2006-02-23

Dress Western! It's a Tucson Tradition!

It's Rodeo in Tucson.

This is the oldest Rodeo in the country and itís a really big deal around here. The kids get two days off from school and there are cowboys and horse shit everywhere, even in my crack-whore neighborhood. Some guy has been living in his fifth wheel, across the street, for the last 2 days. Thereís a horse trailer but no horses and ummmmÖ.
I donít think I want to know where the horses are because not only does he have a horse trailer with no horses and a fifth wheel for shelter that he's decided to take up in the middle of a crack war 'hood, the pickup truck towing the horse trailer is awesome.
How so?
Well, it's so awesome that it sort of makes me wish I had a pick-up truck so that I COULD MAKE MY OWN COVERED WAGON, TOO.
That's right. The truck towing the empty horse trailer has a home-made camper shell.
A Little House on the Prairie, pioneer-style, home-made camper shell.
Itís two by fours with a tarp and parked behind the fifth wheel, in front of the empty horse trailer it looksÖ
WellÖ okay, in context it looks normal. In my shithole neighborhood, it looks like armed robbery waiting to happen.
Although I trust that Mr. Go West Young Man is plenty armed to protect his caravan.

Anyway.
Itís Rodeo and thatís important here.
So important that it has an impact on the way we ďgetĒ to dress at work for the next two days. Now, because I am a gigantic and unapologetic ass-kisser when it comes to work, I have to admit that I try to participate in all of the Team Spirit stuff that goes down in here.
I sit in a corner where there are three VPs and my manager is directly across from meÖ even if I wanted to blow this shit off, I couldnít do it without being as glaringly obvious as some of the belt buckles that are in town right now.

And that we get to wear to work.
Thatís right.
Itís Rodeo, so the word from HR is, ďDress Western! Itís a Tucson Tradition!Ē
I'm not even kidding.

My whole office is decked out in Wranglers, heavy striped shirts with mother-of-pearl buttons, cowboy hats, boots, and belt buckles.
"Dress Western! It's a Tucson Tradition!"
Now, I dressed as Western as I could. Given my Midwestern roots and my love off all things Juicy Couture, this was a bit of a challenge, to say the least. I am clearly participating but I am NOTHING next to some of the jingle-jangling spurs and bolero ties that I have been hearing all day.
One dude actually wore chaps over his (thank god) Wranglers.
The entire HR staff is from Texas, so you can imagine whatís going on over there Ė some kind of turquoise festival of brass and Stetson, and I think one lady even tied her Blackberry to a lasso because it was in keeping with the spirit of the day.
I have been here for three years and itís been like this every time Ė two days of ďDress Western! Itís a Tucson Tradition!Ē and I will never, ever get used to seeing my Vice President in a cowboy hat, or my manager thudding around in cowboy boots.

And they are all doing it again tomorrow.

Me?
No.
Iím going to take on another stereotype because not only is it Rodeo, but itís also Tucson Open and so watch for me on TV because I am going.
I wonít be dressed Western but you can bet your sweet ass Iíll look like a golf fan and be hanging out with other people who are wearing their golf shirts tucked neatly into their Mom Khakis.

I bet youíre jealous that I get to dress thematically so often.
It actually happens a lot more than you would think it does.
Huh.
I think Iíll have to chart these special dress-up days and maybe provide a calendar for your future use.
That way, when you see me leaving in the morning and I am wearing an extraordinary amount of turquoise, or if I am spied in an outfit that is covered in company logos, youíll have a headís up on whatís going on and maybe be able to hold off on laughing at me until I am out of earshot.

arizonasarah at 4:05 p.m.

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