Sunday, October 22, 2006

Dull, Trees, Bikes and Boys -- jcarolek

Some days I just seem to feel dull. I don’t really feel like talking to others and I can’t really seem to get the things done that I want to get done. Today was one of these days. Nothing really lousy happened, but I found myself impatient and somewhat at loose ends. Don’t get me wrong,
I did get a lot accomplished. But, I just keep having this feeling that I am not doing enough or doing it right, or something.

I started thinking about goofy things, as a means of kicking myself out of this dull mood, and a thing I had not thought about in years surfaced. I pondered it. I think it bears telling as it is certainly a reflection on perception.

When I was 12 I lived in Cheltenham, England. My four best friends

were my neighbors, Simon Dean, Michael Wilczynski, Anna Gartell and Sarah Lily-White. We played many games together, but one of our all-time favorites was a sort of, well, odd game.

We would go to the park-like area at the front of our neighborhood where we would climb into the lower branches of the willow tree. One of us would have a bike and would ride under the tree, pretending not to notice the rest of us in the tree. At the most opportune moment, any or all of us would leap out of the tree, knocking the bicycle rider off his “ride.” The next part of the game required a wrestling match of sorts, and the winner of which was afforded the right to ride the bike, under the tree, and to be jumped on by the others.

OK, I’m already hearing the sound of maracas as you shake your heads in dismay, but I tell you, this was something we thought was GRAND!!!

Well, at least I did. Apparently, Anna and Sarah were not as taken with the game as was I. One day after successfully knocking Simon and Mike off the bike and wrestling well enough to get my turn at riding the bike, Simon leaped out of the tree and knocked me down. As we wrestled, Sarah decided she had had enough. She demanded to know,

“Why do you always jump out of the tree when Judy rides under?”

It was then that I received the compliment, which, at the time, I considered the highest of praise.

“Cuz Judy wrestles like a boy!”

Wow, I was so happy. I was a tomboy at heart and these two friends of mine had validated my role in the “boy” world!

Today, though I don’t think I’d enjoy the game, and I know I’d rather not fight with anyone, I still find it comforting to know that when their acceptance of me was so important to me, they not only accepted me completely, but were willing and able to express this acceptance to the other girls in a way that made me feel PROUD!!!!

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