Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The Gentleman Farmer

I am on the phone a lot with my job, and people who know I was recently married will often ask me, "What does your husband do?"  The type of answer that they are expecting is something simple, like...I.T. Project Manager.  Which is true.  But, I don't think that answer does justice to the breadth of all that Aaron does. With all due respect to I.T. professionals, I.T. is dry and something that no one out of the realm of I.T. knows anything about.  And I think Aaron, along with most I.T. professionals would agree.  So when I respond with "IT" I can feel eyes glaze over as they utter, "Oh..."  while they picture a nerd in front of a computer analyzing data, which perhaps is what Aaron is doing during the hours of 8-5 M-F.  Although a very respectible career, I am finding people don't really care to delve too deep into what he does on a daily basis. Myself included. 

While, yes, Aaron's professional career and the one that is providing him income is in Information Technology, I always feel I need to follow-up with something about the vineyard because I feel he is better defined by where he spends his time outside of the khaki pants and button down shirts.  You see, when Aaron gets home from work, he puts on his work boots, Wrangler jeans, and tool belt and heads out to the vineyard.  If he isn't out on the tractor, he is pruning grapevines, putting up trellises, or working on some piece of equipment in the garage that he likely built himself. 

So, I'll say "he is an IT Project Manager," and then quickly blurt out, "but-he's-alsoa-grapefarmer!" Which feels funny once I say it because it sounds like I am trying to make up for the fact that he works in IT by mentioning something more enticing, when in fact I am just trying to accurately answer the question, "what does your husband do?"  Not to mention that when I say "vineyard", they don't mutter out, "oh..." and then change the subject, the way they do when I say "IT," but rather, "OH!! Tell me more about that!" 

I discussed this dilemma with Aaron one day and he informed me that I can really answer this question with just two words: Gentleman Farmer.  A term I was not familiar with growing up in the suburbs.  Apparently, a "gentleman farmer" is a farmer with an independent source of income or independent career, who also farms, either for pleasure or as an additional advocation.  I do not know how widely known this term is, but now when people ask me, "What does your husband do?" I now simply answer, "He's a gentleman farmer."  And since I promised my gentleman farmer husband that I would not post any more shirtless pictures of him, I will share with you a photo which is a perfect depiction of this title.  This photo was taken last year, before we bought a tractor of our own.  Aaron had rented a tractor from the farm supply store a few miles away and left his car in the parking lot there.  He had to return it before going off to work the next day, so off he went, in his dress pants, driving the tractor down the road.  His versatility made me giggle, so I had to take a picture.  Now THAT'S a gentleman farmer.