Tuesday, March 20, 2007

How ya' gonna keep 'em down on the farm?

As I recall, this song had a message like, "How are you going to keep the kids on the farm once they've seen Paris?" Or, for that matter, any big city?

In January, Randy & I chaperoned a church youth trip to "Warmth in Winter," an annual gathering of teenaged Methodists & their brave adult advisors. This was our third year, & we've almost got the job down now. One of the boys asked why anyone would want to live in a city the size of Nashville. Most of the other youth agreed in their doubts about city living. They've never lived anywhere larger than Clarksville (which is no small town anymore - it's well over 100,000). Most of them haven't ever lived anywhere bigger than Pleasant View (population somewhere around 3600 - which is about 1500 more than it was when we moved out here in 1993). All of them currently live out here in the country between those two municipalities, out here where subdivisions and cattle farms co-exist, where the Interstate & the old Dixie Bee Line connect us to the nearby state capitol, where roads are named after people's great-grandparents.

I felt like the closest thing to an expert on the matter, having a brother who lives in Weehawken, NJ & works in Manhattan. I told him that some people like living close to work, where they can have a nice dinner after work or see the Titans play and not worry about parking or driving home late at night. Having worked in Nashville for several years and always living way out of town, I can appreciate that desire. I can also appreciate the desire to live in the country.

I've spent a lot of time pondering these things lately. I've pondered a lot of things. Most of them seem kind of insignificant. Here are a few sample questions.

Should I cut my hair? Almost everyone I work with thinks long hair looks terrible on older women. I'm only 39. But I'm almost 40! I hate when my hair looks bushy. I used to look good with short hair. But I think I look old with short hair now. I have a lot of gray, but I like the color of my hair. If I let my hair grow it will be wild and unprofessional looking. But I would love to have long hair, if only just so I could say I'm not disobeying I Corinthians 11.

But are we supposed to be wearing headcoverings too???

Why am I haunted by my decision to get out of the nursing program back in 1987? Didn't I really want to be a technologist, & nuclear medicine seemed like the perfect marriage of patient care & technology for me? Didn't I want to be a technologist, like, as long as I knew what one was??? Why haven't I felt as respected as a technologist? Why do I think I have to be a nurse to get respect? Would I really get more respect as one? Why is it so hard for someone like me to go back to college to get my RN degree? And why do I even want to?

Why didn't I know when I was younger that...I would wish I hadn't taken birth control pills? That I would wonder what it would've been like to have as many kids as God would have given me? That I would regret having epidural anesthesia? That I would regret using disposable diapers, and being in debt so much that I never got to be a solely-at-home mom? That I would wish I'd started homeschooling the kids in 1997? That I would wish I'd been more active & less interested in the computer???

Why can't I agree with Randy that our life isn't so bad...that cheap & easy (& overprocessed) food from Wal-Mart is best...that I need to work a 40-hour week in a hospital job even if it means driving 40 miles one way to work...that two kids was more than enough...that women wearing pants & short hair is not necessarily a bad thing...that public schools are better than homeschooling...that constant TV & movie entertainment is a necessity instead of a luxury...that eating home-grown food is a luxury & not a necessity? Why can't I be a good housekeeper and work full time like his mom did? With very little help from his dad, who preferred working outside the house instead?

Where did these zillions & zillions of homeschooling, homesteading women find the men who wanted their wives to live that way??? And for the record, NO, I'm not looking for a man!!! Though Randy & I disagree on a lot of stuff, we do love each other very much. But if they could teach Randy what they know...naah, I don't think I'd want to change him that much. I just wonder though.

I DO know why there are few blogs for & by Christian women like me, who don't live on a farm, who don't homeschool, who watch TV. BECAUSE ALL THE OTHERS ARE BUSY DOING HOUSEKEEPING JOBS & I'M SITTING HERE AT THE DANG COMPUTER.

1 comment:

Genevieve said...

I had my hair really long for about 25 years! I wore it in a braid down the middle of my back. It was easy and simple. However, when I got past 50, I felt that it was making me look old because it was such a severe style. I had it cut to above-shoulder length and put a perm in it, and I like it better.