Cowboy Boots – A True Story

The date was July 15, 1994….

My girlfriend Carla and I attended singles’ events in San Francisco quite regularly. Singles’ events were all the rage before “on-line dating”. These events were often held at interesting venues, like the Asian Art Museum.

Once we attended an event there on Halloween night. The museum docents, dressed up as witches and warlocks, took us on tours to see things like bronze Buddhas and Chinese Jade. Mostly, we were eyeing each other to see if there might be a match.

There was a way you worked singles’ events. It was all in the glance. If you looked at a man and he averted his eyes, that was a “not interested” signal. On the other hand, if he looked back for more than a few seconds, and especially if he gave you a smile, then you knew there was a chance. You would seek your opportunity to connect, perhaps with some small talk about the artist or about how big the crowd was.

Looking for love in San Francisco

It wasn’t easy for a professional woman to meet men in San Francisco

Singles may view Yellow Dragon Jar at event

Singles could comment on the Yellow Dragon Jar while finding out if they “had a chance”

Buddha may be viewed by singles at Asian Art Museum

Singles could view the Buddhas—or each other

Asian Art Museum in San Francisco at night

The Asian Art Museum in San Francisco at night

It was challenging in the love department for a 40-something professional woman in this town. I was very busy running my business and had no time to meet men. When my business began to go well, I relaxed a little and started looking for love. Singles’ events were loads of fun if you could keep your nerves under control. Your self esteem could plummet when you got a lot of those “not interested” signals. I met a couple of guys at the museum event that I could go out with for fun, but I didn’t meet Mr. Right.

That happened at an event in Berkeley. It was put on by a group called the Professional’s Guild. The name sounded good to me, and I hoped that it would attract a certain level of participants. That was one of the quandaries I faced in dating – how to find men that met my criteria in income and professional status, but still shared my more liberal values. So many successful men, it seemed, were very conservative and simply no fun. On the other hand, there were some fun-loving ones who were content to enjoy the fruits of my labor but couldn’t pay for dinner.

That day I worried about how to dress for Professional’s Guild. Should I wear a business suit or would a nice dress and killer heels be better? A friend steered me in a different direction. “Wear what you feel really good in,” she told me, “because the man you meet needs to see the ‘real you’, expressed in how you dress.” Out came the backless cocktail dress from Victoria’s Secret.

Carla and I made the rounds pretty fast that night since we were veterans of singles’ events. We met some nice men and it was a pleasant evening. But by around 10 o’clock nothing had clicked for us with any of them, so we relaxed and chatted with a small group while enjoying our cocktails. Carla pointed to one man’s name tag and commented on how some of them had a colored dot on them while others didn’t. At that moment a guy we hadn’t seen before walked past our group, drink in hand. Most of the men who were there were wearing sports coats and ties, but this one was different. He had on black jeans, a white shirt with a band collar and cowboy boots. He got our attention.

Carla didn’t miss the moment.

“Oh, he has one, too,” she said, pointing to his name tag. That stopped him, as she had intended. Carla was very cute and clever and seemed to always gather herself a few admirers at each event. She’s done it again, I thought.

“I have one what?”, the cowboy boots guy asked.

Carla went on to explain about the dots on some of the name tags, and that’s all it took. She had engaged him and he had stopped to talk, so she had a chance. I listened for a while, and although I admired her abilities, I had seen her in action before and figured it was a “done deal” for her. I turned my gaze back out to the crowd, wondering what I wanted to do next. Was it over for me for the night? Just then a hand reached through the group and took my arm. It was Cowboy Boots.

“Would you like to dance?”, he asked.

As he pulled me toward the dance floor, I looked over at Carla and couldn’t stop my eyes from batting at her, as if to say, look at me!

He and I danced well together and we both seemed to be enjoying ourselves. His hand was on my bare back and he commented that I must work out. I was glad that I had kept in shape for this moment and that I had worn the little Victoria’s Secret dress. I remembered that men like for women to look at them when they are dancing so I smiled into his eyes the whole time. It was going really well, I thought.

Then the dreaded thing happened.

“I know we both came here to meet people, so I won’t tie up all of your time”, he said as he led me off the dance floor. So there it was – the let down. Oh, well, I thought, there will be other singles’ events. I went downstairs to the ladies’ room to freshen up and console myself. When I came out, I saw a man that I had talked to earlier in the evening and we struck up a friendly conversation.

Just then Cowboy Boots came down the stairs. He looked at me and then looked over at the guy I was talking to. He reached up and grasped his name tag, ripped it off his chest, and slapped it right on top of mine.

“She’s mine”, he said to the guy. He took my hand and led me back upstairs to the dance floor.

Couple met at singles event and still dancing

Still dancing after 20 years

Couple met at singles event in San Francisco and still dancing

Dance party

It’s twenty years later and Cowboy Boots and I are still dancing….

32 responses to “Cowboy Boots – A True Story”

  1. Aloha Carol, your story reminds me so much of how Joe and I met about 21 years ago in Dallas, TX. If it wasn’t for Joe and his love for the Hawaiian islands I would have never visited there must less moved to Kauai or met you at KCC. Interesting how life turns out. As for traveling goes, we did the coast to coast trip this past fall from WA & OR to NC, VA, TN. We are back in OR to spend Winter Break in Hood River,OR with our daughter who is currently going to Reed College in Portland, OR. We are doing all this long term traveling through Home Exchanging which is working out pretty great. Hope to see you next time you & I are both back on Kauai at the same time!

  2. Alicia says:

    Funny that I knew how you two met but this is the first time I’ve heard the story of “cowboy boots”. It made me smile. Great story and memory for you both. Cheers to another 20 years!!! xoxo

  3. Donna says:

    Love how the stars aligned to put you two together! Enjoy the next twenty and keep dancin’ 🙂

  4. Diane says:

    I always LOVE, LOVE, LOVE This Story; better told each time.
    So romantic!
    A Hui ho!
    OXOXOXOX

  5. Jim O'Hara says:

    Great story, Carol – and a great life for the both of you! And the fun loving duo you are continues to explore and have adventures! Jim

    • CarolSue says:

      Thanks for your nice comment and kind words about my story, Jim. You are quite the storyteller yourself. I so enjoyed your recently published memoir IN THE LAND OF SHIVA. Well done. I will be sending Amazon a review soon and wish you much success with it. Yes, Phil and I have it all – love AND adventure!

  6. Ally Asbe says:

    Good thing that boy is not “all hat and no buckle.” He roped him in a highly spirited filly! Love you MAMA!

    • CarolSue says:

      Thank you, Ally, for your fun remarks. Remember when you joked about helping me “vet” him to be sure he was a good catch? We bantered about getting a look at his tax returns!!! We were playing around and being snarky, of course….BTW, YOU are the one who inspired me to wear that Victoria’s Secret dress – thank you. Love to you and your “cowboy”.

  7. Iris Burman says:

    Well, I do love that story. I am reminded of the trips you and I took to exotic places- two girls out to see the world. How many times we wrote your list of “musts” for the “man of your dreams”- a nearly impossible list to expect to find in one person. And then, this story- the story of a miracle of finding just what you were looking for. Phil has been the man of your dreams for these last 20 years and you both are better for it. May you have another 40+ to enjoy each other.

    Happy Anniversary to two wonderful people who bring joy to each other and to those they meet along the way.

    love, Iris

    • CarolSue says:

      Iris, my friend. Yes, I remember those trips we took to Greece, Jamaica, and heaven-knows where else! What fun we had! Those lists of what my ideal man must-have were the best! I think they helped me “pull-in” this man of my dreams. Well, that and his sexy aura! What keeps me around is his good heart and warm companionship. Everybody should be so lucky. Like you are with your man, Eddie Ray. Blessing and good health to both of you, my dear. I am bursting with anticipation when I think of seeing you in Florida this fall. Love you.

    • Ally Asbe says:

      Is this the famous IRIS?

  8. Christine Frilot says:

    I love it!!! Meant to be!!!

    • CarolSue says:

      Thank you, sweet woman. Your great-uncle is the best! (Is he really old enough to be that?) You have yourself a pretty nice man, too, and two beautiful guy-children. Doin’ good. Stay in touch. Much love.

  9. Martin says:

    Great story! Enjoy your travel and if you’re around Shanghai or Beijing give me a shout than we’ll meet up for a drink.

    • CarolSue says:

      Hi Martin, thanks for your nice comment and offer to meet up in China. Hope you are enjoying it there. For sure, when we come, we’ll enjoy meeting up with you again – as we did in 2 countries already!

  10. Kathy says:

    Hi carol
    Love your story congrats on 20 years together love the pictures

    • CarolSue says:

      Kathy darlin, can you believe it’s been 20 years??? Well, you’ve been with my brother longer than that. Thanks for your love and support. Your sis.

  11. Angeni says:

    Love this story and love you guys!

    • CarolSue says:

      Thank you, little niece. We love you, too, and that hubby of yours. Can’t wait to see you when we get to NC!

  12. Tina says:

    Love this story and I even shared it with Dan. Cowboy boots!! hahaha

    • CarolSue says:

      Tina darlin, “Uncle” Phil has a lot of spunk, as those cowboy boots signify. And I’ve been known to swoon over ’em. Always remember that I knew you when you first met Dan. And I have some stories to tell about that!!! Luv you guys. Enjoyed seeing you while in SoCal.

  13. MimiWry says:

    CaroleSue I admire you and Phil and I hope you and Phil continue on yout journeys and have a wOnderful life together.you are both adorable and have so much fun together, keep it up.Enjoy every day.love you Mimi

    • CarolSue says:

      Mimi, thank you for your wonderful support. Phil and I are lucky there were “singles’ events” and we found each other! I think about you when I am planning our East Coast adventure. It’s on my bucket list to come howdy with you when we get to Florida. It would be a kick. Leave the light on for us!

      • MimiWry says:

        That would be great ,love to se you. I am in Clearwater now visiting my niece, it is beautiful here .Dean is in rebab until the 24thJuly and is doing well love your posts Mimi

      • MimiWry says:

        We will love to have you visit us in Fl , anytime, we Are always here love Mimi and Dean

  14. Jodi says:

    That is a lovely story, Carolsue. Congratulations to you and Phil on your 20th year of loving one another.
    Jodi

    • CarolSue says:

      Thank you, Jodi darlin. You have a wonderful “dance-partner” yourself there in Victor. Luv to both of you!

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