My father was scrappy. He was a fighter. So was Theo, his mother.
That’s him, the small blond kid in the middle, looking at his older brother Raymond hold up something out of a box my grandfather had mailed to them from some port on the Great Lakes (notice the giant lollipop in my beloved aunt Pat's hand).
My father told a good story. He liked this one:
Charlie went to a French Catholic elementary school in Welland. His sister Pat described it to me in a text yesterday as "more Catholic than the pope…the place was hell."
Between 9 and 13-years old, he found it hard to be on time. (I'd love to know just a bit of what he got up to.) The nuns would haul him down to the office, and he'd get the strap from their superior. My aunt said her name "sounded like cacciatore."
As a kind of experiment, he showed up a little early one day. The change in routine didn't go over well, and he got the strap to remember to not be late.
He played football in high school and went off to the Navy in Halifax after graduating. Imagine what kind of testosterone all that takes.
All that to say, I'm scrappy and a fighter too.
It came in handy as a lone woman cook in a kitchen—in a team of men. Like the time I asked a chef for help, and without missing a beat, he told me to 'bend over.' The men around him fleeing like cockroaches when the light switch flips.
Last week two men I've known for a long time stepped in to take me out of a fight. There's a 30-year age gap between them. The one with more time on the ground told me to save energy for my creative stuff, and the younger one told me point-blank to "take a vacation."
I heard them.
Don't worry. That doesn't mean I won't apply my intellect, wit, and words if the need arises.
I adore scrappy feminist me.
But I’m tired, and think I can let my guard down. See what progress I can make on discernment. Soon I hope to be keeping less of my own company.
"Just what you want to be
Soundtrack - 1967