Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Cowboy, Take Me Away

Well, I've been packing for two days for my imminent Texas expedition. Lovely long days of shooting at the Cowtown Gay Rodeo in Ft. Worth, and a fashion show in Dallas, and I'm excited as all hell.

But this is a complicated trip.

I have to carry my camera equipment, of course.

And I need rodeo clothes for Saturday, and for Sunday. This means a cowboy hat and boots, jeans and starched shirts.

I don't have a hat box for the cowboy hat, and I can't pack it in a suitcase. This means wearing it, and also storing it under the seat in front of me so it won't be crushed on the ride down.

Wearing a cowboy hat at O'Hare Airport in Chicago is no fun at all for a shy person like me. Anyone you deal with assumes that 1) you are from Texas and that therefore 2) you are stupid. Random strangers call out, "Howdy, pardner." There's also the added fun of watching helplessly as security piles other people's heavy bags on top of the hat, which cost more money than I usually spend on clothes in a month.

The hat and the camera bag effectively constitute my carry-ons, which means I cannot bring my knitting on the plane.

For the fashion show, even though I'm going to be backstage, I have to wear black tie. (Being hideously overdressed is always acceptable, even encouraged, in Dallas.)

And tomorrow night I have to do my least favorite thing in the entire world: Go straight from the airport to a cocktail party, to which (this being Dallas) I cannot wear a cool buttoned-down shirt and hip jeans. Oh, no. I have to have the coat, the tie, the dress pants, the polished shoes. Directly to the party from the plane, looking (as I always do after flying) like a gerbil that fell into a Cuisinart.

Of course, the dress pants mean I have to travel in shoes, not cowboy boots, so I am going to be walking around the airport in a cowboy hat and shoes.

I can't even begin to think how to accessorize that look. The only things that would seem to work would be a chinchilla jacket and one of those electronic ankle bracelets they put on convicted felons.

I had better get some damned good shots out of this trip.


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