Symptoms have been mounting for some time in The Firefighter and can no longer be ignored.
It's official...The Firefighter has Redneck-itis.
While no test exists that can conclusively diagnosis Redneck-itis, vigilant, citified family members can be on the look out for the earliest warning signs - and curb this highly contagious disease before it spreads. Do not be frightened, only a small percentage of people with both genetic factors and environmental triggers, such as location, will succumb to this disease. Redneck-itis proceeds in three distinct stages.
If the subject is genetically predisposed to Redneck-its, the earliest symptoms mimic general civility. Let's use The Firefighter as our example. First, you will notice his frequent use of the words Sir, Ma'am, bo, Y'all, darlin', and baby. He will also open all doors, and carry things for you. He will be exceedingly polite to your momma and daddy and in general seem to be a "really nice young gentleman". Do not be fooled ladies, this is where they hook ya!
Stage 2 is where my warning bells began to faintly tinkle in the back of my head. As I spent more time with The Firefighter, I began to notice more symptoms.
- His F-350 diesel duely crew cab extended bed truck.
- His REALLY foul mouth when he thinks your not listening.
- His blue collar 40 (or in his case 51)
- His "off duty uniform" of khaki or green fatigue shorts and "fish" t-shirts.
- His disdain of anything better than Texas Roadhouse and Miller Lite as "fancy fine dining crap".
- His love of his "huntin' dogs" that are never actually used for hunting -because they may get hurt.
- His slightly super human seeming abilities to fix just about anything, run into burning buildings without fear, build just about anything, shoot his own food, grow his own groceries and be completely nonchalant about it.
- He is extremely smart and went to college for awhile, but you wouldn't know it from his speech or spelling.
- His absolutely straight forward, honest and loyal demeanor - what you see is what you get. He doesn't play games - nor does he know how. Department politics will always confuse and frustrate him.
- He may like the convenience of suburbia and love you enough to live there for your sake, but he's always yearning for some land and a little distance from the city.
Stage 2 is the most dangerous. If you're like me, you will have already fallen in love with him and be willing to overlook his Redneck-itis as charmingly eccentric behavior. This is where Redneck-itis is the most contagious. You may even begin to think about how "cute" it would be to live out in the country and start using some of his charming colloquialisms.
It was too late for me by Stage 3, I was already infected when the most horrifying symptoms began to manifest in The Firefighter.
- He is about as romantic as a spoon - as evidenced when The Firefighter proposed to me in the bathroom of a cruise ship.
- His table manners can be horrifying....he will open a can of peas, eat out of it, and call it breakfast.
- When asked to get the squirrels out of the attic, he decides the best way is to sit dressed in camo, in the attic ,with a BB gun....because poison or traps would be no fun.
- He has more tools than I have clothes.
- I'm pretty sure he doesn't look in the mirror everyday.
- His idea of foreplay consists of putting "sex" in the google calendar and sending me a reminder email.
- He just can't fathom why it takes me so long to pick a paint color or why I hate his awful leather recliner.
- He tried to teach our daughter to say "wuz up" and "firetruck" before anything else. (Though that backfired when Miss Chatterbox said, "Dadu, Firecock". Ha Ha...justice!)
Perhaps, worst of all, was when I caught myself barefoot, in my most ragged clothes, preggo belly sticking out, 2 year old on my hip hollering at him, "to get his damn junk out of the yard, before the neighbors complain about us being white trash".....
Apparently, there is no cure for Redneck-itis. It is a lifelong affliction.
To all the Rednecks like us out there.... Can I get a Hell Yeah?!