February 16, 2012
What to Do When Country Roads Take You Home...
Alpha Gamma Delta
I am in no way a “country girl.” I was born in a suburb in Michigan, moved to Raleigh, North Carolina’s capital city, and have spent the past 10 years in Cleveland, Ohio; aromatic, pollution-filled skies and vast landscapes of buildings and towers have surrounded me my entire life. When someone says “country,” I cringe at the type of music it produces (no offense), yawn at the simple lifestyle (no offense), and simply cannot grasp what it actually means to be “country.”
So what’s a girl to do when she finds herself in the midst of confusion, other than look it up on the always-reliable Urban Dictionary? Well folks, when looking up the politically correct definition of “country girl,” here’s what I found:
“Typically hot, hardheaded, determined, always polite.”
(Sounds about right, maybe we’re not too different after all…)
“Remembers her manners but will drop them on a dime to teach someone 'What's right.”
(Eh, why not? I guess this applies most of the time…)
(I used to, until a horse camp counselor told me that they killed the bad horses to make them into the Chef Boyardee Ravioli I was having for lunch that day. Talk about traumatic childhood…)
“…knows how to ride,”
“…traditional type women that can still hold their own.”
(Depends on what you mean by traditional…)
“Look just as natural in jeans and boots as they do in dresses.”
(I’m a sorority girl; everyone knows we prefer the “traditional” leggings, Ugg boots, and quarter-zip sweater…)
“And from farm family, or area, loves animals and children.”
(No, no, yes, and yes…?)
Here’s what I don’t understand: if you live in a northern state, such as Indiana, where in the world did you get the idea that you are living the country lifestyle by merely being in the more southern area? I assumed that you could label yourself as such if you were from the actual south or something along those lines, but Indiana? Really? Needless to say, I was exceptionally wrong.
To further test my relation to these, so called, “country girls,” I went on a little adventure. Two weekends ago, myself, along with nine of my sisters, travelled to the magical land of Pittsboro, Indiana, to partake in an excursion that would change the rest of my life. Well, maybe not the entirety of it, but it definitely gave me a more realistic outlook on what it truly means to be country.
One of my sorority sisters, Rachel, lives on a farm with her family where they raise sheep to show them in 4H. Three out of seven of their sheep were pregnant, so we made it into a sisterhood event to go see them, and hopefully witness a birth (we ended up missing one by an hour, but that’s nothing worth getting into; I’m still hurting). Regardless of how silly or pointless that may sound, it was the best day I’ve had in a long time. I experienced something I had never tried and bonded with nine amazing women outside of the house we typically find ourselves within.
If you have stuck with this article for the past 550 words, I’m now going to reward you, devoted reader, with life lessons that I learned on my trip down those country roads:
1. What’s different isn’t always what’s bad.
2. Living in a sorority or fraternity is amazing, but getting out once in a while and experiencing the world around you can be great, too.
3. The little things in life are usually what turn out to be most important.
4. I (still) don’t think you can induce a lamb’s labor by feeding them spicy foods.
5. There’s nothing like a home-cooked meal.
6. When driving, inner monologue always turns into outward speech – hilarious for the lucky passengers, but quite embarrassing for the driver itself (SHOUT OUT).
7. Feeling the sun’s warmth on your face warms the soul.
8. Family is everything.
9. All German Shepherds aren’t evil.
10. You can be both a Hendricks County Fair Queen and a kick butt leather-crafter.
11. Cats are silently plotting to take over the world, all of the time.
12. When you find yourself complaining about your parents being too overprotective, try to have a sheep as a mom.
13. Rain boots are not intended to keep your feet warm.
14. Even though I still have only five country songs on my iPod (which were shoved onto a playlist with pop and techno), not all country music sucks.
15. I realized that I learned 20% of those country songs from going to frats. Sad.
16. Life on a farm is absolutely exhausting.
17. The best kind of adventure is one with your sisters or brothers.
So, with this being an advice column, here is my advice to you: appreciate your family and all they do for you, don’t take anything you have for granted, try not to judge a book by its cover, and let the country roads take you home once in a while. A little fresh air, expansive landscape, and some whiney, yodelish music will do you good (all in moderation of course).
Jordan is a sophomore studying journalism, photography, human sexuality and criminal justice. You may contact her at email@example.com.