Man, I really thought I already posted something about this somewhere on my blog, but if I did I can’t find it. I did give Starry Starry Fight a shout out in my Cop Out x3 blog, but that’s all.
Have you all heard this term? …Starry Starry Fight is an excellent writer, (I have never had the privilege of meeting her or see her skate), and she has a big archive of blogs. But for some reason, the very first blog of hers I ever read was this one, about being a derby widow.
Let me explain. If you know the term “derby widow”, it usually is in reference to spouses or significant others of derby girls who have been symbolically “widowed” by the presence of roller derby in their womens’ lives which has taken all their free time. But Starry Starry Fight is a REAL widow. The real life kind. I was looking for information on derby injuries when I found this blog and I was pretty taken aback. I think I was even moved to tears.
Did You Know? The sport of Roller Derby moved from city to city until 1937 when a tragic bus crash killed 18 of the 21 people aboard. The team onboard was on its way to Cincinnati from St. Louis when their bus crashed and burst into flames near Salem, Illinois. The sport’s creator Leo Seltzer wanted to shut the Derby down forever but other skaters convinced him to keep it going. The uniform number 1 never was used in Roller Derby again as a memorial to those killed.Many old school Roller Derby enthusiasts, including Leo’s son Jerry, ask that skaters of today’s modern resurgence still continue to honor this tradition. The choice is yours.
Let me just start off by saying that my skates suck. There is nothing about my skates that I like. At the very least, the boot is painful to the point of causing physical harm to my feet. At the worst, the plates are a danger to all skaters and should be recalled.
Let me explain. Oh you know I will. I’m a skater at heart (Roller blader to be specific). But still, I didn’t join roller derby to become a roller derby skater. I joined roller derby to have an outlet through which to skate. So, I have always chosen my skates and equipment based on comfort, period. I don’t adhere to what others say because I don’t need to. I do fine on my own.
But sometimes there is no denying that a change in equipment will improve your skating. You see, you reach plateaus when learning anything, and sometimes it does make sense to up your game by investing in better quality stuff. So even though I had my Carreras for 4 years, and I loved them, and they fit like sneakers to me, I thought the time had come for me to get new wheels.
I believe that you are what you love, not what loves you
I think every great American should have a place in their heart for Country music
I know that you know that I know that you don’t know I exist
I will not die it is the world that will end
2+2=4, weather permitting
Day 02 - A picture of you and the person you have been closest with the longest
Me and Erin! We have lived around the corner from each other since we were 5, and our moms were both our troop’s Girl Scout leader at some point. We played in the band together for 9 years, we’ve been friends for more than 20 years, and I love her like a sister. This is me with her and her husband at her wedding.
Day 03 - A picture of the cast from your favorite show
This blog is proof positive of two things. One: I’m clinically insane. Two: I was born to skate.
Let me start at the beginning. I just got home from a trip to LA. I’ve been traveling a lot in the past two weeks and my whole life has been up in the air. I’ve been super stressed out and it all came to a head on the 5 hour drive home. I just had no patience left and I was running on about 2 hours of sleep and I just erupted in a crazy yelling crying tantrum while I was driving up the I-5. I knew I was being nuts. I just was at the end of my rope and I was really sick of being in the car.
When I got home, I literally collapsed on the kitchen floor in a fit of exhaustion, and I think I actually cried a little more. I was just so relieved to be done driving and home and it was like my body finally gave out. I lay helpless on the floor while my mom asked me if I wanted some dinner. Jokingly I said, “ya sure, but only if you can feed it to me intravenously, I’m too tired to eat.”
I told my parents I was too spent to talk about my trip and I just needed an hour to decompress. I began telling my parents about how during my moment of impatience on the road, I began yelling at a conservative radio host who had said something to the effect of “every person between the age of 18 and 30 thinks they’re just going to make it easy and get their own reality show or something. It’s scary.”
Sometimes I feel like if I were as good of a musician and as passionate about playing my flute as I am good at roller derby and passionate about skating my parents wouldn’t think I was crazy. They would fully support me trying to make it as a musician, as hard and as unlikely and as statistically improbable my success might be, they would support me 100%. But I getting in screaming matches about how I am going to pursue skating no matter what they say, and defiantly declare “they don’t know what they’re talking about” and say bluntly, “I’m sorry, but about this, you’re just wrong.” It’s bewildering to me. Is trying to make a living at roller skating that much different than trying to make a living as a musician, or a painter or a photographer? Because all of those things my parents would blindly support, if I showed any inkling of talent in those arenas. But skating? I’m fucking GOOD at that. I’m way better at that then I EVER was at playing the flute. Why can’t they see how happy it makes me? My dad screams back, “You don’t care at all about how you’re going to make money! Why is skating so important to you!?” And I find myself actually defending it!! Through tears explaining and pleading I cry, “Because it’s the only thing that makes me happy! AND IM ALWAYS UNHAPPY!!!! What don’t YOU get about that?” It’s exhausting. Having to explain over and over again to my own flesh and blood just what will make me happy. But I guess, in a small way, it makes me relieved that this is the first time I’ve experienced such adamant opposition from my parents about something I really wanted to do. Usually they are unyielding in their support. Just think, some kids probably experienced that very fight about playing their instrument, somewhere along the way. I’m just glad I have parents that respect the arts. But now, they just don’t see the logic in it.
...your behavior would have been completely inappropriate.
Last night at the rink a couple of women were cat calling me. They were hooting and hollering and calling out to me as I passed them with every single lap. They were saying, "Woo!" "You go girl!" And "GO BACKWARDS!". Eventually, I shot them a glare and said, "Stop yelling at me!!!". They looked disgusted. I mean, they looked personally offended.
Later when I was resting on the side of the rink, one of them came up to me and viciously tapped me on the shoulder. (It was more like an assertive poking). I turned around and she said, "We were just asking you to go backwards because you look so cool when you do it" and the other girl looked at me like I had shit on my face, and they walked away.
I'm sure she thought she had come up with a remark that would make ME feel like an asshole, but you know what? Screw you. Had you been men yelling at me like that your behavior would have been completely unacceptable. And I'm sure she thought that because she added an underhanded compliment I would feel bad. Like, I didn't understand that she was just trying to be nice when she was yelling at me or something.
Look. I HEARD you when you said, "Go Backwards!!", I JUST DIDN'T CARE.
Let me make this abundantly absolutely CRYSTAL clear.
I'm not here for YOUR entertainment bitch, I'm here for MINE.
I used to babysit a lot. And I was damn good at it. Sometimes people look at me like I’m crazy when I offer to babysit for them. A lot of adults think I would be bad with their kids because I am loud and rash and because I say what I think. But those are exactly the reasons why I am great with kids. I listen to them and I treat them like adults, while also realizing it is my job as the elder to lay the groundwork and remind them where the boundaries lie. Kids respect me, because I respect them. In turn, they want to do what I say. It’s the power of cool.
When I was about 17 I had actually started to look old enough to be confused as a parent. In upper class, ritzy, wealthy Pleasanton, young parents are looked down upon, and this would often result in me being snubbed by other parents when I would take kids to the playground. What they didn’t get, is I took that as a compliment. If my babysitting was so good that I could be confused as the child’s parent, I must have been doing something right. Plus, by making assumptions, they were probably missing out on getting a really great babysitter’s number.
I would never take kids to the playground and just watch them play. I’d play with them. And if I wasn’t playing WITH them, I was running around the playground sliding down slides, and climbing up ropes by myself, because it was fun. I guess in my younger years I had assumed that maybe I was still just very young at heart and once I aged I would be one of the watch-from-the-side-lines parents too. But the older I get and the more I can see myself as a parent myself some day, the more I realize those people are just out of shape and unadventurous. After all, MY parents always played on the playground with me. Heck, my dad STILL plays on the playground with my nieces, and he’s 65.
So last night at the roller rink there was a troop of boy scouts enjoying their Friday night skating. As I was taking a break I observed the parents who had come to watch and chaperone, but had chosen not to participate in skating. (After all, there were other parents who had laced up). I realized that those were the people who viewed roller skates as “toys”. They actually probably thought they COULDN’T roller skate because of their age, or worse yet, that they weren’t supposed to or something.