Tuesday, May 03, 2005

My "Old Man" Hands

So after my depressing news this morning, I was given a unintentional compliment that in a very odd way made me feel really good. I went to lunch at the same place I've gone the last few days. I work in construction so I go to a lot of different places, whatever is close to the job. Anyway, I was waiting for my sandwich when a young woman sat down by me and was apparently checking me out (I used to be a pretty-boy before ten years of working outside most of the time) when she spied my hands. At that point she crinkled her nose into something of a scowl and said, "Ewww, you have old man hands." I looked down at my scarred, weather beaten hands and after a moment I nodded my head and said "thank you." She really scowled at that and replied "I didn't mean it as a compliment." I just smiled, nodded and got my sandwitch and left.

After I got everyone going on their various tasks and got back to work myself I thought about my hands. I thought about the scars some temporary a few that are permanent, I thought about the lines etched by wind and hard labor. I thought about what the scars and lines present. They represent finish work in a number of houses. They represent the painting I've done. They represent the handyman work I've done, often at a discount because being poor I have a hard time charging a lot for poor people. (unfortunately why I'm no longer self employed) They represent the houses I've sealed from the elements. They represent the plumbing in a few houses now. They represent the challenges I've faced and overcome on the job.

I would like to do something more meaningful with my life to be sure, but I still take a lot of pride in my craftmanship. I have brought beauty on occasion, often just utilitarian necessity. I am and will always be proud of my "old man hands."

5 comments:

Erik said...

If the hussy is there tomorrow, tell her she ought to see them without the gloves.

Beth said...

Well, Erik, I tend to think that the "hussy" must be pretty young to make such a stupid comment to Treban in the first place, but I tend to think Treban should come back with the second paragraph of his posting here instead of your attempt at a comeback. The young "hussy" doesn't deserve such an eloguest response, nor will she probably appreciate it, but it is much more accurate and perhaps some day, it will sink into her immature brain.

oldwhitelady said...

Treban - very good explanation of your hands. Yes, when you look at them and realize what you've created with them that have caused them to age can make you very proud. Good job sir!

PeterofLoneTree said...

Next time tell the hussy how much money you've saved yourself over the years just doing your own repairs and maintenance.

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