Thursday, January 21, 2010

One Bad Mother

Last night I took the kids to the library. We don't do that much in the winter and almost never during the week, but I had some time to kill and I thought, "What the heck? Let's live large." We head up to the youth section, which has its own floor and is sort of hermetically sealed from the rest of the library. In the past, I loved that about the library because it meant the occasional baby- shriek wasn't going to disturb some poor schmo working on his dissertation. Plus it has comfy sofas and chairs just perfect for lounging and reading to munchkins. Last night, though, I discovered the downside of the comfy couches and the glass doors. The youth section of the library has become the hangout-of-choice for the early adolescent set.


That means that, while trying to find the last remaining copy of Cowboy Kate and Cocoa and Percy & the Olympians, I was also trying to keep the kids out of F-bomb range. At one point the librarian came over to tell them to watch their language and they just laughed at her, which triggered some long-dormant teacher instinct in me and I sort of lost it. Not like "Get off my lawn" lost it, but more "scary short lady talking to you like she knows you telling you to have some self respect and find some place to hang out where little kids don't have to hear you talk like you don't know better- which I know you do- and don't mess with me cause you don't freakin' scare me" lost it.

When I finished and one kid tried to laugh at me, I spun on him like the kick-ass teacher I used to be and dared him (with my expression) to push me. He (and three of his co- hoodlums) left.

I had to go sit down because my hands were shaking so badly.

Badass speaks her piece and dares you tell her to shut up.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Losing My Badass

I've been quiet. Really quiet, actually, which I found a little disturbing. The early days of this project were energizing and inspiring- I saw opportunities everywhere. My badass, all new and shiny, was easy to find. It was ubiquitous. Like all new stuff, though, it started to loose its luster pretty quickly. I worried that I just wasn't badass, that it just wasn't in me. Then I decided that I was just bored with the whole thing. Then I decided that I just didn't have anything say. Then that I was tired.

Now I've decided that this is a bit bigger than I thought it was. It's not just about learning the trappings of the badass (which, by the way, is proving tricky. Will no one teach a girl how to shoot a handgun anymore without expecting sex?), it's about uncovering a piece of who I am. I think I was a badass kid. I started adolescence as a badass. Then somewhere along the line I buried it. Buried it so deep that I thought it was something I had to become rather than something I had to uncover.

I didn't anticipate that, once uncovered, my badass would then endeavor to bury itself like a frightened stingray- only deeper. My badass ran far and fast and did a swan dive into the LaBrea Tarpits to protect itself- protect me- from what the world would think. My badass is shy, apparently. This is, of course, completely the antithesis of badass. Badass doesn't' give a rat's ass what the world thinks and wants to be the center of attention, right?

So my new job (along with trying to find someone in the world who will teach me to shoot!) is to coax my badass out of it's hiding place and build a transparent wall of approval (mine, not yours) around it so high and thick that it will stay out and play.

Apparently, this badass thing is more complicated than I thought it would be.