Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Nobody puts Leah in a corner

This picture is truly from the vault.
First day of school...sometime in the 1980s.

I look at this picture of the little girl posing on the picnic table with her brand new lunch box and it makes me think of hope and endless possibility.

But if I told you what happened to that Snoopy lunch box...you'd probably cry, like I do when I think about it.

An older bully on the bus asked to "see my lunch box". Gullible in the dictionary...yeah, that starts sometime in the first grade. The overgrown lardo with the school's most enviable Hot Wheels collection then proceeded to scratch out Snoopy and Charlie's faces with a dime. Instantly the tears came...but I sat paralyzed unable to even speak out in protest. I could have screamed for Mr. Lighthall, my bus driver and sometime childhood hero...but no.
I watched Charlie Brown ceremonially decapitated and his canine companion obliterated.

I'm really okay with this now (okay maybe I still weep when I read Peanuts strips)...but after years of searching and self-examination I learned that this was just an early sign of my quiet passive nature. But in recent years I've found my moxy. Sometimes in small ways, sometimes in larger more momentus ones.

I think a real turning point in recent years came when my nurse practitioner spoke harshly to me in clinic during chemo...It took me a little gumption but I told her off on the phone when she checked in with me. I've often failed to show that assertive self. But it's about time I stopped equating standing up for myself as a bad thing. I'm not saying I'm suddenly barking orders or giving the goods to all who deserve it but there are small moments when I find my moxy. HEY, MOXY I repeated it...I love that word.

A few recent examples:

  • I went to see the movie Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist with a friend. The theater was filled with an abundance of upper middle class teenagers who needed a serious chaperone. After listening to them yammer on over the movie, screwing around and generally dsirupting my good-money-paid-out film experience....I had had enough. Through clenched teeth I bellowed "SHUT UP". They actually did...weird. Must be the teacher mojo.

  • I got peeved when they cut the size of my Pantene conditioner...but charged me the same price. I called. They're not going to do anything about it... but I got a coupon.

  • I was on a first date a few weeks ago with a young man who seemed great on paper. But this was paper only. During our meal he kept leering over at a group of mixed race friends having a great time and snubbed his nose and called them an "ecclectic group". How fast can you say...Check please!
    Do you see this lovely dating pool of single men I work with? Tragic!

  • My friendly neighborhood cell phone representative tried to tell me that he'd heard Radio Shack "no longer sells" the I-Go. In my mind this seemed a blatant attempt to get me to buy their brand of car charger. Radio Shack Henrietta has been informed of this little sly fox's game...and I'm going by today to tell him he's wrong. (as if he didn't know that).

    BOOY-ah...from one cartoon dog to another... I've been called sweety, sugar by many...and yes I am sweet... but get my doggy dander up enough and I can have my MOXY too. Especially when I fight for the UNDERDOG....GRRRRR....

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