I’ve mentioned before that Tuesdays are shipment days. I’ve also mentioned that this is rather hard work. Let me elaborate. Huge boxes full of flip flops arrive sometime between 11:00 and 1:00. I get assigned a certain brand. I pull out my box knife and open up the first box. I then have to open up plastic bags, pull out shoes, remove any other packaging, put them on a hook, and sort them in to styles. This involves a lot of repeated bending, as well as tedious and frustrating tangles of tags, hooks, and plastic.
Once everything’s out of the box, everything has to be priced and put on the wall. This is where the wrestling begins. The walls of our store are covered with pegs filled with flip flops hanging from hooks. Only a certain number of shoes can comfortably fit on each of these pegs. I am usually expected to put at least five more than is really reasonable onto each peg. They also have to be put on the pegs in size order, so that means that sometimes things have to be squeezed into the back of the already crowded row. I come home with torn cuticles, swollen fingers, and scratches all along my forearms. I look like I’ve been in a fight with my cat.
I’ve always been called a delicate flower. I get hurt easily. I’m clumsy, and I trip a lot. I’m frequently covered in bruises, and I’m sensitive to muscle aches. When I came home Tuesday evening, my fingers were so sore I didn’t want to touch anything, and my back ached. I wanted to just lie down and not move for an hour.
This does not mean that I am not strong, though. I don’t like to engage in labor and exercise, but I will and I can. I may not be able to lift heavy things, but when there’s work to be done, I will jump in and do my part. It’s just that I’ll probably end up in pain when it’s all over.
Butterflies are delicate, with wings like paper. They look like you could just blow on them and they’d disintegrate. And yet some butterflies travel vast distances in their lifetimes. So I guess being delicate doesn’t mean you’re weak. Getting hurt easily is just another part of my character that I choose to embrace rather than be embarrassed by. I can be soft and delicate and strong and tough all at the same time. Poke my bruises, though, and I’ll smack you. Fair warning.