Saturday, October 19, 2013

PUT UP YOUR DUKES by Jenny Gardiner

I think I owe an apology to my fellow pugilists in boxing class at the gym. My Type A mentality appears to have seeped into the otherwise collegial group and launched a lamentable trend (though I could argue where better for Type A behavior to infiltrate than in an aggressive pursuit like boxing?). It wasn't on purpose. Or I should say it wasn't overtly intentional. Mostly it arose from a purely maternal instinct, if one can have maternal instincts when it comes to hitting something with your fists, even if it is with hot pink gloves. You see, before I got all territorial in boxing, no one ever claimed a bag. People would show up and mill about the room, chatting while wrapping their hands. After warm-up, they'd migrate to a bag, depending on who was in the class. But then I came along. And persuaded my daughter to start boxing too. But she was often late to class, coming right from work, and I wanted to share a bag with her, so I had the brilliant idea to just drop our gloves when I got to class in front of one of the bags, which would indicate that two people would be on that bag. I suppose the fact that the gloves were pink automatically sent the men running to a separate bag. I'm fairly certain the idea of anything but traditional black boxing gloves is anathema to any man worth his salt. Dirty secret: this certainly worked to our advantage, because it's actually harder to punch on a bag with a guy who is pounding the thing with far more power. So pink gloves meant the guys would seek out another bag to reserve. Honestly, I didn't claim the bag in order to be territorial. I just wanted to ensure that she and I could box together. How would I know that people would pick up on the trend and start dropping their gloves first thing on their own bag of choice? For that matter, who knew there even were bags of choice? But now, when the doors open for class, people beeline to the spots where the bags aren't even out yet, at the ready, staking their home for the next 60 minutes, marking their territory, like a good fighter should. So maybe I've done them all a favor. Perhaps I was somehow answering that call of the wild that is deep down in us all, that need to have that fire hydrant with which you can do whatever you damn well please. Damn that reptilian part of my brain! And I'll try not to flinch at the irony of my staking out a bag so that my daughter and I could punch together. Talk about genteel familial bonding! It would probably be wiser to bond over shopping, though that too can become an aggressive pursuit, if a sale is especially good (think Thanksgiving night at WalMart). Now one might argue that this spot-saving thing is rooted in a childhood in which I had to stake my claim or not get it. Growing up with three brothers, well, I'd have been much better off with a nice set of (pink) boxing gloves, frankly. Then I could have put those boys in their place from the get-go, ensuring never having to fend for myself. It's a shame that rears its ugly head in the most unexpected of places. Though it's a little fitting to create a potential battleground in a boxing class full of pugilist wannabes. I can only hope it doesn't come down to fisticuffs to determine primacy on the bag at some point. At least we're armed with the right equipment. For that matter, at least I didn't do this in yoga. Though, come to think of it, attendees can get pretty jabby with the elbows when the yoga doors open, all clamoring to get their mat in just that perfect spot. Maybe I need to bring my hot pink gloves next time I'm in yoga, just in case… I'm just hoping my spot on the bag isn't eclipsed by some young turk who's taken advantage of my absence from the class while I'm away this month. After all, while I've developed a pretty mean right hook in that class, I'd rather not have to actually use it.

  Sleeping with Ward Cleaver

Slim to None

Anywhere But Here

Winging It: A Memoir of Caring for a Vengeful Parrot Who's Determined to Kill Me

Accidentally on Purpose (written as Erin Delany)

Compromising Positions (written as Erin Delany)

I'm Not the Biggest Bitch in this Relationship (I'm a contributor)

And these shorts:
Idol Worship: A Lost Week with the Weirdos and Wannabes at American Idol Auditions

The Gall of It All: And None of the Three F's Rhymes with Duck

Naked Man On Main Street
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1 comment:

Pat Cochran said...

Hmmmmmmmmmmm, pink boxing gloves! Could have used
a pair of those when I took on a bunch of neighborhood boys
who were picking on my little brother. As it was, I put them
down bare-knuckled and made sure they would not be bother-
ing us again! I was a tough little kid!