FYI, I could not decide on a title, so, yes, you got all three.
This is what I love about my job, it opens my door to the coolest people and their fascinating subjects. Case in point, I recently spent the afternoon with a new client talking about castrating bovine. And laughing – it’s a woman thing that we take odd pleasure in such things. And it’s really pain free, she says, they just tie a rubber band around the testes and they get numb (you know, like if you do that to your finger) and then they turn black and fall off.
You see, unless women are looking to procreate, we don’t care that much about balls which is why we laugh about castration. As Miranda puts it so eloquently on SATC, “I’ve never once called my girlfriends after a date and said, ‘He had such big balls! Strong arms? Sure. Nice abs? Maybe. But never the balls! Frankly I wouldn’t know if you had 1 or 10 down there.”
But enough about balls – or bulls for that matter because during this meeting, I also learned some fascinating things about cows (and myself).
How I’m not like a cow
Apparently #1: Cows are creatures of habit. So, when you do something different they freak out. It could be as huge as milking them for the first time or as small as changing the time they get milked. They like to know when things are going to happen, how this shiz is going to go down.
When I heard that, I instantly thought, Me too! And then I rethought my thought and thought, Actually? Not so much. Thing is, I ‘used to be’ like that. I used to be a control freak (a few of you are snickering and I can hear you), but it’s changing. Okay, okay, about a few things I still like my control, like I literally won’t eat margarine or food with ingredients I can’t pronounce (unless it’s because they’re written in French or Italian or Japanese).
By definition, the freelancer’s life is a swirl of unpredictable activity. Our economic status can soar or plummet without a moment’s notice. A deadline can hit us from out of nowhere. Sometimes we have to fill our days on our own because clients can’t be seen for miles. Now, I can get a little hyper when a lot of balls (pun intended) come flying at me at once, but that’s not freaking out – that’s fanning the flames, amping up my energy to meet the task and then, whirling through all the madness pretty happily – and entirely un-cowlike.
The boss and the bitch
Apparently #2: In every herd of cows, there’s the cow that thinks she’s in charge and there’s the cow that is in charge. The cow that thinks she’s in charge at the Grey Barn in Chilmark, is Thelma. She tries to boss everyone around, she wants to be dominant, she attempts to lead the other cows to and fro. And she’s kind of bitchy about the whole thing – loud, pushy, obnoxious.
The cow that is in charge is Helen. And she’s more the silent type.
So, how’s this all working out? Well the story I heard was that Thelma gets so busy playing boss that she doesn’t notice at first, say, that Helen has actually led the other cows across the field. When Thelma finally realizes it, she hauls ass over the pasture to catch up. Which leads me to believe that Thelma knows she isn’t really the boss, she just tells everyone that she plays one on TV.
The actual lead cow, Helen, doesn’t try to put this nuisance in her place. Helen’s smart, savvy, patient. She knows she’s in charge, it’s undeniable. Unless Thelma puts either herself or the herd in harm’s way, Helen just kindly ignores that bitch and goes about her business. I imagine Helen smiling her cow smile, keeping Thelma safe and steadily, confidently leading the way.
Note which cow wears the pants in this family. Food for thought, I tell ya. (unless you’re a vegetarian).
Image credit: JelleS
Join the discussion 6 Comments
While I’m a little concerned about you laughing about castration, I really liked the boss and the bitch. I think every office environment has a similar dynamic. I like the office where the boss is supposed to be in charge and isn’t.
Well, Craig, I wouldn’t laugh about castrating you. Does that help?
I adore herd and pack animal dynamics. And that you learned so much about these cows.
Helen rocks. I have a bovine crush.
Definitely one of my favorite things about being a journalist is that I learn something (or many somethings) new every time I research a story.
.-= Edgy Mama´s last blog ..Weekly parent: Where were postpartum doulas when I was popping offspring? =-.
Sweet story, Julie! I’ve met a lot of Thelmas, and, sadly, precious few Helens.
I’m definitely right with you on the “I used to be” a control freak. Really, it just takes One Big Change, to tilt the world view enough to change that need for sameness. Once a new routine starts up, you get to realizing that predictability is actually a lot more boring than you remembered….
Hugs and butterflies,
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This post makes me strangely uncomfortable…..
.-= Justin Matthews´s last blog ..On Diapers and Potty Training… =-.
I too have met many too many Thelmas and not enough Helens, I think that was one of the points of Seth Godin’s book Triibes. I myself am sometimes both in the same day!
.-= Andi´s last blog ..(Not quite) Wordless Wednesday #54 =-.