Yesterday was one of reasserting myself.
It reminds me of the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day in 5th grade. A classmate named Cheryl kept trying to pick a fight with me as I walked home from school. “Bok! Bok! Bok!” the hecklers said as they called me “chicken”, hoping to egg on a West Texas cat-fight. Of course the conflict was over a boy and now that I think of it, he really wasn’t all that cute.
I wasn’t raised to fight and couldn’t comprehend why someone would want to hit me over a short guy named Curtis, or for any other reason for that matter. Walking beside me on that stressful afternoon was my best friend, Susan, who was my rock. Seeing that my feathers weren’t ruffled enough to tangle, Cheryl charged me and knocked the books out of my hands.
I stood there, shocked and angry at her audacity, and something within me snapped. I wasn’t going to allow her to bully me anymore. I vividly recall blurting out, ”If you want a fight, you’ve got one!” and I came out swinging. We fought like girls, lots of scratching and hair pulling. Finally I knocked her to the ground and said something triumphant, feeling much like Zena, Warrior Princess. Susan and I continued our walk home but, much to my chagrin, one of our neighbors saw the rumble and called the police. Again I am mortified as the cop pulls up in his car and summons me. Seriously, can anything else go wrong?
I unfairly get the lecture of a lifetime, in which I’m informed that girls aren’t supposed to fight. I assured him that I was aware of this, but he may want to inform my assailant with his divine revelation. Feeling the entire world was against me, I went home that day, never telling my parents about the fight, realizing that it would create even more unwanted drama. At home, I let Mom dote on me and prepare my favorite afternoon snack, chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup drizzled generously on top. I chilled to an episode of Gilligan’s Island as my as my frustration with the day ebbed into only a memory.
Ironically, I ran into Cheryl at one of my high school reunions. We hugged and laughed at our 5th grade rumble. It’s no big surprise that after graduating, she became a performing artist in the New York theatre. She always had a flair for the dramatics. Occasionally I still find myself putting up my dukes and saying, “Bring it on!” And I still feel like Zena, Warrior Princess at the conclusion of each battle. How about you? Have you tapped into your warrior princess lately?