Dirty clothes

July 31, 2011 § 2 Comments

I am getting used to being sweaty and dirty almost every day (again).

It’s actually much easier than having to dress in appropriate business attire almost every day, that’s for sure.

Not that I don’t like to dress up, to don ribbons and pearls like most girls. I happen to find the perfect balance is this: a tank top, jeans, and boots most days of the week, then light, pretty, ruffly sorts of things for outings and social times. Work clothes and play clothes. This seems right.

My dad likes to say that if he went to work in a suit and tie and came home still pressed and neat, he wouldn’t feel like he had really worked. This isn’t to say that all those out there who do go to work in nice clothing haven’t done anything all day – I know lots of you do, and it’s strenuous and challenging and important and it brings home a paycheck. We need suit-and-tie people just as we need jeans-and-boots people (and skirts-and-pumps people, uniforms-and/or-costumes people, corduroy-and-oxfords people, hard-hat-and-coveralls people). But I think what my father is getting at is the same thing I crave, too, in a job: to have visual, physical, immediate evidence of hard work, well done, towards a clear purpose.

Mud on my pants means I’ve been down on my knees getting weeds out and plants in. Spit on my sleeve means a horse got fed (and wiped its mouth on me). Straw down my shirt means bales moved to where they need to be. Sweat on my neck means distances paced, loads lifted, buckets and bins and wheelbarrows filled. These things are satisfying. Satisfying to me in a way that paperwork will never quite be.

So I toss filthy clothes in the laundry basket at the end of the day, glad I’ve saved these rag-tags from the Goodwill box when numerous moves tempted me to toss them. And oh, man, doesn’t a shower feel good when you, in fact, truly badly need one!


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