I love music. All music. After all, “music is what feelings sound like.” I have a few faves that are my go-to tunes, but in general I’m pretty open to all genres. But I never was really all that into country music until about a year ago. I was born in South Dakota so it’s assumed that I should eatlive&breathe Garth Brooks, but I was always kind of neutral to it. I didn’t mind it, but it wasn’t my first choice on the radio dial. Mike, however, loathed it. Hated it. He claimed all country music was about beer and trucks. (Which, if we’re being honest, isn’t entirely untrue.)
But when my siblings bought tickets to Country Jam last summer, we didn’t want to miss out on all the fun. Even if we weren’t super stoked about the music, any place where we could drink beer at 10 a.m. without judgment was A-ok with us. In preparation for the festival I would tune into our local country station every once in awhile. I was taught to respect the musical genius that is Jason Aldean (according to my brothers, anyway). I learned how to speak with a twang. I bought a pair of Daisy Dukes. I KID, PEOPLE. You do not wanna see me sausaged into a pair of those. But Mike still had his reservations about the whole thing.
Soon the festival was upon us. Partyin’ Partyin’ Yeah! In four short days, I experienced some pretty crazy things:
- a Tim McGraw look alike walking around with a bottle of wine
- the campsite next to us full of 17 year olds trying to mooch booze off of us
- the most i’ve sweated evah
- a 37 year old woman with waaaaay too much glitter on her chest, Edward Cullen style. Or 7th grade dance style.
- one word: WOP. oof.
- Mike giving a gay guy permission to touch my breasts.
- overpriced corndogs
- an unexpected puppy purchase by my brother and his wife
- a tsunami in the middle of the night causing us to have to stand in the middle of the tent and hold it up
- random chaos
But by far the most surprising phenomenon that I experienced that weekend was the transformation of my husband. It was more dramatic than when Steve Urkel became Stefan Urkel. The man who hated country became the man who, by the last concert on the last day, was standing shirtless with a cowboy hat on his head, a beer in one hand and a cigar in the other, singing all the lyrics to Sugarland’s “Baby Girl.”
And that, my friends, is proof that every once in a while a leopard can change its spots.