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Rated: ASR · Column · Experience · #1581106
A humorous column about my urbanite husband on a trip to his family's farm house.
Into the Wild: A Journey to Man Land and Back

I am not one of those people who feel spiritually awakened by the natural world. In fact, I feel the closest to God when I am in a climate controlled environment with access to wireless internet, a ceramic hair straightener, and cable television (note: basic cable does not count). So when I am informed by my husband that we will be visiting his families “farm house,” I begin by mentally preparing for my impending wildness excursion early in the week. My week long preparation consists of refilling my anti-anxiety meds, stocking up on Diet Dr. Pepper, and finding a bug spray that will not irritate my hyper-sensitive skin. My husband’s week long preparation consists of growing out all of his body hair. By four o clock on Friday, my normally clean shaven, handsome husband resembled Charles Manson sans the forehead swastika. He delights in trading out his pressed shirt and tie for a band camp T-shirt from eighth grade, which he assures me “still fits.” So off I go, letting this homeless man in a belly tee, drive me three hours to Black, Missouri.

For all you urbanites out there, or simply the people who do not put upholstered furniture on their front porch, let me give you a little insight into Black, Missouri. For starters, there are no black people in Black, Missouri. In fact, everyone in Black, Missouri originated there. One day they just sprouted up from the ground, built trailers and procreated. If you’re interested you can explore the evolution of Black, Missouri further at the local community center; make sure you check out the original photographs of the first Seven Eleven.

Tony blasts country music all the way there and pretends he knows all the words, as if he is convincing me that he grew up listening to Garth Brooks instead of Pearl Jam. As we wind around the tiny country roads, I spend most of the trip figuring out the best place in the car to throw up and wondering where I can purchase industrial strength Dramamine. When we get to the yellow dog in the road, I know we are almost there.

Nauseous and exhausted, I finally see my weekend resort… “man-time” has already begun. Within moments of arriving, shots guns are firing, four wheelers are revving and the men are asking Sally and me what we are having for dinner (Sally is the only other estrogen based human at the farm who also happens to be my mother-in-law).

Each morning usually begins with Tony’s father, Gary, leading us on some grand adventure and usually getting us lost on the way back which turns out to be the real adventure. One particular weekend, Gary convinced the family that the farm house is located on the top of giant fault lines that lead all the way to through the woods. The mission of the hike was to identify these fault lines and then find as many ways as possible to become a quadriplegic while hiking through them. PS: These large crevasses are not fault lines, they are sink holes. However, if my father and law wants to believe that at any moment we could be swallowed into the earth, I fully support that delusion.

My husband and his two little brothers tromped down into the caverns and peered up at me, waving me down into the black hole of death. Tony crawled out of the hole and begin to balance on a rock ledge that was crumbling beneath him, tossing tiny stones into the ravine. I freaked out. I mean I freaked out like a mom who just discovered her five year old on the roof. “Get off the damn ledge I screamed.” Tony looked at me and smiled as he continued to balance on the ledge. I suddenly processed his entire death, from the terrifying fall, to carrying his lifeless body back to the farmhouse (which would be a harrowing and time consuming endeavor considering my father in law would be leading the way). Who would mow the grass? Who would maintain our excel budget spreadsheet? Who would hit the snooze button for me six times every morning? My “mom freak- out” turned into a full blown mama lion rage as I burst into tears, screaming in front of his entire family, “Get the hell off the ledge. Damn you Tony, if you do not get the hell of the ledge, God help me I will divorce your ass right now. GET OFF THE LEDGE! He got off the ledge.

His brothers froze, absolutely terrified of this five foot, blond haired, wife beast. Mortified by my behavior, I kept trying to justify my actions by reminding myself that I had saved a life that day. Tony put his arm around me and said, “At least I know you’re not after my life insurance policy.”

The weekend finally ended and I managed to avoid snakes, take a relaxing walk by the river and maintain a pleasant body odor. After four hours, two barf bags, and two bathroom stops, we were back in St. Louis. I had survived man land –sort of.

We have just moved into our new home and Tony has already begun to scout out his own man-land in our unfinished basement. Tony recently came home from work with scale drawings depicting his built in beer pong table, home movie theater and a special room just designed for men to hang out in and fart (it comes equipped with industrial ventilation fans). His grandiose renovation plans make me wish that allowing him to display his fratastic shot glasses on top of the desk was enough of a compromise.

I understand the importance of man-land; I support man-land time, but please….. Don’t make me visit man-land unless you are willing to provide woman-land amenities.

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