Are single, NYC women so desperate for a husband they’re willing to shovel manure and rope a calf to snag one?
Well, a few found their way to a current Fox reality show called Farmer Wants A Wife. It’s essentially the rural version of The Bachelor (or as the promos tout: putting heart in the heartland) with four farmers/ranchers named Allen, Landon, Hunter, and Ryan from Tennessee, Oklahoma, Georgia, and North Carolina, respectively, choosing their betrothed from a cross-country mix of 32 female city slickers.
I’m four episodes deep and still can’t figure out if there’s a shortage of women in the aforementioned states who know a thing or two about growing corn as high as an elephant’s eye. What other reason could there be for this quartet of handsome, landowners to wife-up with those who come to the farm in stilettos and cocktail attire, and sit on a bale of hay like it’s a bar stool? But, what do these ladies know? They’re from the big city. (Actually, some were born country but have been living a cosmopolitan life for so long that they’ve lost touch with their roots.)
After each farmer had a “sit down” with eight gals, they each picked five to move on to round 2 which entailed going to their respective homes–where the nearest neighbor is two to three miles away–to see who’s got the stuff to be an outdoorsman’s better half by “working the land.” (Or as a Nashville contestant put it: “Prove I can shovel poop with the best of ‘em.”)
One NYC contestant, Erica, didn’t make the cut, however, the very first woman who was picked, Ariana, was indeed from New York (via New Jersey). “Yes,” I thought as I fist-pumped the air, “we have representation.” Alas, she thought better of what she was getting herself into (pig-slopping is the new black?) and politely declined the offer to go to Tennessee then saddled up to head back to Manhattan. Isn’t that a fine how do you do?
Truth be told, the minute I would have heard the phrase: “Slap some bacon on a biscuit, we’re burning daylight,” as a way of saying “Let’s get going,” I too would have been on my way to the tune of These Boots Are Made for Walking...
The last two of our denizens—Hayley and Sarah—both got picked by Ryan to go to North Carolina. As of this writing, the Texas contestant of their quintet left because she just wasn’t feelin’ it for the cowboy. Also, Rancher Ryan had three of his cowpoke pals mosey on over to check out the ladies. All virtually branded Hayley the best of the bunch. Hee-Haw.
As a born and bred New York City girl with a penchant for Montauk beaches as my getaway, I have no affinity for pastoral life. I won’t front though. These men have some of the most picturesque land I’ve ever seen, boasting majestic mountain views, beautiful horses, heads of cattle, and the requisite cool pickup truck that looks like a fun ride. They all seem genuine and ooze country charm.
I do understand why the women, who say they’re tired of the dating rat race and guys who ghost, want to meet a different type of man, and each is gung-ho about jumping in the corral to prove themselves—until their sneakers get muddy or as one pointed out: “I believe there’s fecal matter on my new jeans.” A contestant who actually grew up on a ranch wanted to bow out voluntarily by the end of episode 2.
Make no mistake, I have the utmost respect for those who literally put food on our tables by either growing it or raising it, and understand that farm life is not for the faint of heart—like me.
If however, you’d ever consider leaving here for the wide-open spaces, you might want to eschew Farmer Wants A Wife (except for its entertainment value) and read the blogs and websites of women who’ve actually transitioned from urban to country living. As Landon told one of the women, “It ain’t a hobby honey, it’s what I do for a living.”
Good luck, y’all.
Lorraine Duffy Merkl is the author of several novels, most recently The Last Single Woman in New York City (Heliotrope Books).