Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Becoming a Redneck

Someone said the oddest thing to me a couple days ago. I was told by this person that I had surprised them. That growing up they never thought I would change so much marrying a redneck and all. I sat back surprised that my worst fear had been confirmed. I was now a redneck, not just in my imagination but in how other people perceived me as well. It left me completely unsettled. Yes. My husband has a bit of redneck in him. I appreciate that, accept that, and let him be who he is, but excuse me for saying so... I don't want to be a redneck. 

I told Gary as we drove home that day about my experience. Trying not to cry I told him that I now look the part of redneck and I didn't like it. That is when Gary looked into the situation and explained to me better than I could have imagined what that person really meant. I envision "redneck" the same way you might. Do a Google search for images "redneck" and that is pretty much where my stereotype leads me. What that person meant was perhaps "redneck" a little but it was more "homesteader" or "urban farmer". No one would have imagined (including myself) that I would one day have chickens in my backyard or that I would be raising cages full of rabbits so I could eat them. Not that I think I would have been against those things as a younger person but it was so foreign, so out of this world, so unthinkable. No one I knew or that person knew or even Gary's family knew was doing or talking about doing what we are trying to do now. 

That doesn't mean that others weren't being urban farmers or eating local or raising their own food. These movements have been around for a while. It was just not a part of my world. It certainly makes since to me. I think I was drawn to "it" years ago before I knew what "it" was. Who knows, if I had know that farming could look like this in high school it could have changed the course of my life. You can't speak about roads you never were on. 

However, I sat back in my seat thinking about what Gary had said. We were doing something that amazes and surprises our relatives and friends. Maybe they think we are crazy or maybe not but maybe being perceived as a redneck isn't so very bad after all.

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