I did it.  I finally rode one.  It was crazy fun.  Of course I got bucked off. 

To my credit it was a great exit.  I landed squarely on my feet.

It was another girls night out.  Amy and I went to meet up with my best friend from high school.  In that we made more friends.

We met a new gal named Val.  Val squarely states:  “I love to laugh until my cheeks hurt.”

The Twisted Bull was Amy’s idea.  She found it on the internet.  Trish already had a women’s group getting together.  When we first arrived at the Twisted Bull I found Trish and her group.  I took one look and thought “Oh no.”  Trish is so much fun but these women looked lost, uncomfortable, unhappy and so very out of place.  One was a college dean.  The others were mothers and staunch church goers.  I wondered if they were Baptists or Seventh Day Adventists.  It was their hair, their clothes, their dress.  No one even tried to look country.

At this point I am glad I decided to wear my cowboy boots.

Their arms remain crossed against their chest.  They are drinking wine coolers and water.

This trashy bar is full of tattooed and beer gutted men.  The women look worn.  Everyone, (except the church group), has on hats, boots and some sort of dazzling rhinestones. 

These pristine women look like they are afraid they might be spotted by the internet police.  They look like they just got splashed with red wine wearing a white pantsuit.  I find myself wondering if they carry their own travel bottle of hand sanitizer.  I am waiting for one of them to pull it out.

When cameras appear I feel them twitch—that someone might take a picture and upload them to face book. 
They look–well–quite frankly mortified.

Because Amy and I seem to like this bar they distance themselves.  We do not partake in their gossip about teenaged girls dressing inappropriately.  I supposed this is further indication that we shouldn’t be trusted.  This group becomes weary of me.  The dean pulls her chair a little bit further away from mine.  I have three teenaged girls—I think they should be able to wear anything they want.  I don’t feel it’s right to define my girls. 

We were saved the minute Val arrived.  She wants to get it on.  So we have no problem when she starts ordering shots.  We get beads.  We shoot more shots.  We talk and laugh.  I make it known I am going to ride the bull.

It is amazing what one person can add to the mix.  It is amazing how Val’s humor and acceptance of our situation made this night so much more—-well—fun.

We danced.  The others wouldn’t dance.  We drank beers out of pitchers.  The others wouldn’t drink beer out of pitchers.  We talked about what we want to do.  Where we want to go.  What we want to see. 

Finally, I give up trying to talk to the others.  They are clearly not happy.  They are just plain boring.  They are not fun.  I think they should just pack it in and go home.  Not much long after they finally do.

We talked to our waitress.  This girl dressed in skimpy underwear wearing chaps and a cowgirl hat.  She is nice and kind.  I talked to the mechanical bull operator.  I talked to some cowboys and even danced with a farmer.

These women didn’t approve.  But they weren’t getting it.  To take this experience in.  To enjoy the differences of these people.  To listen to this music.  To look at well worn weathered hands and tattooed arms.

A man comes up.  He wants to dance with Sue.  You see them all pull away from him and shake their heads.  I see all their 10K wedding bands. 

This guy doesn’t stand a chance.

Trish shouts out—“Jodi—Jodi will dance.”

Yes.  Yes I love to dance.

I see them judge him.  I already have.

I don’t have anything in common with most of the people in this bar.  I work in a nice clean office.  I use a computer, paper, and pens as tools.  I wear Calvin Kline.  I tote a briefcase.  My employment hazards consist of too much coffee and paper cuts.  I have over $200,000.00 of education under my belt.

I know what he is by looking at him.  He sports a John Deere hat.  His body is calloused.  His hands are worn and hard.  He looks weathered like thick tree bark.   

I am not one that is going to be rude to him.  This one harmless dance.  The college dean is cringing.  

This man is a perfect gentleman.  He alreadly knows nothing is going past this dance.

Amy and I are the last of our group to leave.  We end up having a Grand Coney breakfast.  I need my breakfast burrito fix.  We discuss the nights events.  Their apparent stiffness and disapproval.  How Val changed the game.  How someone can be a lighted sparkler.

We both agreed we shouldn’t have drank so much beer.  I contemplate going to the Y.  I feel beer guilt for a moment.

I think about this life and what we take from it.  I think how we affect others and how they feel by what we say and how we say it. 

Disapproval and distaste has it’s own form of contamination.  It can be like soil soaked in crude oil.

Ride the bull.  Drink the shot.  Wear the beads. Dance with a farmer wearing plaid and a John Deere cap. 

I think of lines drawn in the sand and how we all have our own lines.  I see where my lines are drawn and how sometimes I erase them pushing myself further across them.   I was judging the other women for having their lines drawn miles back.  I justify my reaction because I believe they are missing out on a part of life.  They are happy to miss out.  So rigid in their definitions. 


O.K.—-That is their path and their way.

We all draw our own lines. We are free to choose our thoughts.  Thoughts at times, become our actions, which in turn define our character.

I know who I am.  I know who I want to become.  I know what I want to accomplish.  I know with whom I want to spend my time with.   I want to be like Val a person who dares to show up and then sparkles up our night.

I like the person I see in the mirror.  She is a good person.  She likes to laugh and have fun.  She is a good friend and a confidant. She is a good hardworking mother.  She cares about what she does and genuinely likes life and the people in it.

And she is kind to that farmer and she has the moxie to get in and ride a mechanical bull.