Reflections on gloves

The reason I wear gloves has never had anything to do with fashion; my best attempt at matching the color of my gloves with a jacket has been to always wear black. Farm gloves are what I wear most so that’s what I want to discuss.

Gloves must be a big deal to me as a small pair of red gloves is a strong memory from my childhood. I think they had some black lettering on them and I wore a red hooded sweatshirt in tandem with the gloves. As I recall, I would roll the gloves together when not in use as you might a pair of socks. My guess is that it was something I saw my dad do and so I copied the habit.

I typically only wear farm gloves, I have no need for shiny, leather dress gloves as Lisa and I don’t get out to the opera near as much as we did at one time. I equate farm gloves with warmth and no one likes cold hands and ever fewer people like cold hands as they age; cold weather plus hands equals pain-especially in between doses of Ibuprofen.

Warm gloves need two elements-insulation and proper fit. Tight gloves isolate the fingers and palm and you need heat to move around within the glove, otherwise that pinky finger is on its’ own. I like the loose-fighting, pigskin brand as they fairly loose and easy to use.

I will occasionally turn a nut onto a bolt with a gloved hand, just to remind myself what is true frustration-all other sources of frustration pale in comparison. For this reason, gloves need to be easy on and off so I try to avoid any Velcro wrist straps or snug openings. Sometimes, I only wear gloves to keep my hands cleans, like when I used to haul sugar beets. I would always wear Jersey gloves during harvest just to avoid some mud and dust so I could eat my sandwich on the run or quickly shoot that single-serving can of beans,

There are exotic gloves out there and I have tried a few but I always go back to something fairly simple. I like the mechanic-type gloves but they typically last only a few months before the seams rip. Mechanic gloves are snug and padded which adds to my comfort but they are meant to be left on for the most part. There’s always a little struggle to pull them on and all that effort usually results in glove down-time due to breakage.

Fencing gloves are those canvas gloves with the nice, loose cuff. They are excellent for fencing but not great on a regular basis. The same unyielding protection from barbed wire offered by a fencing glove is also offered to your hand so comfort is not a great priority. Still, it’s a good idea to leave a pair on the dash of your pick-up, it looks impressive and shows your are a good worker.

I thought it would have been unique to write this column with a gloved hand but decided I didn’t need that level of reality on my day off. The truth is though- I need to make a purchase today- something comfortable, loose fitting and easy to deploy.

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