that night, talking and sipping beer and not doing anything either of us would regret. It had been four months since he'd failed to call me the next day, week, month. My marrow remembered that voice."Good," I replied, focusing on appearing casual.During the ceremony, he winked at me and I smiled back. I'd moved on, of course, but the rugged image of Marlboro Man had left an indelible mark on my psyche. "I'm just gearing up to move to Chicago, actually.""Oh…" He paused.❤️A post shared by Ree Drummond - Pioneer Woman (@thepioneerwoman) on I was sure he'd call the next morning. Throughout that time, I allowed myself to remember his eyes, his biceps, his quiet manner. Based on my brief time at home, I knew that an urban environment was where I belonged. In the months that followed meeting the cowboy who turned my soul to mush, I continued to make preparations to move.It was a relatively small community; he could find me if he wanted to. I missed the conveniences, the coffee shops, the take-out galore and the little nail salons where ladies would eagerly swarm me and rub my shoulders in five-minute intervals until I ran out of money. While I'd occasionally find myself haunted by the rugged Marlboro Man character I'd met in the J-Bar, I continued to tell myself it was a good thing he'd never called.