I mean, after they asked me how long I'd been doing crack cocaine and/or whether I'd recently suffered a tragic head trauma, of course.
In some cases, I sought out these warnings and in some cases they were just offered up by the knowledgeable and completely ignorant alike.
Because it's super useful to get farming advice from people who've never even been to an unincorporated part of town without sidewalks, but WHATEVER, I was letting everyone get in their potshots.
Meanwhile, one of the warnings that I internalized and, for a good bit of time went forward completely ignoring, was doled out by my beloved Bubba who said, without delay mind you, that, "Um, baby, you know you're going to have to wear proper shoes now?"
Because the man fucking loves proper shoes.
I didn't and still don't, but after the first day of my Organic Agriculture class, during which time we were commanded by our instructor to always wear closed-toe shoes to his class because HELLO we are farming now and FYI those digging forks can slice through your bare foot like a pitchfork into compost, I relented and got some proper shoes.
Which Bubba assured me were not proper FARMING shoes, but at least they had closed toes and I had to wear socks, so for that he granted me a pass.
|"Nice try" - Bubba|
My instructor...well, he was less impressed with Vans as farm appropriate footwear, but because I'd wear my red rain boots more often than not, he then granted me a pass, too.
|Dancing with broccoli. Because that makes red rain boots seem normal.|
I got used to wearing socks (ew) and closed-toe shoes (ew again) and it wasn't the end of the world. Like, my feet didn't shrivel up and die, they just shriveled up and didn't breathe until I got home and aired them out while wearing the delightful flip-flops.
And then I went on for a few years through my horticulture degree and working in the greenhouse and working on the farm and then graduated and got a job as a grower at a farm and wore my "Proper Shoes" with my socks and, alas, my feet didn't die.
I mean, I've died a little inside every time I put on the Proper Shoes and Socks combo, but everything else was going so well that I just let it happen.
Made peace with the situation, if you will.
Until last week.
Last week I was sitting in the first of many Farm Meetings, where the growers sit around a conference room table looking awkward and annoyed and go through the never-ending list of things that need doing or following up on so that we can produce our respective crops and keep the farm...farming, and I received The Mandate.
One of the items on our farm director's checklist from a previous Farm Meeting, to which I was not privy, was to ensure that all members of the Production crew, from the growers to every single field crew member, was wearing ANKLE COVERING footwear.
This was being presented as an obvious fact and the annoyance on all growers' faces that it was coming up again because some grower had someone on their crew who was still coming to work in, like, tennis shoes or something, was extreme.
Which is when I looked at my director and pointed to my Pumas.
Thankfully, he has a decent sense of humor and also patience with idiots, so all he said was, "Certainly YOU of all people have, like, a pair of hiking boots that will cover those ankles. Wear them."
He's right. I do have a pair of hiking boots that cover my ankles. Unfortunately, they can eat my ass after the shitshow they made of my feet during our backpacking trip and I threw them sidelong into the garage when we returned from our trip and vowed never to wear them again while also giving them the finger and trying to light them on fire.
So, those boots were out.
Thankfully, I still have the Bubba-approved Proper Shoes which are actually boots and totally cover my ankles, have a steel toe, a puncture resistant sole and are totally perfect for the job EXCEPT that my fucked up feet (Hi, Crossfit, I have not forgotten you. Asshole.) kinda hate them after a day of wearing because I can't use my Old Lady I Have Crossfit Inspired Arthritis orthodics in them.
But I've been wearing them because I think, after all of this time, I know that it's the right thing to do. Even if my old lady toes are all cranky after a day of clunking around without my orthodics.
Actually, IT IS the right thing to do and if I'd embraced that fact a little sooner, perhaps I wouldn't have smashed my big toe with the hand truck after lowering it too fast when dropping off the 1HP beast water chiller in my headhouse the other day but whatever.
The beauty of the boot-wearing though, and I am hesitant to put this in writing since Bubba will be all SEE! I TOLD YOU, CRAZY WOMAN! and such, is that I actually kind of love wearing boots.
Because of the feeling like Super Woman in them and everything.
Now, yes, they're technically Proper Shoes, which I'd reject on principle in most cases, but they're also the giver of super human lady strength and make me feel invincible and like I can effectively drive the forklift to move stuff around or kick the door down if I need to or just walk around the farm without smashing one of my fucked up toes into something.
And I have learned that there are a lot of somethings on a farm into which one may smash a toe.
So, yeah, I am now in full compliance with the footwear mandate of the farm while also at risk of getting fired because I just run around kicking down doors all day.
Whatever. It all evens out.