this is your rodeo

By Brenda Tadych
Woman Newspapers

Rumor has it not all men are romantic, heroic cowboys ready to ride us off into the sunset. I know. I was surprised too. I hope you’ve lassoed yourself a righteous and attentive one who rigs your saddle. If you’re thinking ‘…mmm, not so much,’ then grab onto your reins and follow my lead. I’m here to tell you that this is your rodeo and there are some buckeroos you’d best keep out of your corral.

The Tag Along – Does he insist on tagging along when you’re out with friends, but then looks at his watch and taps his foot way before you are ready to leave? (Do you really want him joining you every time?) Buck him off and remind him that he’s not your BFF; he’s your man. There’s a lot to be said about that Absence-Makes-the-Heart-Grow-Fonder thing.

The Wavering Wallet – Let’s talk money. While I hope it’s not central to your relationship, it can’t be ignored. Are you both working but it seems you’re the only one paying for groceries and putting gas in the car? Does he act like a rodeo clown over-tipping the waiter? Does he ruin a vacation by complaining about how much everything costs? You best rustle that skinflint on out of there.

The Ho-hum - Does he give you that bored, world-weary attitude, withholding even the teeniest of compliments? Does he strive never to be impressed? Every occasion is “not bad,” but never “great!” His avoidance of showing pleasure will get old fast and you should never have to beg for a little admiration.

The Hot Air Balloon – Has he already been there, done it, ate it, seen it, driven it? Is his every accomplishment worthy of attention? Is he always right and doesn’t hesitate to point out – with authority – when everyone else is wrong? What you first thought was charisma may just be an over-inflated ego. First of all, he probably hasn’t done, eaten, seen or driven EVERYTHING. He may know someone who did (or maybe he’s Googled it so many times he thinks it’s his own real experience.) He’s the cowboy who’s never been on a horse, a legend in his own mind. There isn’t room for two in there.

The Omen – Are his good deeds done only to soften you up for an impending disappointment? Does he finally change that light bulb in the closet right before he springs the news he’s going away for the weekend? Do you have the best day ever with him, only to be heartbroken when he tells you he won’t be going to that party with you? You may welcome his deeds, but let me tell you that the road to hell can be paved with good intentions.

Don’t let him be the only one singing ‘yippie ki-yay.’ Here’s the good news: If the old mule ain’t what he used to be, it may be time for him to leave the ranch. No matter how wonderful your cowboy is in his own mind, his words, actions and deeds reveal his true character.

Chances are this ain’t your first rodeo and you’ve probably hit a barrel or two going around a corner. You may have even fallen off your horse now and then. But as the saying goes, “Just ’cause trouble comes visiting doesn’t mean you have to offer it a place to sit down.”