American Culture

A Texan's guide to Colorado, part 1: mingling with the natives

By Ann Ivins

I did my best to blend.

The makeup case was purged of any shade of eyeshadow in the blue family. The Aquanet went reluctantly into the bathroom cabinet, replaced by a bottle of flowery-smelling goo with “organic” somewhere on the label. Fingernails were stripped of fuchsia lacquer and pruned to a length that would cause any respectable Junior Leaguer to go into immediate manicure panic. Finally, the greatest sacrifice a Texan woman can make: every garment, shoe and personal accessory sporting rhinestones was ruthlessly cut from the packing list, leaving as my entire wardrobe one pair of jeans and a nursing bra from two years ago.

Shopping was in order. T-shirts and jeans: check. Sweater for chilly evenings: is cashmere too dressy? What if it’s a hoodie; doesn’t that count as sporty? What if it’s black – is that too urban? Should I stick with Sierra Club earth tones? And shoes, shoes, shoes… no, I cannot wear Uggs without violating my sacred personal footwear oath. Shiny new hiking boots would be too glaringly obvious to be successful. Sandals – do they even make sandals without heels? Without flowers? Without rhinestones????

After two Xanax in the Eddie Bauer dressing room and several hours spent at REI to imbibe the atmosphere, I thought I had it.

Two days later in Chautauqua Park, the truth hit me like a red patent Brighton satchel loaded with Mary Kay skincare products: I wasn’t even in the NatureGirl ballpark. The kids and dogs were familiar, the men wore the American uniform of t-shirts and khaki shorts, but the women in general had that effortlessly granola look that will never, can never come naturally (or perhaps at all) to a girl from San Antonio. I started a mental list of my more obvious Coloradan deficiencies.

  1. No Tevas. Or hiking boots. Damn it, I should have gone ahead with them.
  2. Legs not muscular enough.
  3. Too pale.
  4. No ponytail.
  5. No terra-chic headwear of any kind.
  6. Sunglasses not polycarbonate.
  7. No layered tank tops.
  8. Serious gear deficiency, specifically in the backpack arena.
  9. Lacking dog (although I have two at home, I did not realize they were a required accoutrement in Colorado).
  10. Forgot to remove toenail polish.

I gave up. Anyway, I’m here for the convention. I’m here to get serious about politics and the future of our nation. I’m here for my daughter and the women of the world.

I think there’s a mall right down Sheridan from Sam’s house.

7 replies »

  1. Damn. The border fence isn’t up yet! Quick! Call out the dogs! Well, actually, I should be quiet on that front. I’m pretty sure a second fence will go up around California soon enough…

  2. Nice!

    That reminds me–I forgot to remove the toenail polish I acquired on my last trip to California. I’m not sure I even own nailpolish remover…..

    Crocs. Crocs will help you blend in. The more garish the color, the better.

  3. Don’t worry, there are strata to the Colorado Woman, go hang out at Cherry Creek and you will see what I mean.

    If you want to borrow a dog, I have a lovely German Shepherd/Rottweiler mix who loves a good party.

    Lara Amber

  4. Yes, she will most definitely sleep on your bed, lick your face, rub her head into your leg, and basically be a big baby. I swear Zoe should have been named Kaylee.

    She will also try to chew on Ronin, since she thinks all small dogs want to wrestle and chase. She’ll even let Ronin kick her in the face.

    Lara Amber