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Long in the Tooth...


Ladies, I know when you see my bibbed wonder the first word to come to mind to describe him will be romance, sheer and utter romance. Insert laughy faces and sarcasm, I apologize, I just can’t do this! No, romance would be the last word to come to mind when you see my bibbed wearing buddy. He has a heart of gold, he truly does and if he loves you, he will move mountains for you. However, his gift buying ability is his handicap. He is notoriously bad at buying gifts. It’s not that he isn’t thoughtful, he is but his mind works in ways I just cannot comprehend.

Let us go back eighteen years to our very first anniversary. One’s first anniversary is somewhat of a milestone. There are traditions that are honored, niceties that are expected, lets throw in a good dash of common sense for good measure. At the time, The Bibbed Wonder had his own company and was building fence. He just so happened to be building fence on a sheep farm on the day of our first anniversary. I had made reservations at our favorite restaurant. I had put extra care and effort into my appearance. I was wearing a dress and heels. Our cake top was on the counter defrosting. His gifts were wrapped and waiting by the cake top. It all looked very appropriate for a first anniversary.

Enter The Bibbed Wonder. He came rushing in, almost late but not quite. He was flustered, smelly, and carrying this bundle of God knows what. He tucked this mysterious bundle away as I ran his shower, got his towel, and his clothes…I used to do really nice things for him. Now, he has to search through laundry baskets for clean socks and rather than make him coffee every morning at 4 a.m., I bought him a Keurig, dark roasted coffee and call it good. How things change after almost 20 years. However, I digress.

We made it to our reservation, had a lovely meal with wonderful conversation and went home to enjoy the tradition of eating our cake top and exchanging our gifts. It was turning out to be a lovely evening and then we got to the gift giving part. He opened his gifts which were a collector’s edition of whiskey and a box of cigars made on the date of our wedding. After opening his gifts, he looked uncomfortable and pained. He kind of prances when he is uncomfortable and he was definitely prancing like a show pony. Then he begins with, “I didn’t get you a card.” I don’t care about cards, not really. It would have been nice but I’m not insulted at this point. He then goes to the bedroom and brings out this mysterious bundle, shoves it at me, and says, “I didn’t have time to wrap it.” Okay, I can live without gift wrap. He’s a guy, not a romantically inclined guy which has been dually noted. However, I must say I was expecting him to do better than he did. He shoves a dead sheep pelt at me. Yes, you read it correctly, a sheepskin. I don’t like sheep, I don’t like sheep skin, I definitely don’t consider a dead sheep’s pelt as part of my décor. I was speechless…for once. I simply had no comment. He looks…sheepish…so pun intended, and begins to explain all the wonderful uses of a dead sheep’s pelt. I looked incredulous and said, “Thank you.”

We then go into the dance of, “You don’t like it.” I reply, “Yes, it’s very nice…for a dead sheep.” He says, “I didn’t know what to get you.” I said, “Any jewelry store could have helped you out.” He said, “You don’t like jewelry.” I said, “I don’t like dead sheep either.” I then got a horrible case of the giggles and couldn’t keep it under wraps. Seriously, who does that… a dead sheep pelt for your first anniversary? The answer to that is The Bibbed Wonder that’s who. Ugh, the romance!

We have had similar experiences on birthdays and Christmas but really, the dead sheep pelt gets the ribbon. Now, we have The Bean and she helps daddy with gifts and wrapping. I secretly give her a list of things I would like and she makes it happen. I love having a daughter. However, I again digress.

As a farmer, one wears many hats. Perhaps its veterinarian, nurse maid, foster parent, track star, or Albert Einstein…it takes a lot of innovation to out smart a pig or a goat when they have made up their mind they will or won’t do something. Included on the list is dentist, yes, dentist. You see, Boris the Christmas pig (sing the Smurf song and add la, la, la, la, laaa…) needed his tusks trimmed. This happens maybe once or twice in a boar’s lifetime. Sir Boris was definitely in need of a tusk trimming. Boris is generally laid back, gentle, and easy going. However, he doesn’t like to be messed with. Weighing easily 700 pounds, Boris is definitely large and in charge. The Bibbed Wonder tried to trim his tusks but Boris would have no part of that. When Boris makes up his mind and declares law, we fall into order very quickly. There is an all-natural remedy that is used to calm show pigs…it is simply a high dose of melatonin…The Bibbed Wonder ordered a tube of that and waited until it arrived before he tried to trim his tusks again. Once the remedy arrived and the little wire saw arrived The Bibbed Wonder donned his dentist cap and went to work. He successfully trimmed Boris’ tusks and was now in possession of two very large, very smelly, pig tusks.

He showed The Bean and me the tusks and said he intended to have a necklace made for each of us. I thought he was kidding. I should have known better. We were told that boar tusks are somewhat sought after and they fetch a high dollar. I thought, “Well, that will take care of the necklace idea.” I was wrong. I soaked the tusks in Clorox for days, you see The Bean thought it was hilarious to walk around with these tusks stuck up to her face making pig and fart noises…the fart noise phase has not dissipated. After being scolded and informed that those tusks were in some unseemly places, she finally dropped them into a container of Clorox.

Two weeks ago, The Bibbed Wonder took the tusks to market and gave them to the Humbergs, a lovely couple who make fine, one of a kind jewelry. The Humbergs agreed to turn the tusks into necklaces…one for me and one for The Bean. Last week, we went to their studio and were fitted for length of the chain and we picked them up. I make fun of my bibbed wearing buddy; I do and he mostly has earned it. However, he truly did out do himself this time. Yes, the fact that they are pig tusks is humorous. Yes, the fact that they came from such a very charmingly ugly boar is funny. Yes, the fact that my husband’s idea of romance is a necklace made out of pig teeth is hilarious. However, it is thoughtful, heartfelt and genuine and that in itself makes them beautiful.

I must also mention that the Humbergs did an amazing job and they are truly talented artists who took pig’s teeth and made them lovely. I am amazed all the time by the talent and artistry that surrounds us at market. So, I will jokingly tell you that my necklace is farmer’s romance at it’s best but know that I love that fact this bibbed wearing jokester loves us both enough to take the time and make the effort to have something special and one of a kind made just for us.

As always dear reader, stay safe, stay smart, know that love comes in many forms, and of course, wash your hands.

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