Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sadly, we didn't partake in the porta potties either

Not even two minutes into our trip to an area agriculture festival yesterday, Jerry and I looked at each other and started laughing uncontrollably.

Who were we kidding? Our idea of farming is buying corn from an Amish guy on the side of the road. When asked where milk comes from, we say "A plastic jug." I know corn is seasonal, but I rely on the grocery store to tell me which one.

We were the only people not wearing jeans and beat up steel-toed boots in a four-mile radius. Suddenly my legs and expertly manicured hot pink toenails felt very exposed.

"Some guys probably bring their kids here and stop at each of these big tractors and explain what they do and how they do it," Jerry said as we passed rows and rows of towering John Deeres that could reduce our house to rubble. Then, after a moment he added, "Allison, these are the things that drive too friggin' slow when they're on the road, take up two lanes and make Daddy crazy."

Then he turned to me. "How was that?" he asked.

"Accurate and informative," I decided.

We zipped past the tractor thingies, and I swear I could feel that our mere presence was humoring the men standing by their machines in jeans and flannels despite it being 80 degrees and sunny. I felt like yelling, "I TOTALLY BUY CORN! A LOT OF IT!"

But I refrained. As I scanned the crowd to find a single specimen of suburbia, another observation dawned on me: Everyone was wearing John Deere green. Kids in logo-clad trucker hats. Ladies in shirts that read, "Real women ride Deere gear." Even a gaggle of Mennonite girls had matching versions of their traditional homemade floor-length dresses with "John Deere" emblazoned all over them.

Right as I was about to crack a joke, I looked down.

I was wearing the one top in my entire wardrobe that apparently is that exact shade of green. And? To top it off? Matching flip flops.


Nothing quite says poser like clean fingernails and an Ann Taylor cardigan in a tractor company's signature color at an agriculture festival. I might as well have attached a sign to my back that read "NEVER BEEN ON A FARM. EVER. NOR DO I PLAN TO. IN FACT, I JUST CAME FOR A FUNNEL CAKE."

So that's what we did. We shamelessly invested in all the traditional fair fare, found a spot under a tent in the shade and dug in.

On the way out, giving up after feigning interest in exhibits outlining soil properties, the granular makeup of different types of bread and a wagon that toured area fields used for crop research, I wanted to crawl back to the comfort of our push-mowered lawn and store-bought tomatoes.

Jerry, however, had a different outlook.

Wiping the barbecue sauce of my final bite of pulled-pork sandwich off his face he said, "See? What would farmers do without fat-asses like us?"

He was right.

"Lets get some ice cream on the way out," I said. "You know, cow stuff."

"Cool. ... Plus, on the bright side, we won't get stuck behind any stupid tractors because they're all here."

Yes, a cute picture of Allison. But also? Dudes in the background?


Anonymous said...

having grown up in perry ga where that kind of festival is covering the whole town on a dayily basis i know how you feel. even in middle school it was everywhere

"farmer" plainsman said...

Loved those fairs, even though we came from a small acre+ lot in resdiential suburbia. When I was a bit older than Alli, I had to climb up and try out each different tractor (they allowed that then) and have the pictures to prove it! Not only John Deere, but Farmall, Oliver, Case, Ford and Allis Chalmers. See, blankety-blank years later, I still remember that plus the prize cows, goats and chickens, not to mention the cooked food. Fun times, no telling what Alli may remember - maybe like in the photo, how big everything was, like the big wheel or how her daddy said they blocked the road!

Naomi said...

Oooh--Ag Progress Days! Ages and ages ago I was one of those Mennonite girls, except I never, ever had a John Deere dress. We were Ford people. Ha, ha.

Anyway, I feel compelled to go around to all the mommy blogs I read to say I'm pregnant! Over the months, your posts have been so inspirational. I can only hope our child will enjoy the same kind of warmth, energy, and love you and Jerry give Allison.

Jennifer Suarez said...

OK normally I wouldn't put a link in my comment, but this is SO FITTING I just couldn't resist!!

You think the ladies were wearing these?

John Deere Cloth Menstral Pads!!! I only WISH I were making that up, but alas, here is the link to prove it!

Ray said...

Hahaha! It sucks being in a public place where you feel so out of place. But at least you made the best out of it.

And ohmygoodness that wheel is humongous compared to Allison!! Adorable pic though. =)

Take, care.

theZanyOne said...

Oh my goodness. And it sold out 07.15.08

Lioncloud said...

You were dressed in appropriate John Deere colors and you made Allison wear PINK? That will undoubtedly cost you a couple of therapy sessions!

Adrienne said...

I have super fond memories of the giant Kansas City farm show. Carrying around my pig poker, trying kettle corn and looking at pocket knives and pots and pans. I loved the climb in all the tractors and combines while my dad watched from the floor. We'd then go to Gates BBQ and get some ribs and then head back to our tiny farming town and our dirty tractors. And as far as driving too slow goes, I was the girl in the pickup behind the tractor with my flashers on to let everyone know there was a slow tractor ahead. :) I hope you enjoyed the show. And I seriously can't imagine John Deere dresses.

Oh! My FFA chapter used to do a "from farm to market" program for second graders about how their food gets to the grocery store. It was really fun to do.

Have a great day!