I grew up on a farm 15 miles east of anything that even resembles a town. For as long as I can remember I've been feeding baby chicks (yep, with a scoop and a feed buggy), picking up dead, putting out hay and range cubes for cows, riding tractors and running around barefoot and wild outside all the time. When I was a kid it felt like being country was just not cool. If you were country you were weird... back woods and stuff. I look around now and constantly I am hearing about how all these people are "country". More power to ya... if you really are. But I'm just not convinced that all of the sudden, out of the blue, everyone around me is country when it wasn't too long ago I knew a hand full of people who have ever been up close and personal with any type of livestock or farming equipment. Now I understand... being country isn't only about having cows, chickens, horses or pigs and its not all about bailing hay or pulling calves. I understand that part of it is hunting, fishing, riding horses, getting dirty and doing anything outside. You can be country without ever having seen a cow... I find it highly unlikely, but I do believe it is a possibility. But what I am afraid is really going on is that being country is the new "in style". I think people are more in love with the idea of being country than they are with the actual country. People want to be country without ever getting dirty. I hate to tell ya folks... you can't be country without getting a little dirty. Plain and simple... you can go to the country. You can even do some coutry-ish things... but you can't actually be country unless you get dirty. And I don't mean wear an old t shirt and get a spot or two of dirt on ya.... By getting dirty I mean have so much dirt on your face, hands and body that only your mother would recognize you. I mean covered from head to toe in that stuff you don't even want to think about that comes along with pulling a calf. I mean baiting your own hook and getting worm guts on your hands. Dirty is cleaning a deer over a creek and being covered to your elbows in that rank ass deer blood. Those of you that think your country... how many times have you done any of that? Oh... and by the way, if you've ever actually been dirty it doesn't count if you sat there the whole time going "eeewwww that's so gross, oh my gosh that's nasty, etc." That completely voids that whole deal. Let me also point out that owning a pair of cowboy boots does NOT make you country. You don't have to have a "country" membership card to shop in a country/western store so any city slicker in the world could go buy a pair... that means those boots you paid $300 for 2 years ago that are sitting in your closet and have never touched cow shit.... they don't make you any more country than the high heels sititng next to them. One more thing... there seems to be some confusion. Just cause you eat deer meat does not mean you are country or that you are a hunter. Lots of people eat deer meat. Its good stuff, in some states you can actually find it on the menu in food joints. If a city slicker pulls of the road into a little cafe and orders venison on the menu... that doesn't make them any more country than some of you that claim to be hunters just cause you eat deer meat. If you've never actually killed a deer (and I don't mean killed it with your car) then let me make this clear.... you are NOT a deer hunter. Doesn't matter if you go to deer camp every year or not...
Still think your country? Let me tell you what. If you can answer yes to 90% of these questions then we'll talk about if you're country or not.
1. In the last 5 years have you even been on a tractor more than 20 times? I don't mean go to a john deere store and climb on a tractor and say hey, I was on a tractor today. I mean out somewhere on the tractor doing something i.e. raking hay, feeding hay, moving dirt... something like that. If you were actually driving... you get bonus points!
2. Do you know the difference between a cow and a heifer? I mean do you actually know? Don't go look it up on the internet and think you know...
3. Do you know what PTO stands for? And what it is?
4. Do you go fishing? If you go fishing is it only because your boyfriend/girlfriend goes and you think its cute? Do you bait your own hook? I mean there are some things I let the boy do for me because he doesn't mind like putting my lure on my line. What can I say, he's better at tying knots than I am. But do I ask him to put my worms on my hook for me? Negative ghost rider...
5. When you go hunting is it because your boyfriend/girlfriend goes? Do you go just to go or do you go for the thrill of the hunt and the adrenaline rush when you shoot a big fat deer?
6. Do you know the difference between a rodeo and a team ropen? And are you intelligent enough to know that when someone says they are going to a ropen this weekend they aren't going to a rodeo?
7. When you go to a rodeo that doesn't make you country. Its a show for entertainment. But when you go could you ride a horse in what you wear to the rodeo? I ask this because it seems like more and more when I go to rodeos or team ropens I see all these girls running around in shorts or skirts that show their ass cheeks... and what do they have on their feet? Yep...those high dollar cowboy boots that are just as shiney and new as they were the day they bought them... 2 years ago. Let me verify something for those girls... THAT is NOT country. THAT is really skanky among other things.
8. Know how to operate 2 or more farm implements? If you have to look up farm implements then just skip this question... the answer is no.
9. Can you drive a standard? I know this can be the criteria of being many things. But what I'm talking about is can you get in an old farm truck and get yourself down the road without it dying or burning the clutch every time you try to shift. I know that in this modern day standards are just not something you see every day. They have tractors, four wheelers and all sorts of vehicles that are made with an automatic tranny... I just think its funny when people tell me they can drive a standard and when it comes to it.... put put put... truck dies. That's not driving a standard. I will admit that if I'm in a gas powered rig that's a standard it might take me a second to take off cause I learned to drive a standard in a diseal and I can count the number of gas rigs I've tried to drive that had a standard in it... that number is 3 over a period of 8 years. So yeah, it might take me a second to get my timing right on the "let out on the clutch push in the gas"... but I do know how it works and I can do it.
10. Do you know how to operate the head gate in a lot? First off... do you know what a lot and a head gate are?
11. Have you ever had a real good batch of chiggers? Do you even actually know what chiggers are? I know they itch... we all know they itch. But do you know what they are?
12. Do you know what the steps are in getting hay up?
There are a lot more things that can qualify you as country.... but at this point I'm pretty tired of typing and the whole purpose of this blog was to get it off my chest how dumb some people can be. I know that a lot of people qualify themselves as country. And you know that's just fine and dandy... do it in the privacy of your own mind. Don't run around in your hooker clothes and slap on a pair of boots, yell yehaw and think anyone else is buying your act. That's what it is... the majority of people these days are acting like they are country.
When the boy and I first started dating he didn't think I knew anything about a farm, fishing or hunting... (he is very country by the way) but he based all this on the fact that I was always wearing jeans and tshirts, flip flops, dress pants, funky shorts... whatever I felt like wearing. You know... I wear that stuff cause its comfy. And I sure as hell ain't afraid to get out and get dirty in any of it. I wear boots and belts a little more than I use to now cause I spend a lot of time a ropens with him and yeah that's stuff is in style. I'm picky about what I will wear and what I won't. For the most part I dress just the way I always have... that doesn't make me any less country. But just cause you wear cowboy boots and belts with big buckles... you aren't any more country than anyone else. That's the equivelant of playing dress up with expensive clothes....
The fact is I LOVE the country, that's where I grew up... cows, chickens, dirt, tractors and all... I may live in the city now, but I'll always be country.