Every morning I wake up with an optimistic outlook on how much I am going to accomplish with my day. As I sip my coffee I make all kinds of plans for the afternoon. On days I farm I finish work at 4:00 which leaves me plenty of time to go for a run, gas up my car, swing by the grocery store, and pick up a new library book. Totally do-able.
However, by the time 4:00 rolls around I am generally covered in some combination of dirt, sweat, grease and/or hydraulic fluid (today was all four) and the only thing I want to do is shower. Along with all the grime, showering also washes away any lingering motivation to be productive. Who really wants to go for a run after they’ve showered? No one. Instead I put on sweats, eat dinner, grab a book and generally fall asleep before I finish a full chapter.
This is my life.
But some days post-work errands aren’t optional. I’ve run out of food or gas or something and have no choice but to venture out to remedy the situation. These days I have two options – I can do them right after work or I can go home, shower, and go back out. Luckily, I only live about 10 minutes from the farm so going home isn’t a horrible option, but Jennifer’s commute is 45 minutes. She and I were trying to decide which errands can be done in farm clothes and which require showering. This was something I never had to worry about at Wyebrook since I lived at the farm. Here are my thoughts.
Gas is always an acceptable errand. I mean, even in my farm clothes I’m still more put together than a lot of people I see at the gas station. Plus, gas is a necessity. If your tank is empty you have to stop, muddy boots or not. Hardware stores are also acceptable. They should be use to it.
Grocery stores are debatable. It depends on how dirty you are (and how badly you need food). I confess I have stopped at the grocery store in my farm clothes. Not the big, chain grocery store, but the small, health food store that supports local farmers. Surely they won’t begrudge such a local farmer coming in to buy apples, right? Plus, it is on the way home and they are all about saving the environment. Isn’t it better for me to save gas by not making a second trip? And I only do it on days when I absolutely need to and when I’m only mildly to moderately dirty. Today I absolutely needed to, but was far too gross to impose myself on the general public so I came home and showered first.
And that’s all I’ve got. I honestly can’t think of any place else where it would be acceptable for me to show up to shop after a long day on the farm. Except maybe another farm. Or the ER. Hopefully I never need to test that last theory.