When I was in my early twenties / late teens – back during the Ice Age, (Vanilla Ice, smarty pants), I used to tell my mother I was getting all the wildness out of my system before I was old enough to be charged as an adult. (Gee, maybe I was a little dramatic, as well.)

I also told her I needed material to write about someday. Like Auntie Mame prescribes, I wanted to “Live! Life’s a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death!” So, I proceeded to gather material based on some random (bad) decisions.

I’m Bored. Let’s Do Something Different: We (my best friend in high school and I) decided instead of sneaking into clubs when we were underage, we would take ourselves downtown to the Fairmount Hotel. The Pyramid Room, to be exact. We would dress up, sit in the lounge, drink Jack and Cokes and listen to the song stylings of “Two’s Company.” What 17-year-old does that? We quit going when we found out “Two’s Company” had a daughter that attended Ursuline Academy with us. This was revealed naturally in conversation as we shared a drink between sets.

I’ll Show Him: My boyfriend stood me up one evening, so I decided to track him down. I must have just left a family gathering because I was dressed decently in a skirt, boots, and rabbit coat. As I trolled the area he was last seen, my car broke down. Dusk was falling. I found myself just off the main drag known for prostitution, and yes, this was before cell phones. I walked to the first open business I found – a gas station – and asked a gentleman who spoke no English whatsoever if I could use the phone. He took a gander at my outfit and decided I was a hooker. I assume as much because he looked very excited while he spoke to me in rapid fire Spanish and waved money at me. While he waved, I frantically searched my brain for the Spanish translation of “My car doesn’t work.”
“Mi coche no trabajo.”

Turns out what I kept telling him was basically, “I don’t work in my car.”

I was rescued by my friend’s mother who looked nothing like a pimp. I’m sure Paco was dreadfully confused by the turn of events.

I Don’t Want A Real Job: I decided what I wanted more than anything in life was to work on a horse ranch. I found an ad in the paper for a Ranch Manager – (Please include photo). Despite the creepy photo request, the couple was very nice and passed the mother approval test. I moved into their house in Mount Pleasant and began working my rear end off. All was magnificently and gloriously horsey until one day when they both left. It appears my boss had begun a relationship with a 21-year-old during his travels. His wife (my other boss) told him to get out, then she too left to visit friends. For about a week. This left me – at 20 years of age and with almost no experience with horses – alone on acres and acres of land with a couple dozen horses to feed and water each day. Oh, and I had to exercise the six horses in the show barn. And there were snakes. Big snakes. They liked to cross your path in the dark when you were watering the horses.

As much fun as it sounds to be the only human being for miles, working with animals that can be a bit cantankerous, and with snakes roaming around like it’s the Bronx Zoo or something, it just wasn’t. I eventually packed up my rodeo queen tiara and sash and headed back to Dallas. (That’s another story.)

So mom, I apologize for all the trouble, but I DID get some decent stories out of it.

And don’t worry. I’m sure payback is coming.


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