Culture Shock and Goats.

Growing up in the rural Midwest, I’ve been around my fair share of animals and farming. My husband, on the other hand, is from one of the Georgia barrier islands and had no idea what a combine was (we had to explain it to him when he saw it while driving down the road – he was in awe). He also didn’t know anything about cicadas and literally shrieked like a girl when he first saw/heard one. I’m not kidding – Chris had opened the car door for me when he saw it on the ground. He said “What is that, some kind of dinosaur bug?” As he started to bend down and get a closer look, it buzzed (as cicadas are in the habit of doing) and he screamed. It was hilarious. Other Midwestern things that I’ve had to explain to Chris include 4-H. He had no clue what it was about (“Isn’t it some little community group?”).

To be fair, Chris has had to explain several Southern things to me, such as the best way to eat grits (according to Chris, the best way is slow-cooked with Tasso Gravy or cheese), what a Low Country Boil is, and what smothering something in butter truly means. I’ll never forget the first time I asked him to “smother it in butter”. I turned around, and the fish we were making looked like it had about an inch thick layer of butter frosting on it.

Other things I’d never heard of were that when you are down South, people may ask you for an unsweetened sweet tea, or that if someone asks you if you’d like a Coke and you say “yes”, you may get asked if you want a regular Coke or a Pepsi. That was weird. I thought, “What do you mean do I want a regular Coke? I said I wanted a Coke, didn’t I? Why would you ask if I wanted a Pepsi when I said Coke?” Of course, Chris did not like the fact that in Indiana, we call it pop. I know I’m forgetting some things, but trust me when I say that I had a cultural learning curve, too.

We’ve also discussed the fact that since I was raised out in the middle of nowhere, I’m not too keen on living in close proximity with others. It was so weird to come to Purdue, look out my bedroom window, and be staring at another house. I had never experienced that before. So, I am trying to convince Chris that eventually, we should move out to the country. Chris is OK with this so long as he doesn’t have more than a 30 minute drive to work. Sounds good to me. Besides the privacy, living out in the country would enable me to have one of these:
They are Nigerian Dwarf Goats and they are so cute! They only get to be about 17 inches high, so they aren’t very big. I know, I know – a goat?! I never, ever would’ve considered getting one till one day when I was helping out at Tippecanoe Villa (a group home) and they brought a baby Nigerian Dwarf Goat in for the residents to see. He was so cute! Chris is going to need some convincing on this subject, but I figured it’ll be a few years till we’re in a position to buy one, so I’ll wear him down by that point. That, or I’ll change my mind… 🙂

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