Work glove lineup. Photo by Renee Benoit
My hands wouldn't make it on Madison Avenue. They are pretty messed up from living on ranches and homesteads. My nails are short on purpose and unpainted and the skin is wrinkled. I think of my hands as yet another important tool to get the work done, not some fluffy pretty things like a fashion statement. My husband feels the same way I do.
I sometimes look at my opposable thumb and marvel. Without that evolutionary adjustment we wouldn’t be the Handy Men and Women that we are. The archaeologists called our ancestors “Homo Habilis” and we certainly are “handy”! It’s so easy to take our abilities for granted but I like to remind myself what a precious thing it is to be able to hold something and do things with my hands.
This is where one of the greatest inventions of all time comes in. Gloves. My hands are wrinkled, yes. Dry, yes. But banged up, no. This is because I wear gloves all the time. If Scarlet O'Hara had some gloves to wear Rhett BUtler would have never discovered her deceit. It seems as though I have about 100 pair of gloves but it’s really only about 8. In the picture at the beginning of this article I didn’t include my winter gloves. Those pictured are just my summer gloves. Pictured below are my favorite pair of gloves. You can see the shape of my hands.
Favorite work gloves. Photo by Renee Benoit
They have a leather palm and they’re washable. They also have a Velcro closure to keep debris from getting inside. Everyday when I feed the critters I use these gloves. Alfalfa isn’t the softest thing in the world and the stems really poke my hands if I don’t wear gloves. My husband grabs the flakes with his bare hands but then he’s a MAN and I figure that he thinks “I don’t need no stinkin’ gloves”. He comes in from working and his hands are all banged up. I think he’s a little bit proud of his ability to endure discomfort. I can endure only so much so I have a lot of gloves. When we go to the hardware store I always go over to the glove display and see what new gloves are there. I can’t really justify any more pairs right now so I don’t buy them but I always like to see what they have and fantasize about my next purchase. I always have at least one pair that is new so if the pair I’m wearing gets soaking wet, for example, I have another pair to take its place.
My line up of gloves includes one pair that have the tips cut off so I can pick things up without taking the glove off. I also have a pair of left and right golf gloves leftover from the olden days of my sports participation because they turned out to be thin enough so when I need protection for doing something fine they’re perfect. I have some deer skin gloves that are great for riding horses.
I think there should be an art installation of gloves somewhere sometime. Maybe even Madison Avenue. I think it would be interesting to gaze at each pair and wonder what the owner did for a living and how they must have saved the owner’s hands from discomfort while helping them do a task that would have been very unpleasant otherwise. I think there’s beauty in a mundane object like a well-worn glove.
What gloves do you love?
Renée Benoit is a writer, artist, ranch caretaker and dedicated do-it-yourselfer who homesteads a small ranch in the southeast corner of Arizona near the Mexican border. Connect with Renée at RL Benoit, and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Guidelines, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts.