Snow White had it Easy.
It occurred to me once, when driving down to TB 2 late one night, and I was mulling over the lack of handsome princes in my life (at least, other than the ones who get down from their white horse to sweep me off my feet, kiss me deeply and then say.. “Uh – Look Snow-White.. I’ve got this deal with Cinderella I need to sort out.. I’ll get back to you…”.) and drawing other parallels between Snow White and myself (girl runs away and lives with Miners… you following me?) that I actually didn’t know the whole story. I knew there was a mirror somewhere, that the cast involved an evil stepmother, a girl, aforementioned handsome prince and a bunch of dwarves.
So I looked it up.
It’s Grim. (Like early mornings here – Grim!)
Very Grimm – yes – that’s where the word came from. Snow White’s mother wishes for a beautiful little girl. She gets her : face as white as snow, hair like ebony, lips like blood (depending on which version you read – one says like red rose petals, the other says the Queen pricked her finger whilst sewing and it either stained the fabric or dripped onto the snow. See – thats why I crochet – less chance of poetic injury) And, with a stunning lack of imagination, calls the baby Snow White.
She dies, cue the Evil Step Mother and it runs through the Woodsman/ hunter (again, depends on which version you read), hearts and lunch. Hannibal Lecter style. Then we have the dwarves, the forest.. and of course.. obligatory Handsome Prince.
I spoke with the lady who explains things to me and she said there’s a lot of historical/social commentary involved – things that Walt Disney didn’t include in the fairy tale. Bluebirds yes, Cardiac Lunches no…
Back I went to reading.. and we all know Terry Pratchett does a good job of fracturing fairy tales but there some people who have had way too much time on their hands and looked for subtexts and hidden meanings in all our fairy tales. It’s worse than Nanny Ogg and the business with the May poles. Anyway – apart from never being able to read Rumpelstiltskin to anyone EVER again, I found out about Snow White.
The bit that leapt out at me, especially given the frame of mind I was in when I started working with Miners, was:
the dwarves said to Snow White “If you promise to cook for us, clean for us, and look after us, you will never want for anything”.
Now let’s look at me.. Safety Orange rather than Snow White (I’m not going to flatter myself: I have red hair, green eyes and glow-in-the-dark white skin – smear me with woad, I’m a Celt).
What do I do for my miners?
Above and beyond my job statement? Which STILL doesn’t exist. I arrange doctors appointments, I provide first aid/ treatment for infected eyebrow piercings. (and try not to ask the apprentice – who, it just occurred to me, is EXACTLY half my age – why he got his eyebrow pierced). I reset Mobile phones, and show people how to use their new phones. I set up laptops, I tune in televisions. I witness documents (still being a Navy Officer means I can certify things) I
climb slide down into clay pits to take photos for our manager with the broken leg, so he can see what’s happening. And I ignore him sniggering at me when I come back bearing samples of clay… all over my jeans… I provide advice on washing clothes. I demonstrate on how to tie knots. I research information for them (the best one was someone’s daughter has an assignment on centaurs and Daddy wanted to be clever.) and usually just listen to them.
And try to save them from themselves!
What, then do they do for me? I mean they promised Snow White that she wouldn’t want for anything… And she still went off with the handsome prince.
The chances are that if I liked someone i.e. our dishonest gentleman of a month ago (as opposed to any others that I could present as Exhibits A, B, and C) these Miners (a couple are short, and some do plait their beards but I wouldn’t call them dwarves); are more likely to scare most potential Charmings away. And – having commented favourably on a Geologist the other day and then receiving several offers to check him out from my “boys”, I doubt that having large bearded men acting as self-appointed Yentas interrogating anyone, is going to help the cause either.
One thing they do: they make me laugh. Sometimes – not intentionally but they don’t tell me I’m stupid, they don’t tell me I’m overweight and they have the most shame-faced expressions when I get there after the the call : “Umm… Manda…… could you come and have a look at this?”
Something else, they are all rather old fashioned. Not only do we not share beds (the connotations drawn on the whole Snow White and the Seven Dwarves sleeping arrangements – whooeeee! Slash fanfic – eat your heart out!) but having spent a long time in the Navy, including the advent of allowing Gentlemen who prefer Gentlemen to serve..and well.. you catch my drift… anyway… that doesn’t happen here… at least.. not as openly…
They do apologise for swearing, even the tiniest bit. In my last job, I was one of two females amongst a crew of 23 – 24 and I was made to feel like to that objecting to that horrible word (you know the one I mean: eff’s are ok, there’s another horrible word I don’t tolerate) was a sign of not being able to cope, whinging female etc etc.
Here doors are held open for women, but at the same time they are happy to work beside them…So it’s not as bad as it could be.
At least I still have time to crochet in the evenings.
See – the Blanket had half the border added last night!
And of course: I finished off another ball doing it. This yarn is magic – it disappears!
We better hope there’s enough left for the last two rounds!!
Otherwise I will be forced to Filet for the rest of the week
Enough talking – I have a friend to show you:
I was out taking photos and the birdy was watching me.. Not sure what he/she is – some sort of raptory hawky/ Falcon thing. They like to pounce on the moths that congregate at the lighting plants.
See- Mining is Good for the environment!
So – Snow White – Hah! You had it Easy – only Seven Miners to look after..
And Cinderella? Keep the Glass Slippers 😉
……….see you tomorrow!