Putting on my belt
It’s feeling like spring, so I put on my belt.
Let me explain.
For the past three decades or so, my work pants have been held up by the same belt – a strip of old, curled brown leather hooked to a beat up brass buckle with an eagle on it. My wife gave it to me when we got married. (I thought that was a pretty generous wedding gift, considering she had to buy her own wedding ring - and mine). I used it as my good belt until she told me I couldn’t anymore because it had gotten too ugly. Ever since, I’ve worn it on my work pants, with a Leatherman sheath on the left side and a pliers holster on the right. I have about 3,000 pounds of tools scattered hither and yon around the farm, but over the years keeping those two tools handy has saved me uncountable hours. Heck, my first pickup, a ‘66 Chevy three-quarter ton, could be overhauled with just those two tools and a vice grip. Plus, I kind of like putting it on in the morning. You know in Westerns where the grizzled sheriff puts his gun belt on right before the big gunfight? Putting on my pliers and Leatherman is just like that, except…not really. But my point is that it does make me feel like a guy. So, handy, practical and good for my self-esteem, but there is a downside. When I’m sitting at my desk and stand up suddenly, about 35% of the time my pliers holster catches on the arm of my chair, which sends it crashing to the floor. My wife’s dog is usually sleeping under the desk. The noise startles her, so she (the dog) runs over and bites my ankle. Consequently, during the winter when I spend most of my time at my desk, I’m belt free. There’s a downside to this, though. I have to stop every three steps to pull up my pants. It’s inconvenient, but my ankle gets fewer toothmarks.
Some of you might be wondering “why doesn’t he just take the pliers holster off his belt?” You know, sometimes I wonder that myself. I guess I’m just a mysterious dude. (My wife leaned over my shoulder as I wrote that line and said, “That’s for sure.” I took it as a compliment, but then she laughed.)
Now, for the past few months I haven’t minded spending the majority of my time at a desk, but the sun is coming up earlier in the morning, staying up later at night, the sky is full of migrating birds and when I stand in direct sunlight, I feel like a crocus on the sunny side of the house. In brief, it makes me feel like a guy, like I should be outside digging or hammering, building something or tearing it down. And for that, a guy needs his pliers and Leatherman.
And he needs his pants to stay up.
Copyright 2011 Brent Olson