Tell Me Thy Company, and I’ll Tell Thee What Thou Art

Tell me thy company, and I’ll tell thee what thou art.” Miguel de Cervantes – 1547-1616.

I have been reading and reading. Sometimes it is all I can do. I have always been a reader.

Occasionally, the pen bleeds. Without warning I’m a writer.

There is no Band-Aid for that. I have to sit here and bleed out. Having ‘died’ a thousand times already I am sure I walk amongst the dead.

I wrote a book about my life. I write poetry. I hang out here and support A Voice for Men. I add my thoughts, angst, hate, (okay, disdain) for feminism, entitlement, the gender wage gap, the glass ceiling, princess lifestyles, false rape, domestic violence…

I am a Men’s Rights Advocate.

Yesterday was a difficult day for me. My mother was at the hospital with my brother, who has been recently diagnosed with cancer.

We have a rough road ahead of us, and my brother is still in denial.

I had a birthday party to attend in a restaurant last night. I was not in the mood to go, but was already committed.  After about a half hour into the pomp and some observations of the women there, a high school ‘saying’ popped into my head.

“Tell me who you hang with, and I’ll tell you what you are”

I was eating hors d’oeuvres and thinking. Then I watched half-eaten steaks from other tables destined for the garbage. I remembered when I held two jobs; one of them as a waitress. I scraped plates of almost ‘untouched’ dinners into carry-out containers and dropped them off to some homeless men living in the streets after I got off work.

I almost got fired from a job for that, because my boss thought I was stealing food, until I explained. After that he gave me food to take to them. He asked me once, “Aren’t you scared to go into those areas late at night? (his words, in a very thick Greek accent) Someone might hurt you.”

My response: “I’m bringing hungry, homeless people something to eat. Who the hell is going to hurt me?”

He never asked me that again. And on holidays he donated produce, bread, poultry, pies, and anything else he could spare for my food drives.

As all this history ran through my mind, I was clearly not ‘there.’ Someone noticed  and snapped their Chardonnay fingers at me. Yoohoo – (snap-snap) – earth to Izzey.

I came back abruptly and faux smiled. Everyone carried on with their chit-chat and laughter. Two women were checking their lipstick, talking about each other’s hair treatments. Men were talking, laughing…drinking. And I suddenly noticed that I was the only woman there without polished nails. This has never bothered me. But for some reason this time it sparked a moment of clarity….a fucking epiphany.

Me.

Them.

I work with my hands. I sand, strip, compound, wax, operate heavy power tools, get filthy, fiberglassed, painted, nicked, bruised….so I keep my nails clean and short. That’s the best I can do.

That is all I want to do

I was surrounded by polished princesses and I felt naked. It wasn’t about my nails. It was because I was without my tool belt. It weighs about thirty pounds– complete with back support and suspenders. It explains my hands, and explains why my hands don’t need a fucking explanation. If they could see that, would see the big picture. They would see me.

One woman held up her ‘french tips’ to another and said, “Oh, I just love her work. You should go see Michelle, and tell her that I sent you.” She was oozing saccharine as she talked.

I couldn’t resist. I said “Or, you can come to work with me on boats, and I could fiberglass them for you. It would last a lot longer.”

“Oh, wow, really?” The look on her face was vacant; uncomprehending.

Holy shit. I knew it was time to leave. I did not belong there. I stayed for the main course, and passed on the dessert. But so did the princesses. They had different motives for skipping dessert. (Must not get fat, hubby will ‘wander’ and I don’t have that insurance policy, yet.)

My job keeps me fit. I could eat five desserts and work that shit off the next day.

I came home thinking about my brother, and felt like reading AVfM.

I’m understood here. I have a voice here, in this refuge from pretense and princess bitches and even from some other more harsh realities.

Tell me who you hang with, and I’ll tell you what you are.

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