~Originally published in Defenestration~

I understand now how serious you were when you shouted, “I will not live with a pig!” It is also abundantly clear that my decision to bring home a four-hundred-pound Gloucester pig named Dumplin’ did not turn our sad two acres of weedy herb gardens and blighted squashes into a Farm.

Beloved bride, you had every reason to say that inheriting my grandmother’s damp and bramble shrouded two-bedroom rambler did not excuse my new tendency to act like I was Landed Gentry. And I agree (Oh, honey, can’t you see I agree?) that my new seven-hundred-dollar Harris tweed jacket and matching flat cap are nothing more than the laughable affectations of a loser.

Baby, of course you were right to say we couldn’t afford to feed a blue-ribbon sow when your school-teacher salary barely covered our groceries. I’m also painfully aware that my only contributions to the larder – a few pints of blackberries plucked from the thorns shrouding our home—were simply not enough. In retrospect, and with a heavy heart, I even accept the wisdom of your suggestion that we butcher sweet Dumplin’ in order to fill our frost-burdened freezer with her hocks and chops.

Darling heart, it was insane of me to keep playing the farmer instead of getting a job after I maxed out our credit card buying Dumplin’ a snug prefab barn with a sturdy front door and little white shutters on its notebook-sized windows.

With the bracing clarity of hindsight, I also see I should’ve paid closer attention when you installed a new knob on that unbreakable barn door. At the very least, it would have behooved me to notice that it locks from the outside.

And now, trapped in this hut with four hundred pounds of ravenous porker while you relax on a lawn chair sipping bourbon and waving goodbye, it is clear to me that Dumplin’ isn’t the one with whom you refuse live.