I’m a big believer in marriage, no family should be without one. Having been married 46 years, I’ve already started saving my pennies in anticipation of our golden wedding anniversary. My wife, being an easy keeper, has said that she doesn’t want any jewelry or a new old truck. Nor does she want to go on an expensive cruise. So we’ll probably just cruise on over to Taco Bell for lunch.
My wife is a strong woman, just like the pioneering females who were ordered up as if they were a new shovel from the Sears catalog. The pioneering men were expected to marry whatever got off the train. Surprisingly, a high percentage of those mixed marriages lasted until death did them part. In the area where I live the Swiss married Italians and it has proven to be a very good cross, as was the Basque-Italian cross. They were mixed marriages in other ways as when dairymen would marry cattlewomen, and ranchers would marry sheepherders.
Here are some mixed marriages that worked, and a couple that never will.
Rancher X Dairyman- This has proven to be a very good cross, especially during calving. Dairy wives are especially adept at getting up every hour to check the heifers without waking up their husband. Dairy wives especially enjoy feeding cows while balanced on the back of the feed truck while the husband stays warm and comfy in the cab. I’ve only seen a few of these hybrid marriages end in divorce court, or with a twelve gauge, and I was surprised when one ended because I thought they had some very good years together, 1973, 1996 and 2012, to be more specific.
Rancher X Sheepherder- I don’t know what gave ranchers the idea that marrying a sheepherder would be a good idea. There would have to be an especially large dowry or a nice ranch with the deal but even then, the practice should NOT be encouraged and no offspring should be saved from the mating. The only time it should even be considered is if the sheepherder is 92 years old, in poor health and has a large life insurance policy. Being a member of this mixed marriage means people will stare at you in town and salesmen will refuse to wait on you. Then there is the hat issue. Ranchers wear real hats while the beanies worn by sheepherders make them look like they are a Scottish oncologist out for a drive in their Porsche. Even their hobbies are different. One likes to team rope while the other likes to knit.
Cattleman X Pig Farmer- What do you call a pork producer who marries a rancher?
A social climber.
This is a good cross only if you think going to the Farm Bureau convention for vacation is a good idea. Do you have any idea how hard it is to strap on a pair of spurs to rubber boots? Even your friends down at the coffee shop will refuse to sit with you if you show up smelling like, well, you know. Besides, there are easier ways to pick up an extra hundred bucks other than marrying a pig farmer.
The promiscuous pig farmer will gladly mate any time of the year so he’ll hang around all year long. I knew one monogamously challenged pig farmer who had a five mile marriage license and wasn’t all that fanatic about his marriage vows. He led an “alternative” lifestyle and when he won a trip for two to Hawaii he just went twice and left his poor wife at home doing all the chores. I knew one of these mixed marriage couples where she married him for his money and he married her for her beauty and in the end they both lost. Beware of pig farmers.
Rancher X Farmer- The absolute perfect marriage, especially in drouth years when hay is especially expensive. There is a chance of too much inbreeding and the male might be uglier than a mud fence but don’t worry, he’ll be in the fields during daylight hours and won’t come home until dark so you’ll hardly ever get a good look at him. I knew one corn-farming wife who kept the same husband and the same crop for 30 years but she wised up and rotated out of husbands and into soybeans.
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Outtagrass Cattle Co. cartoon by Jan Swan Wood for the July 24, 2021, edition of Tri-State Livestock News