I bought an extra ticket to a rodeo in Denver next week, because I wanted to go but I did not want to sit by myself. I figured I’d give it to a fun friend and we’d have a blast drinking beer and watching them crown the rodeo queen. Or, I’d go alone and get to keep the 2nd complimentary rodeo koozie. No big deal, right?
Wrong. The situation (in my brain) has quickly escalated. It’s proving more difficult than expected to find someone who will attend a mid-week rodeo with me. It’s reminding me of the other time in my life when I optimistically bought more than one ticket for something in hopes that I would find someone else to go with me: prom (and yes, I went through this ordeal twice in high school).
Here’s how I imagine the situation playing out when I ask people to go to the rodeo with me:
Rodeo Rejection: “Never! I’m ethically opposed to rodeos.”
Prom Equivalent: “I’m too cool for stupid high school things like prom. I’m gonna smoke weed with my non-lame friends instead.”
Rodeo Rejection: “Thanks for asking, but I think I’m going to go with your best friend instead.”
Prom Equivalent: Same as above.
Rodeo Rejection: “Yes! I’m in!” (Two weeks later) “Sorry I have to take my girlfriend to a rodeo in Wyoming on the same day.”
Prom Equivalent: Replace “rodeo” with “prom” and “Wyoming” with “Wyoming County, West Virginia.”
I will eventually find someone to go to the rodeo with me. Prom always worked out for me in the end. It might be at the last minute, and they might only be
a freshman in high school an OkCupid date, but we will still have fun. And I’ll be radiant in my prom dress cowboy boots.
In the next two to three years, I’ll end up at bars or parties with all of the people who rodeo-rejected me. They’ll all be on the confessional side of intoxication, and I’ll feel like humoring them. “I wish I had gone to the rodeo with you Janney,” they’ll say as they put a hand on my shoulder/look into my eyes/grab my butt.
“I know you do. I know you do.” And I’ll take my drink, in my complimentary rodeo koozie, and walk away.