Boots

boot labelMy feet have been bothering me all year. I thought that it was maybe just me getting old, but my lovely doctor says that it is plantar fasciitis, and that I need to stretch my feet. And I have been stretching my feet. And my feet have been getting slowly yet not entirely better.

boot

You see, I wear work boots to work.

I have worn one hundred and fifty-dollar boots and sixty-dollar boots and twenty-dollar boots. I have worn steel toe boots and waterproof boots and insulated boots and oil resistant boots and men’s boots and women’s boots and farm boots and leather boots and hiking boots and boots that fit a couple of pairs of insulated socks.

Still, on a good year, I completely wear out six pairs of boots. On a bad year, up to ten pairs. There is only a modest difference in wear time between the forty dollar boot and the one hundred forty dollar boot.

waterproof boot

I have been around and around about this before.

I always buy at least two pair of boots at once. Today, I bought two pairs of non-steel-toed hiking boots. They look sturdy, and comfortable. I am always optimistic about the prospect of my new pair of pair of boots.

I try to care for my boots. I waterproof them occasionally. They dry out on most nights.

Still, the soles peel off. The seams split. The leather cracks. The steel toe detaches. The shoe-lace threaders bend. The waterproofing wears out. I wear holes in the soles. Frequently, the big rubber lugs are actually hollow. Once you break through, the soles are finished.

I take a kind of pleasure in how many pairs of boots that I wear out. My co-workers do not demolish nearly so many pairs of boots as I do. I am proud to be a working person. Proud to be a female in a “man’s” job. Proud that I can work circles around my co-workers, with only half of their physical strength. (When I started this job twelve years ago, I realized that I would need to make up for my lack of brute strength by using organization, and my mind.)

I did not ever imagine that I would be in the position of doing physical work. I had always dreamed of being an entertainer, which is what I did through most of my 20’s and 30’s. When that was done, I didn’t know what to do, and just kind of fell into something.

But on many days, I arrive at work, and I love my job. I love being really good at my job. I have thousands of little pieces of knowledge gained by experience, and experimentation. On many days, my job is like a pleasant walk through the park, and my mind is free to do whatever it will.

boot sole

Buzz Cut

I looked first in the people department, but I purchased them from the pet department, because the pet version was sturdier, yet less expensive.

Alongside the clippers, the box contained a pamphlet, with instructions for grooming sheep and goats, horses and hogs.

They have given me, and the dog, many years of faithfull service.

I love my clippers.

horse parts cow partsbuzzcut

Hey, all.

I haven’t posted, or read any of your posts, since mid October.

To those of you whom I read and comment on regularly … Your words mean something to me.  I am going back to read and comment on some of what you have posted in the last few months.  Thank you for existing.  It is important to me to have people to communicate with who share some of my life experiences.

Peace to all of you.

Another Work Meme

While I am working each day, I think of motivational work slogans.  I have dozens of them in a notebook now.  Turing Lathe

There is this poster vision in my head, which I’ve been experimenting with.

The images are modified from WWII propaganda stuff downloaded from the library of congress.

I’m happy with the results.

I Must Be Doing Something Right

I am in my Woman Rivetingwork truck, at the bank, holding a check which bears a feminine name (my spouse’s) and an androgynous name (mine). Well, not my work truck, but my boss’s truck, and it is even way worse than my truck, except that some of the equipment in it works better, sometimes. Diesel and chemicals leak out through the holes through which I can see the macadam below. Soot blankets the inside of the cab, because the chimney in the back of the truck is clogged. Yes, there is a chimney in the back of my truck. I mean my boss’s truck.

I couldn’t be any less of a girl as I insert the payment stub and check into the pneumatic canister. My hair is cropped short. I smell like the diesel, bleach, and sulfuric acid which saturate my worn out Dickies work clothes and wet boots. Probably I have grease smudges on my face from crawling around inside the diesel engine in the back of my truck making repairs, before giving up and calling for a new truck. The “girls” are tucked safely into a tight sports bra. I have no feminine accoutrements to rely on.

As the can whizzes through the tube, I think, that is all right. I learned from my mother (I know that I was hard on her last week) that the measure of a woman is not in whether she has a “woman’s” job, follows orders from a man, has on heels or jewelry, wears make-up or feminine clothing, or goes to the hair dresser (my mother has always gone to the barber). These lessons have stuck with me. I am no less woman because I don’t submit to most of the “rules” of what women are supposed to be. As a transgender female, that makes it even tougher on me. Fortunately, I also inherited stubbornness from my mother.

But still, I am pleasantly surprised when the cashier looks at the names on the check, and calls me by the feminine name (my spouses). Some chatter ensues. She calls me “Ms. D.” She makes an attempt at selling me a new checking account. She calls me by my spouse’s name again, and I drive off with a big smile on my face.

Chalk up a big point for the cashier, and for the bank. And knock off one big chunk of insecurity that I sometimes feel about how people see me.

(the image is Rosie the Riveter, library of congress, 1943, significantly altered by me)

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