So one day a girl who thought she was pretty tough was sitting in her home office browsing the Internet because that’s important when her mother-in-law called. The tough girl’s family was all very close so this was not a weird thing at all and the tough girl’s mother-in-law needed a favor. You see, the tough girl had married into a family from Kentucky that had a farm. Since the girl liked to see herself as the tough, outdoorsy type, she thought this was pretty cool. And since she had grown up very close to the city in a family that was not from Kentucky, she thought it was ironic, too. Young people (like the tough girl) love irony these days. Irony is like a secret new way to make every thing cool if you act like you don’t care.
The tough outdoorsy ironic farm favor turned out to be picking green beans. And on the day of The Picking it turned out to be raining. A lot. The tough girl’s grandfather-in-law, an actually tough farmer man, had to be out for the afternoon, so three LONG rows of green beans were ready to be picked and it was all up to tough girl and her mother-in-law, who is very tough but does not think so at all.
The girl and her secretly tough MIL waited for a few hours, hoping the raing would stop. For a while, they even went to Panera, but even when they ate sandwiches the rain still wouldn’t stop. The last time the tough girl did farm labor, she literally threw up, so things did not look good, but plants don’t care if hard work makes you throw up, so she and her MIL walked out to the field of green beans, stepped into the soil, and sunk up to their ankles. The mud made a fart noise when their feet went down, and then again when they came back up. Sneakers were ditched. Socks too. That’s how the suburban girl, who actually isn’t very tough at all, ended up spending four hours, in a rainy field, barefoot, picking green beans out of shin-deep mud.
It probably sounds like this was long and arduous and awful, but the not-very-tough suburban girl learned a lot that day. With no music or tv or even noise at all except the cows, the girl and her secretly tough mother-in-law got to talk all day. They got to take some breaks with her mother-in-law’s mother-in-law. The ironic suburban girl learned more about the actually really tough family that she married into. The three women, who are not related by blood at all, got to talk, and laugh, and eat, and work, and even gossip a little bit. The girl from the suburbs was sore the next day, but she is glad she picked six kitchen sized garbage bags of green beans, because as she grows up she is learning that family means doing all of these things. That hard work and laughter and gossip and rainy days with sandwiches and farting mud are what make families great. And this time, she didn’t even throw up.