Tuesday, April 20, 2010

My Idaho Sistahs

So I've admitted my fascination over an incredibly stupid reality show on Bravo called "The Real Housewives of Orange County/New York City/New Jersey/Atlanta." I think there is some correlation between the television shows we choose to watch and the kind-of people we are.

However, my fascination with this show runs almost completely perpendicular to the kind-of person I think I am. Maybe I'm just not self-aware enough, but if you were to look up "high-maintenance housewife" in the dictionary, I like to pride myself into thinking my name would appear under the antonyms.
  • I've had exactly ONE manicure in my whole life, and zero pedicures. Call them a "mani" and "pedi" and I'll want to scratch your eyes out with my chewed-on nails.

  • I get a haircut once or twice a year whether I need it or not.

  • I own about five pairs of running shoes, three pairs of flip-flops, and two Sunday shoes. No Minola Blaniks (or however she/he spells her name).

I blame it on my rural-Idaho upbringing. Perhaps this is a news flash for some of you, but Idaho girls, at least the girls I grew up with, were as tough as they come. Put a hardened gangster girl from the streets of L.A. in a ring with an Idaho farm girl, and I'd put my money on the farm girl.

I didn't actually grow up on a farm. My dad was a used car salesman, and my mom was a teacher. But I had friends who lived on farms, and I was hired with them for summer help starting at the age of 13.

Most of the farm girls I knew had to move pipe right alongside their brothers. They also picked rocks and hoed and thinned sugarbeets. There was no line between "girl's work" and "boy's work." Well, except for maybe hauling hay. But I'll bet some girls even did that. It was all work, and it all needed to get done, and everyone in the family pitched in to help.

My friend Jana's dad was one of the farmers who hired me for the summers. Jana's poor dad had four girls before finally getting a boy. So did his daughters just sit at home getting manis and pedis? No, they were out in the fields working.

It's not to say that we didn't WANT to dress up and curl our hair and have expensive clothes. It just wasn't an opportunity that was readily available to us. We had too much work to do, darn it! Daylight was burning!

And we had tons of fun, too. After most of our days of working in the sugarbeet fields, we'd drive to the nearest canal and go swimming. And we'd slather ourselves with mud as if we were at an expensive day-spa. And then we'd jump in the canal to clean ourselves off.

At the end of each summer, we'd take our hard-earned money and go to Lagoon in big-town Farmington, Utah.

One year I also saved enough to buy me a "fancy" pair of shoes. I bought me a pair of Birkenstocks. Maybe there is some high maintenance in me afterall.

And when I'm outside working in my yard and hauling big rocks around, I think of the Pussycat Dolls song, and I sing it loud and proud, "Don't you wish your girlfriend could move rocks like me? Don't you wish your girlfriend could mow the lawn like me?"

This was part of our beet-hoeing gang. Pictured to the left in the back are Jana Baily (now a realtor and business woman in the Boise area), Jaime Catmull (now a fashion marketer and model who bounces between L.A. and SLC), me (mom and yard maintenance extraoirdinaire), Carol Cueva (mother and school counselor), Stacey Schafer (landscape designer in the Boise area), and Keri Anderson (mom to four girls, just like me, in Colorado). My two cousins, Monica and Wendy, also hoed beets with us, but they weren't there this summer.


Emily said...

Loved it. Let's hear it for us girls!

Erin said...

I am there too. Not an Idaho farm girl. A West side Salt Lake girl who also had only one manicure in my whole life (hated it). owns running shoes, and sunday shoes (payless). Spent my summers climbing trees, riding my bike in the street, playing war with the neighbor boys, and getting dirty. I still like to play in the dirt.

Anonymous said...
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go mom go said...

Those pipes gave us some killer legs. Lucky for you, you still have those killer legs.
And tanning beds...we had nice (trying to think of a better word) farmer tans.

For the record: I am completely, totally heterosexual, but because we are "sistahs" we can say things like that and get away with it!

Garn said...

WOW!! That brought back memories. Jodi has tried to convince me for years that she moved pipe on her grandpa's farm. I don't know, you West girls always seemed a little soft. Cindy vs Kristal Kowitz in a fight, I am going with Kristal 10 times out of ten...

I do have to tell you a funny story. So we found out we are having girl #3 a couple of weeks ago. Later that night, I was out cutting down some fairly large aspen trees in our yard. It was classic. You had me up on a ladder wielding a chain saw while my two girls, 9 and 6, were 25 feet away pulling on a rope as hard as they could to make the tree fall in the right direction. It was classic. My Idaho grandmothers would be proud!

Morkthefied said...

That's good stuff, Chris. Me and Krystal in a fight? My money is also on Krystal. But West had our fair share of brutes, but maybe not as many as East.

You're doing good raising those girls of yours. I can't wait until mine are old enough to mow the lawn.