Cowboys vs Tycoons

What is it about cowboys?

It’s surprising how many romances feature our hard-working Western heroes, because you’d think a woman would want a wealthy, successful man who can offer her a life of ease. Doctors, tycoons, millionaires – that’s what we need, right? A guy with a big house and a high credit limit.

But a cowboy doesn’t do credit. He pays cash. He’s a blue-collar man who works for a living, and he’s probably not rich. He’s definitely not a snappy dresser – unless you happen to be partial to Wranglers and chaps – and he’s hardly a smooth talker.

But what’s your life going to be like with Mr. Moneybags?

Let’s say it’s date night. Your tycoon is going to take you to a cocktail party and a charity ball. You’ve charged a sensational designer gown to his account, and spent the day at the salon getting a new manicure and having every inch of yourself plucked, tweezd and waxed. You’re going to wear fabulous shoes that make you teeter a good four inches beyond the level where you’r accustomed to walking, so you’d better be careful not to tip over or twist an ankle. You’ll meet all the movers and the shakers, but you’d better not move or shake too much yourself, or you’ll ruin your sterling reputation and maybe scuttle a deal in the making.

Meanwhile, your cowboy wants to take you to a small-town rodeo, where you’ll spend the evening trash-talking with your friends and neighbors behind the chutes or sitting in the bleachers cheering them on while the sun sets behind the mountains. You’ll eat some barbecue in the parking lot, then end the night at a honky-tonk, drinking beer with friends and maybe hitting the floor for a two-step or three.

Mr. Moneybags is wearing an Armani suit and Bruno Maglis, and he looks fabulous. The suit drapes just right, the shoes are polished, and he’s clean-shaven and handsome. First impressions are important, so Mr. M. is always well-groomed, and he smells good, too–he wears just a touch of many designer cologne that smells civilized, yet masculine, like cinnamon and musk.

(What is “musk,” anyway? I suspect it’s the product of some mammalian gland we don’t want to know about.)

Your cowboy, on the other hand, is wearing Wranglers that frame his saddle-toned butt and boots that turn his casual walk into a manly swagger. Chances are he didn’t have time to shave this morning before he saddled up and rode out, so his square jaw is shadowed with stubble. He doesn’t really care what anybody thinks of him, so he’s wearing whatever feels comfortable and he smells like saddle leather, sage, and sunshine


Okay, now comes the imporant part. Date night’s over, and it’s time to shed that fancy gown and strip off that expensive suit. Mr. Moneybags bought a gym membership, so he has workout-honed biceps and a Gold’s Gym six-pack. He’s smooth and well-educated, so he knows just what to say to get you where he wants you: out of that gown and into his carved mahogany four-poster.

The cowboy, on the other hand, spends half his time in the saddle, working those all-important thigh and glute muscles, and the rest of his time on the gound throwing haybales and doing various blue-collar tasks that make his shoulders broad and his arm muscles long and lean. He might not be a smooth talker, but you always know he means what he says because he speaks from the heart.

Matter of fact, he does everything from the heart, and most of his eloquence is of the non-verbal variety. He’s a lot better at showing how he feels than talking about it.

No mahogany four-poster required.

Meanwhile, Mr. Moneybags has a tenth-century illuminated copy of the Kama Sutra in his glass-fronted oak bookcase, and he wants to try the Congress of the Crow. Unless you’re double-jointed, this could be a deal-breaker.

Seriously, they’re both great guys. They both live in interesting worlds, and they’re both successful. It’s kind of fun to take one from Column Tycoon and one from Column Cowboy – but when it comes to everyday life, I want a man I can relax with. A man who makes me laugh. One I can trust and depend on.

And those boots, that swagger, that Wrangler butt – well,  it works for me.

(This post was originally a guest blog for Nightowl Romance on March 13, 2010 – here’s the link! Nightowl is one of my favorite romance blogs and gets lots of interesting guest bloggers – so check it out!)