We have quite a few local residents and neighbors who swing by to say hello, ask questions about the DIY life we lead, or looking to buy a dozen eggs. And we really like that, it feels as though after over a year, we're becoming more community members. For the most part, the folks who stop by are friendly, helpful, and down right pleasant to be around.
But I can't help but keeping noticing this one really teeth-grinding thing- many folks refuse to talk to Kim, or talk to her like she doesn't keep the same pace as I do, day in and out. Yesterday is a really good example.
We were standing in the front yard, in overgrown grass, washing veg for the CSA pick up. We were pretty ragged, on hour 12 of the day- and still with a good list of things to get done. As we were bunching onions, a car slowed to a stop and a fellow emerged from the passenger side. This is common. Kim set down her bunch and approached the visitor.
"Is the guy who owns the horses here?" he said. I was a few paces away, figuring she could answer any questions.
"The ones in that field?" Kim asked, pointing towards Nataya, there are a lot of horses around and we only have one in our pasture right now, we are in process of switching teams.
"Yea, where is the guy who owns the horses?" the man repeated, still not seeing me set back.
"Oh, those are ours. " she said, waiting to see what the follow up inquiry might be.
"But where is the guy that owns them?" he asked again, this time, a little forceful.
"We do..." Kim said again, confused but with the beginning look of recognition that this man was not going to talk to her about her own horse.
Believe it or not, the man asked again, "Yes, but where is the man?"
I stepped in, introduced myself, not sure what else to do. It turns out, he wanted someone to teach him to harness and drive a team. Huh.
Well, we're not in a place to give lessons right about now, mid-season and without a team ourselves, but I'm happy to show anyone the skill we believe is so valuable. I tried to steer the man to an understanding that Kim is just as qualified (if not more so depending on who is having a more patient day) to drive our team, or teach anyone to hitch up. He actually exclaimed when I suggested he should get used to taking direction from her if he wanted to learn on our farm.
And this isn't the only time this has happened here, we have another neighbor who asks me if Kim is still asleep in bed whenever he stops by in the morning- as if she hasn't also spent the early hours drenched in sweat hauling buckets of feed. It's strange.
I try to correct people, but it doesn't seem to matter much. And of course, I'm not surprised at the level of sexism and assumption that happens, especially with a very physical job. I'm just still trying to figure out how to turn it in to a teachable moment as a husband who couldn't make it through the work without his very capable co-worker AND wife.
I kinda just want to get a tee-shirt that says "R'Eisen Shine Farm- I took her last name."
sigh. we have to far to go, don't we?