Like a Boy Scout

Please excuse my lack of posts for the past few, I needed to get over my residual nervousness from posting the video post AND had to deal with this incredible headache that seems to be plaguing the butches in my town.

Today’s musings come in the form of a few simple items that a well prepared butch should never be caught without.

First, you should never be without fire.  Yes, I know I know, smoking is bad for you and gross – I agree about this totally, however the likelihood of someone you hang out with, or a stranger at a bar needing a light is high. And you’ll look super prepared if you can offer one to a friend (or potential friend) before they have to ask or go digging through their own pockets.

This doesn’t have to be a huge expenditure – a cheap Bic is just fine. I was lucky enough to be gifted with a Zippo that is inscribed with some lyrics that I also have a tattoo of – which means it’s an excellent conversation starter as well – you know, when I can actually remember to fill it and bring it with me. Either way, fire is your friend.

Have a pocket knife. This can be used in about a zillion different ways, from cutting tags off of freshly purchased clothing, fixing eyeglasses, cutting fruit on a spontaneous picnic, or once again, for helping out a friend in need.  I’ve been told by a femme friend that her butch’s pocket knife has saved more than one manicure.

Once again, this doesn’t need to be spendy at all, and once again, I’ve been gifted a pretty nice Victorinox Swiss Army knife. The best place to find one that might be a little more unique is at the local Army/Navy store, but most sporting good stores will have a decent selection as well.

Something that is a bit of a throwback to the days gentility is to have some pocket squares, or handkerchiefs on you. They’re good for sneezes, small messes, and lipstick fixes.  If you’re not so keen on getting makeup all over your pocket squares, have one of those little packets of tissues at the ready.  Those will be equally appreciated though, perhaps not as stylish.

During the regular day to day I keep the little packet of tissues on me. For dressier occasions I have a small collection of handkerchiefs that I like to have tucked into my shirt or jacket pocket. There’s a bunch of different ways that you can fold them – and we’ll hit upon that at a later time. Also, sometimes I find neat fabric that I really dig and make my own pocket squares, which is incredibly unique and I can match them with things other than my tie (traditional,) like my sneakers/shoes.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a car that you occasionally escort others in PLEASE have an umbrella (ella ella ay ay) in the trunk or under the seat. Your chivalry will never be in question if you can escort a passenger from car to door in a downpour without them getting their hair wet. I PROMISE you this.

This is kind of a no-brainer but if you’re engaging in certain…activities you should always have safety in mind and be prepared. Really. There’s no excuse for lack of preparation in this department.

Finally – there are a couple of other things that the well prepared butch should never be without. They’re not physical items but more a mindset that will keep you sane in most situations.

Always have a plan. Even if you don’t stick to it, it’s really good to have a plan. “A plan for what” you might ask? Doesn’t matter. If you make a date with someone, whether it be friend or “friend,” or business or whatever, have a plan on what you’d like to happen. If things are going to change and you need to fly by the seat of your pants a little bit? So be it. Having a plan shows others that you’re engaged, and that you care that your company is going to have a good time.

Have a willingness to be late. Really. For me this is the hardest for me to remember because I try to never ever, ever, be late.  I actually try to be 5 minutes early for most everything. But (and really, I don’t want to generalize because there are so many different ways to be whatever you want to be) it’s been my experience that femmes ( I’m not just into femmes, but a butch hasn’t ever made me late) make me late. And that I need to be okay with that. Because often times we’re late due to fashion crisis, or make-up waiting, or hair waiting, but then there are those other times that I’m made late for other reasons and honestly? Those other reasons make all of the other late times worth it.

The single most important thing to always have in your possession? Your sense of humor. This single thing can help you get through almost any situation you find yourself in. It will help you deal with the being late, with the not having a plan, and any other sort of not being prepared. And being able to laugh at yourself and hard situations means that you don’t take yourself too seriously, and that you recognize that life isn’t always going to be perfect – and you can handle it.

What other things should a butch not be without?

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11 Responses to “Like a Boy Scout”

  1. Great list. My only addition: a pen. Then again, my keychain bottle opener gets borrowed nearly as often as my pen and pocketknife, so maybe that should be on there, too.

    It makes me smile how similar all lists like this are — the physical items overlap exactly with those listed here, and the ones S. Bear Bergman mentions in Butch Is A Noun. Clearly there is great communal consensus about the importance of lighters, pocketknives and handkerchiefs. 🙂

    • Yes. A pen. I forgot about the pen. Damn.

    • i was raised up by older butches that taught me that rule of 3 items– i’d say they were common knowledge before Bergman’s book came out– likely ze made the list from years of experience.

      I agree about the pen and the keychain opener.

      • i was raised up by older butches that taught me that rule of 3 items– i’d say they were common knowledge before Bergman’s book came out– likely ze made the list from years of experience.

        Oh, definitely. The book was just an easy thing to point to.

  2. Oh! my! god!, I LOVE having my cigarette lit. I immediately swoon; such behavior is liable to charm the pants off me! Sadly, I had to quit… 😦 But lighting cigarettes is irresistible to femmes! I mean, feminine lesbians. Oops!

    Bond, YES: also have a beer opener–if there isn’t already one on your pocket knife, that is. I love having my beer opened too. Chivalry is SO charming.

    Being OK with being late–that’s a REALLY good one, SB. And as you so thoughtfully note, spontaneity is facilitated by flexibility. 😉

  3. stomachease Says:

    one of the reasons it’s so hard for me to quit smoking is because i love having my cigarette lit. i love it. there is nothing that can get me pushed up against the brick wall by the dumpster faster than when a butch lights my cigarette (particularly with a beautiful lighter like that one). if they don’t smoke and STILL have a lighter and light my cigarette – TAKE ME HOME, PLEASE.

  4. amherstdam Says:

    I second Bond on the pen. Go for fountain, none of that namby-pamby ballpoint crap.

    You are just adorable! I’m linking you!

  5. A most complete and elegantly stated list! I really can’t think of anything to add. I will be buying an umbrella for my trunk though!

  6. I am swooning already!

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