Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Womenfolk

I have to wonder what some of these cowboys think when they arrive to work on the TP Ranch and are outnumbered by females.

And not just any girls. Girls who ride out with them in the mornings either on horseback or ATVs, girls who rope, vaccinate, ear notch and cut calves. Girls who help make judgement calls on what cows should stay, who should go. Girls who leave the barn at dusk to go have supper on the table by nightfall. Girls who are the first to get up and have breakfast ready and the first to leave to call cows. Girls who drive trucks and blow in horse's noses when there's nothing else to do. Girls who laugh and joke and think talking about farts and taking dumps in the woods is funny. Girls who aren't grossed out when all the cowboys take their shoes and socks off around the campfire to compare the ugliness (or prettiness) of their feet.
I think they must be a little shocked.
These are guys who are used to working alone, being alone for weeks at a time in the back country gathering cows. These are men who refer to us as "the womenfolk" and consistently say things like "yes, ma'am", "no, ma'am" and take their hats off when we shake their hands.
Sometimes I do want to say "Please stop calling me ma'am", especially when the culprit is 21 - obviously much younger then myself. But I keep my mouth shut and tamper the feminist side of me that slightly bristles when the word "womenfolk" is thrown around.
But, for the picture above, I found myself handing the camera to Dustin and saying, "Would you please take a picture of the womenfolk?"
He didn't mind.
I have a feeling this won't be my first New Mexico vernacular I pick up but I promised my mother today I would never (NEVER!) use the words she's using!
Give me two years and then we'll see.

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