Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tell me how to heal this.

At Zumba class tonight, 4 kids showed up a bit after it began, and stood in the back of the room. One was little, 7 or 8, with her older sister, maybe 14. They were tapping their toes. The teacher invited them in to be in the ballroom with us.

The older sister seemed to have a very sweet boy with her, who was crushing on her enough to dance Zumba with us! And the 4th one - maybe 13?, maybe 14? hard to say with boys that age - sat in the back, in the lone chair in the ballroom. Which is right behind the computer where the music is played from.

He watched, he laughed when we tried to get him come dance. I admit, my inner control freak wanted to give them the boot - what if they got hurt and hadn't signed a waiver? What about how they didn't pay, which is a loss to our amazing teacher? But I let the part of me win who respects authority - and I let the teacher, or more senior folks in the class, make the decision.

They left as we did our cool-down stretches.

I got a round of high-five's from my classmates on the 15-pound weight loss I'm now up to, combining Weight Watchers and Zumba.

And then I walked out, and picked up a water bottle that had fallen on the ground.

And another woman picked up a wallet that had fallen on the ground. She flipped it open, "Whose is this?"

And I looked at the ID. "That's R's. That's our teacher's wallet."

Sure enough, the kid in the back kept his eyes on us while he fished out her wallet and stole $20. He left her ID, her credit cards, her health insurance card - which is pretty important for a cancer survivor turned Zumba instructor.

I am enraged. This foments distrust in my neighborhood. This foments fear of teenagers, roamin' around in packs like they do. This encourages a really nice teacher, who was embracing the experience of letting some kids come dance with us - one of whom could certainly benefit from a good cardio class even at a young age, as she was rather heavy, and see that working out can be fun - to become hardened and wary.

Look, I don't care if he needed the money (and I don't believe for a second he did). I don't care if he has parents at home who ignore him or no parents at all. I don't care if he is teased for being a slow reader, a bad football player or too feminine. He came into our little fun workout world and stole money. And for the cost of $20, he sent home a room full of women with negative feelings, increased distrust and a reminder to not be kind, open, loving, or soft with the rules once in a goddamn while.

And don't you dare tell me our teacher could have made a better decision and not let them in, or made them sign their names, or not let him sit in the chair. She could have. But that comes awfully, awfully close to victim-blaming. And to use a more typical victim-blaming line: a short skirt did not a rape create. This kid stole. End of story.

So tell me. How do I heal that hurt? Sure, we students could pay our teacher back - but that's not the real loss, that's not her real pain, and if I come across that kid in my neighborhood, he better be fucking ready.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

A first time for everything.

I am a person who wears her hair in a ponytail, or bun, or sloppy bun, every day. Every. Day. On my wedding day I did not; on M.A.'s 30th birthday I did not. If requested for an event, I will straighten and wear it down. I will then take a lot, a lot, a LOT of photos on these occasions, to trick you - and everyone on Facebook - into thinking I wear it down regularly.

Part two of this story: I am trying to live more in tune with my intuition. On items big and small, I'm trying to stop and check in with the soul, the spirit, the perfect little human voice inside me (that we all have), and hear what it is I should do next. Do I sense someone is in a bad mood and I should leave my question until after lunch? Done. Should I watch this documentary rather than read ten more New York Times articles, and allow some comfort and cuddle in my life, rather that sitting at a screen for even more hours? Done.

Or this week... should I go get my hair cut? On the way home from work? On a whim? Without worrying it to death for weeks? Perhaps at a walk-in salon on the way home, on this fine sunny Tuesday? I think I should. I think today is the day that I explain what I find so challenging about my hair, and explain that I wear it up everyday because I get too hot and sweaty, and because it gets too triangle-y and poufy, and then trust a professional to cut it as they wish. Let a little control go.

And guess what? I have worn my hair down, with the new cut, for two days IN A ROW. And I mean: all day. From leaving the house before 8 AM all the way until bedtime - through work, through cooking, through driving with the windows down. This, my friends, is a good haircut. Quite possibly my first one.

And no, I can't post a picture now; it is currently post-Zumba-workout hair and won't do justice to Ellie at Bishops salon on Alberta. Who was unknowingly a wonderful part of my let-it-go-and-let-intuition-guide-the-day day.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Like starting up a cold car, I am chugging back to the blog with great deliberation. The slow turnover of the engine... trying to roll down the windows, which are in half-frozen slow-motion...

Yes, like any great piece of procrastination art, the hardest part is over: I'm here on The Blog Home Page. But it is too late to do more than let the engine run for a few minutes. I'll think of something especially funny or interesting on the next post! Thanks for stopping by, I'm just warming up.