I realize what a contrast those two ideas are, oilfield and bunny lover, and I am currently working through just that. The idea of an oilfield conveys strong roots in all that is Republican; you get the bunny lover reference.
For years I worked with children and families. I started in college as a work-study between classes and eventually became a peon preschool teacher scrimping by on $7.98 an hour. After the need for more money became more important than staying two hours away from my parents, I moved back to my hometown and started with Migrant Seasonal Head Start. Three years of trudging through my terrible Spanish, case in point, referring to a motorcycle as a mota instead of moto. Mota is marijuana, that one got explained to the boss as soon as I realized what I had said. Later that same year I was offered a position with Early Head Start, which I jumped at. I loved Early Head Start, working with kids and families, leaving a home feeling good about what I had done. Working for Head Start, we were on a grant basis, money was tight, and the program penny pinched. Even when it was tough it gave me a sense of self.
Then the preverbal carrot was waved in front of my face, the lure of industrial construction. The carrot wasn’t the illustrious chance of moving every couple of months, or working with a bunch of men with construction in their veins. It was the money. They waved the biggest carrot in front of my face that I had ever seen; this thing was county fair blue ribbon material. Thus the transformation into an oilfield bunny lover began.
I accepted the offer from the industrial construction company after a long night of drinking Blue Moon. I thought that would help in the decision making process. I was wrong. When it came time to call my potential boss and accept, my three brain cells were battling each other for control. I was barely able to form a complete sentence between the brain cells and the nerves. This was really out of my comfort zone. I work with four-year-olds, not men in the construction field. That’s when I was told to treat the men as if they were four and I would be set. There are some days!
I have a pretty thick skin and am thankful for that, because out here, one is required. I endured months of blonde jokes, women bashing jokes, the whole nine yards and once in a while got a couple of good ones in myself. It took some getting used to, this man society in which I willingly went. But the one thing that I couldn’t quite get passed was my past. The guys knew where my political ideals lie.
As the primaries drug on and on and the comments became more than I could bear, I relented and stuck my nose in. This was a Pinocchio stretch. I should have seen it coming like a freight train, but I was unable to contain myself. If I commented on the Clinton camp, I was just voting for her because she was a woman and in their minds a cold calculating one at best. There were no traits that this woman possessed that the guys didn’t tear apart. I was wasting my vote, I was going to see the oil field dry up and I wasn’t going to have a job, or so they were quick to tell me. If I said something about the Obama camp I was, well, not much better. He doesn’t have the experience; he’ll do away with the coal companies, another hot point in our state. So as the months crept and we were finally down to two candidates, tensions boiled. I was subjected to talk radio from hell. Anything I said was discounted and twisted. Did I mention in my above ramblings that I am the only female out in this little piece of oilfield heaven working for our company?
I haven’t watched votes coming into the polls in years. This one was different as I waited in anticipation, I thought to myself; work is going to be hell tomorrow, one way or the other.
I woke up November fifth with a smile that could match the Cheshire cat’s! I told myself that I would not gloat; I was a better person than that. I had been in my office for only a short time and a coworker made a b-line straight for my desk. He noticed the grin, which I tried to play off as a possible tryst the night before, losing twenty pounds anything. He wasn’t buying, so he asked, “What are you so happy about?” I coyly responded, “What are you talking about, the house, the senate, or the presidency?” Haven’t heard much from that coworker since.
I am both, a little oilfield and a little more bunny lover. I love my state and revel in the fact that it wasn’t necessarily red as the map conveyed, but a little purple.