It was Joe Diffie who set forth one of the most iconic country songs of the ’90s with a simple, but honest observation. There’s nothing earth-shattering in the song itself, but its continued play bears witness to its timeless veracity. It must be true that “There’s something women like about a Pickup Man!”
Still, while I can’t attest to how a woman feels about a man or his pickup, I can’t quite imagine that it’s the same as the attraction that a cowboy has to that pickup itself. While we are possessive about more than just a few things, we’ve developed a bond with the pickup truck that has brought it to be almost as closely associated with the cowboy as the horse, the hat, and the boots. Yes, we’ve developed a bond with this inanimate object that some might just regard as silly, but we have our reasons, and they’re more than sensible.
See, a pickup isn’t just the place we toss our gear, and carry ourselves and our “stuff” from place to place. It’s not just power to hitch a trailer and carry us to the next event or job. Sure, it accomplishes these tasks, but they’re just the very smallest part of what it does.
We’ve sat in the bed of that pickup, cradling young calves who are risking exposure until we can get them stabilized and secure. We’ve carried Spring seed home in it the same bed, the whole time wondering if it will make our season a success. We’ve driven hours to a rodeo, anticipating a great run or ride, pumping ourselves up to the stereo the whole time, just to put our winnings into the tank to get us home. We’ve leaned against the fenders with friends for hours, emptying glass bottles and telling stories, only some of which were true. We’ve made sure the center seat is clean enough to let our cowgirls scoot up close while we take them on a date, and when we grew up, flew them into town well over the speed limit so they could deliver our babies. We’ve used “a trip to check the fences” in them as an excuse to spend some time driving aimlessly with our daughters to make sure they know how much dad loves them. We’ve made room on the passenger seat in the early morning for sons, excited for their first hunts, and later in the evening, heard them make the same bad-shooting excuses we made with our dads.
Yes, we’ve solved the world’s problems on their tailgates, and often created even more. Some months we spend more time in them than we do under our own roofs, making them more than just a second home. While people are unpredictable and hard to understand, we get to know that pickup sometimes all too well — all its quirks and nuances are expected and familiar.
Is it any wonder we become so attached to these pickups? They don’t just carry our “stuff.” They carry our lives, and our memories, and they bring us closer to the life and the people we love.
Maybe that’s why women love pickup men, but I don’t know. There’s room in the cab of my old Ford for my sweetie tonight, though, and that piece of pasture out by Andy’s needs “checking.” Maybe I’ll just ask her then.