There’s a hillbilly saying in our house, that we really only say amongst ourselves. Okay, all of us don’t say it. Really, just my daughter, Cricket, and I say it. Sometimes she doesn’t even join in. The saying is “there’s no lovin’ like pig lovin”. From day one Cricket loved pigs. When she was little, she looked for pigs in every book, stuffed ones in stores, pigs on signs. We haven’t always been country people. I grew up in Atlanta with a “True Southern Lady” (this just has to be in caps to emphasize how true a statement this is) of a mother and a “True Gentleman” of a father. We did have one outdoor dog, the prerequisite golden retriever, but I am certainly not farm bred stock. When I was 20, I married my husband, the Golden Goose, thus called because this is how he refers to himself. If I ask him if he would like me to pull him on skis behind the boat, he answers, “what if the Golden Goose gets hurt? Who will pay the bills and take care of all of you?” If he is asked to do a zip line, we get the same response. ‘Bout the same thing with bike riding, wake boarding, jumping off the dock, shopping, trampolining, walking or jogging with me or playing Words with Friends. Apparently, golf is the only sport he finds safe enough. Probably because he has done it so often and has lived to tell about it.
The Golden Goose had no reason to believe the southern belle he married would become the twisted, middle-aged goddess I’ve become. I’m sure, looking at my storybook family, he believed I was a safe bet. I don’t know when I started to crave the critters in an obsessive way. When our first was born, we lived on a golf course. She got a normal start that doesn’t explain the pig craziness. Whatever it was that flipped the switch, I soon realized that life without giving our daughter a pig wasn’t worth the living. I felt they would frown on a pig on the golf course and began the campaign for a country house. I spouted facts about spoiled kids and clean air and any other crap I could make up and probably brought the Golden Goose drinks in flimsy attire a few times as well. Once moved, the assemblage began in ernest. There are lots of animal tales, but this one is about pigs. Our first pig, Jemima, was so magnificent as a baby that it caused two of my normal friends to immediately demand a pig baby as well. Our pigs had dainty painted toenails, rhinestone collars and took baths with lavender scented soap. They had floral and toile beds, were house-trained and had heated oatmeal for breakfast. Let me explain my friend the Trophy Wife. Gosh, she just deserves to be hated. She is tiny, a zero, with naturally straight white blond hair that never frizzes. And, damn it, she is nice. Really nice, but not namby-pamby. If I called her and told her I needed her to jump into a mud puddle with me, she’d say, okay, should I bring red or white wine? She is the best. Well, her pig, Annabelle, went to the ball field with her. Her stepson was up to bat and her husband was coaching first base. Annabelle had the bad luck to be situated behind the plate, behind a gap in the fence. We’ve all been there, All Star game, travel team, anxious parents in Range Rovers, sure their kid in the next star, whispers… So Annabelle walks through the gap. The Trophy Wife sees a situation in the making and immediately begins to try to operate her retractable leash. Until you have heard a baby pig get angry about not being able to go where they want, you probably can’t imagine the sound. Think tornado warning system. Think dump truck being pulled on it’s side across asphalt. Think malfunctioning rocket. Annabelle began such a ruckus that parents and players from other fields looked up in distress. Mothers picked up their babies out of their strollers. Old timers checked the skies for attacks. The more she pulled, the more Annabelle squealed. All the Trophy Wife could think of was that Annabelle was going to slip her collar and run, willy-nilly, through the game. When she got her back to the gap in the fence, she couldn’t fit her back through. Kind of like taking off your heals under the table, she just wasn’t the same size going back in. Under the scrutiny of the entire ballpark, players, two angry umpires, her husband and his glaring first wife, she finally got her through, tucked her into her purse and slunk to the car. I know this had to be a problem when they got home, but seeing as how the Trophy Wife is more than cute, I think it all worked itself out.