You might be [marrying] a redneck if…

I write this post in humor and in love, and because – in just 46 days – I am marrying a (wonderful, amazing, and darn-close-to-perfect) good ol’ country boy.  We don’t use the term “redneck” as an insult around here, but rather a compliment to describe the…interesting…way of life that I now consider more “normal” than any other lifestyle out there.

So how did I reach this conclusion?  That I have crossed over into the redneck way of life?  It was tough, but I used the following clues to lead me to such a verdict.  You can be the judge.

1.        If your fiancé hunts off your back porch…

A bottle of wine, a book, and the fiance with his bow.

A bottle of wine, a book, and the fiance with his bow. Typical 2011 summer night.

We bought our house last summer, June of 2011.  Within weeks of moving in, Austin discovered that our acre of property is dangerously overpopulated with rabbits.  Of course, problem-solver that he is, Austin went straight to the hunting room (see # 5) to get his bow and take care of this situation.  Newly engaged and head-over-heels in love, I just watched in bewilderment as he aimed, fired, and took the life of Peter Cottontail…and much of his poor rabbit family.

Rabbit #1

Austin and Peter Cottontail #1

Of course Austin doesn’t just kill for sport, so we have 5 rabbits worth of rabbit meat in our freezer (see #2).

2.       If your freezer is stocked with more deer, duck, dove, geese, wild turkey, rabbit (fresh from the yard), etc.  than Kroger frozen chicken breasts…

Now that I’m on this “all-natural” kick, Austin defends his hunting passion/obsession with “Well, you can’t get more natural than that!”  (That being wild animals.  Which, I’ll admit, is true.)  And so, of course, he only hunts for the health benefits of our family.

Freezer

Our freezer, full of mystery meat.

Wait…what IS this?

Mysterious frozen item in a trashbag, which went unnoticed for who-knows-how-long until I decided to do blog photography on our freezer.

I carefully removed the trashbag from the freezer for further examination.

I didn’t take a picture of what was inside of the bag.  I’ll be honest, I didn’t even open it.  But take my word for it… I felt a long neck and a beak.   And – I think - a very frozen wing.  I made an “Ahh!” sound.  And then I put it back where I found it.  Lesson learned – ignorance is bliss when it comes to our freezer.  That is the last time I will investigate the contents.

3.       If your refrigerator door displays photos of dead animals…

While we’re in the kitchen, let’s check out the refrigerator door.  Next to the newborn baby announcements and Save-The-Dates, we proudly display Austin’s victory over the first rabbit-from-the-yard.

Refrigerator

Our refrigerator door. Yes, we are vain enough to have our own save-the-date on our refrigerator. But that's not the point, here.

4.       If you have formerly-living wildlife on the walls of your living room…

A city girl has to take a stand at some point, so I gave Austin “permission” to hang THREE animals on the walls of our living room.  No more.  And, for the time being, he agrees to this compromise.  I preferred deer over geese or ducks or turkey, because honestly mounted birds kind of creep me out (so do frozen birds, I recently discovered).  He was kind enough to choose 3 deer (one is still in the process of being mounted), and thoughtful enough to hang them high on the walls our vaulted ceiling living room, so my city family and friends don’t have to look them in the eyes right when they walk through our front door.  It’s also because he doesn’t want me putting Rudolf noses on them at Christmas time (it’s insulting to the animal).  Little does he know, I can climb a ladder (although carrying it in the house might present a minor challenge) and I will find a creative way to incorporate them into our holiday décor.

Donner and Blitzen

Since he’s reached his maximum quantity of animal heads, you’d think he’d be content to stop hunting now.  Not a chance.

5.       If you have a “hunting room”…

Below is a picture from one of the bedrooms in our 3-bedroom home.  Now, in my defense, we did not hang the forest-scene wallpaper.  What you see here is the (impressive) handiwork of the previous homeowners.  However, for Austin, I think this was a huge selling point on the house.

The Man Cave/Storage Room

Until we decide it’s time for little ones, this room is functioning as a storage unit for all things hunting-related (and, until June, wedding-related – which Austin is not happy about).  I am too embarrassed to show you a picture of the entire room, but I’ll advise – in case you plan on visiting – DO NOT ENTER.  It takes careful precision and skill to hop over the various bows, animal calls, turkey fans (carefully displays on the floor, because Austin has already used up the allotted wall-space for dead animals), camouflage duffle bags overflowing camouflage apparel, and a teeny tiny little bit of wedding stuff… Serious fire hazard.

This room is one reason I hope we have kids soon.  I tell Austin I have all sorts of cuteness in mind for it.  Muahaha.

6.       If you have a camouflage hat rack…

Collectors items. No two are exactly alike...

This hat collection hangs on the door of Austin’s closet.  This is not a complete collection, because – obviously – he was wearing one on his head the day I took this picture, and one or more is probably in his truck for when he wants to change his “look” a bit in the middle of the day.  I am fairly confident that Austin has more camouflage hats than ties or dress shirts or polos (probably combined).  And he would be proud of that if it proved true.

My Bad Hair Day Hat... Best. Present. Ever. (Thanks Austin!)

Austin is helping me build my own small collection.

7.       If you use mason jars for… everything…

Austin introduced me to The All-Purpose Mason Jar.  And I am addicted.

I use them for cabinet storage…

Austin fills them with his homemade “Apple Pie” special juice (ahem)…

The production of the contents of these jars should be another item on the Redneck List altogether...

And, because they are so awesome and practical, I decided to incorporate them into my wedding favors (I know, I’m ruining the surprise element here, but I had to share my creation)…

Most practical wedding favors ever.

Not gonna lie, I’m darn proud of the little rhyme I put on the tags.  But those you have to wait until the wedding to see.

And my mother even gave us something special for our table at the wedding…

Fancy.

Yep.  Redneck Wine Glasses.  Class, class, class.  But I have to give her credit for embracing her daughter’s new lifestyle.

8.       If this truck sits in your driveway…

How many hunting-related decals can you fit on one truck?

Praise the Lord, we are in the market for a new truck.  I don’t complain about this one, honestly, because we never ride it in.  Sure, Austin does.  And Gauge does, often.  (Which would explain the… weathered… interior).   But anytime Austin and I ride together anywhere, we take my trusted Corolla, mostly because it starts consistently and gets better gas mileage.  He doesn’t mention it anymore, but I think it still kills a little part of Austin each time someone spots him driving my Foreign Car.  (Zero Redneck Points earned for driving a Toyota.)

Not pictured (but would earn back big Redneck Points):  Turkey beards hanging from the rearview mirror.  (Of Austin’s truck, not my Corolla!  Are you crazy??)

9.       If your living room coasters are an ode to your birddog…

Gauge is a coaster-model!

Okay, guilty.  I bought these last summer.  We needed coasters.  And when I saw these at Hobby Lobby I couldn’t pass them up (see the resemblance to Gauge!?).  Of course, I’m conditioned to them now, but it still throws guests off when they reach for a coaster with a dead-bird-in-a-dog’s-mouth design.

10.   If your house is “protected by the good Lord and a gun”…

That’s one of Austin’s theme songs.  And yes, we have guns in our house.  Many guns.  It may scare some, but it makes me feel safe.  Although I think it’s safest for me to turn to God for protection than trying to operate one of these bad boys in an emergency situation.

Dangerous Machines.

 

So, there is my accumulation of evidence that has lead me to conclude that – indeed – I am marrying into one of the greatest, proudest, and most curious forms of American culture:  The Redneck.   Austin would be the first to tell you that I have a long way to go before making a total transformation into a Redneck Woman (I’ll take my sweet time, thank you), but I can tell you “city folk” from my experience so far:  the country way of life is unbelievably under-rated.  The family values, the help-anyone-and-take-nothing-in-return attitude, the faith foundation, and the FUN “way out here” – nothing I’ve ever experienced in the city.  Oh, I know, I know – good, kind, fun, happy people live in cities too (most of my best friends do!)… but – I’ll speak for myself here - I found it hard not to be heavily influenced by the hustle-and-bustle and materialism of the Big City (oh, but I do miss being down the road from a TJMaxx…) – and I find it easier to stay “grounded” and “live simply” away from retail temptation.

My new “normal” might look a little different from the life I lived 5 years ago, but I love it.  I’m sure I’ll be thrown off-guard by hundred other redneck traditions that haven’t been presented to me yet.  I’ll keep in mind to have an open mind and simply say “hmm… this is different” when that times comes.

This is just part of my adventure of marrying the most wonderful man in the world… so bring it on, Rural America.  This girl’s done gone country!

3 Responses

  1. Oh how far you have come! Shall I add how proud of you that I am! Not only for becoming part of our redneck family, but for loving my redneck son and being content in the simple way of life!

  2. And you had me laughing so hard!

  3. If these are the qualifications, our house is definitely redneck! Adam has a huntin room as well that I don’t even open the door to. I wouldn’t live any other way; less is more :)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

%d bloggers like this: