Photo courtesy of Sandy Scheibe
There’s a new sitcom starting this week on ABC. It’s called Bless This Mess, and it’s about a New York City couple who move to a Nebraska farm, where they learn that the simple life isn’t as simple as they thought.
Someone at Twitter really wants me to watch Bless This Mess, because they keep pushing it onto my timeline. The previews remind me of the reality show a few years ago when Paris Hilton and Lionel Ritchie’s daughter moved to the country. It was called The Simple Life, and it garnered decent ratings for a year or two, until its self-absorbed big-city stars got into trouble. From time to time I caught a few minutes of it. The name alone made me smile – The Simple Life, like living in Hollywood or New York City is so stressful that people need to escape to something easier.
What makes them think that country living is so easy? Or simple?
And why are these shows comedies? The stars always seem to be running from cows, crashing tractors, or napping in poison ivy.
I’m not going to lie. If you malign farmers, farm life, agriculture, or country living, you’ll get an argument from me. If you’ve spent your entire life in the city or suburbs, the argument will intensify, because you have no idea what you’re talking about. I grew up in the country. Our dog, Patches, could nap on the side of the road and not worry about being struck by a car. Few vehicles came by, and the ones that did knew Patches would be there. See that picture at the top? That’s my hometown, Galestown, Maryland around 1971. Those kids are eating watermelon in the middle of the road. And the dog in back? That’s Patches.
But the most important thing to remember about country kids?
They can do anything.
Some city folk assume that country kids grow up to become farmers. Many do, fortunately, but they also become doctors, mechanics, and accountants; butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers; preachers, teachers, and United States Presidents; homemakers, homebuilders, architects, sales executives, body shop owners and New York City makeup artists. They drive trucks and race cars, and become judges and lawyers. They find success at home and, in a turn of events that would surprise Paris Hilton, they often prosper in the city. And because they are country kids, they rarely become lazy, entitled, or complacent. Or too big for their britches. They’re willing to work their way up the ladder of success without knocking others off in the process. If they fall, they get up and try again. No finger-pointing or blaming others. That doesn’t work in the country and it doesn’t work in life.
See, you can take the kid out of the country, but you won’t take the country out of the kid. They figure out those huge corporations and start to climb, or they take over multi-million dollar businesses known as family farms. Maybe they’re not as poised as their suburban peers, at least at first, but what they lack in polish, they make up for with determination.
So, enjoy Bless This Mess or The Simple Life. Laugh at the portrayals of big-city folks down on the farm. And remember, it’s only TV – thirty minutes of fun.
And also remember that during those thirty minutes some country kid is a step closer to achieving their dream. Because country kids can do anything.