Saturday, March 27, 2010

Putting the Puppies Away

I know that in the cities, the young women run around “half-nekkid” with their bellies hanging over their britches, and the young men have half their boodies bared, but that dog just won’t hunt in the holler. Since nothing else in such a small community can be kept secret for long, folks here try to at least keep their body parts hidden. Besides, between the cold weather in winter and the yellow jackets and copperheads in summer, there’s little incentive for baring your body on a farm.

One reason many of us move to rural areas is for the privacy it affords us. For we women this can give us the opportunity to let our bodies breathe. We all know that there used to be rules for what women wore and when they could wear it, like no white shoes before Memorial Day or after Labor Day. And we never, ever, let a man not our husband see us without our undergarments. I’m of the age that took these things seriously growing up, and our husbands were raised with women covered-up, unless we were cover girls or on the beach.

There’s a bit of a problem with making the transition from close-quarters city life and drop-in-anytime rural routines. Most of us women don’t like to be up-tight while we’re hanging (literally in some cases) around the house. We have to insist that the husbands call before coming over so we can, as Adam says, “Put our puppies away.”

Well, Mountaintop Mary’s husband Don was coming by to borrow some computer software. I knew I was getting into the shower, so I hung the software in a plastic bag on the front door knob. Several hours had gone by with no sign of Don. When he finally arrived, Gypsy met him at his truck and wasn’t looking like letting him past her. It didn’t seem right to have him hobble all the way past our ninety-six-pound “pet-me” machine—what with knowing he’d been knocked down by one of their four-hundred-pound “pet-me” machines (one of Mary’s horses)just last week, and is still limping from his bruises.

My puppies weren’t in their pens, even though I was fully clothed, and it was long past lunchtime. I was in the kitchen, so the first thing I saw when looking for something that would sub for a burka was my aprons hanging on a peg. I grabbed one, and tied it on. What a perfect solution to our ongoing girl issue! Now I know why the maw-maws used to wear aprons, whether they were cooking or not. Why, oh why did June Cleaver have to mess it up for all of us?

There are some women who are always dolled up every time I see them. This is not at their houses, but at the grocery or drug store. For all I know, they may be fully dressed for only an hour a day; even I could stand being controlled for that period of time – I think so anyway.

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