Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Write on Wednesday--The Fight.

Thanks again to INKPAPERPEN for this week's writing prompt. I am behind from last week so I only gave this one a single try. DING!

Write On WednesdaysWrite On Wednesdays Exercise 12 - The Fight. Kerri says: I am a writer of non-fiction (for now, anyway). In my book 'When My Husband Does The Dishes...', I wrote a memoir of marriage and motherhood in as honest way as I knew how. In interviews, I was constantly asked how I felt about revealing so much about myself, and how I knew where to draw the line. I always answered the same way. Every single thing I wrote in that book was 100% true, because without my truth, I had nothing to offer. However, the book didn't represent 100% of the truth, just as my blog doesn't represent 100% of the truth. There are personal details of my life, my husbands life and my kids' lives that I will never reveal, because we all need to to keep something for ourselves. And that's the key to writing good non-fiction - or one of the keys. You have to be honest, because without honesty, your work won't speak to people. You have to be fearless, because restraint in writing can be perceived. But that doesn't mean that you have to bare your entire soul. Choose what you want to share, choose what is relevant to your story. But make sure that what you choose to share is real, and true. The exercise today is to write a story from your life. And remember: it has to be 100% true, but it doesn't have to be 100% of the truth. There's a difference. The keywords are: The Fight. There you have it! Let's keep to last week's brief and take our time with the exercise. Happy Writing!

When Gayla and I were 12 and 9, respectively, we walked about a mile from our elementary school to our home each day. There were two paths to our home, one on the outside of the "forbidden forest" and one through it. The block of wooded area is no longer there, and I never broke my mother's rule and ventured in so I cannot tell you what was in those woods that our Mama didn't want us to be a part of. Gayla and I were good girls (back then). We never got in trouble at school and very rarely got into any at home either.

Among Mama's many laws, one was that we were never ever to hit or fight. The one exception was if someone was hurting us. Another law was if we got into trouble at school, we would get double the punishment at home. Needless to say, we had incentive for walking the straight and narrow, good girl line.

One day, we were walking home from school when a group of boys, who were in my class, came out of the forbidden forest and ran up behind Sister and me. They were, as myDaddy called it, "playing grab ass and being dumb ass hairy-legged boys." One boy in particular was a known bully, and his very presence behind me made me sick to my stomach at the possibility of the trouble he might cause. Well, he and his buddies were mouthing off, when from the corner of my eye, I saw the little DB rear back with his foot to kick Gayla.

I was having none of that crap! You may get away with hurting me, but you would never get away with hurting my Sister. I spun around so fast that I shocked even myself. In my spin, I cold-cocked BullyBoy in the temple with my purse. I might have been carrying something similar to a large rock (my memory is fuzzy in my old age) in said purse. I might also have caused BullyBoy to stumble backwards and start crying. Nevertheless, he left us alone, and we finished our brisk walk home unscathed.

Upon entering the house, we knew we'd better tell Mama what had happened. Completely (and irrationally) afraid of her double kicking our tails for the rest of the night, I started with, "Mommy, you remember telling us the only time we were allowed to hit anyone was if they were going to hurt us?" We barely told her the rest of our scrape with the dark side of bad-girlism when the house phone started to ring. BullyBoy had told his mama, and she wanted our mama to punish us for "beating up her child."

I think I aged five years waiting for my Mama to get off the phone with that Witch (warty nose and all, y'all! No lie!). I was sick to my stomach thinking she would end the call with informing Witchy of how she would punish me for sure since Gayla was a victim all the way around. Can you imagine my surprise and almost euphoric elation when my mother said, "Thank you for calling. However, I told my girls that if they ever felt like they were in danger, then they were to, first and foremost, protect themselves. Goodbye." You can also imagine that knowing she had our backs added to my bravery when the Principal tried to pull us into her office the next morning to give us licks for fighting (technically, we were still at school until we arrived home, and Witchy obviously wasn't happy with Mama's response). I told Principal Cow-Tow that she couldn't give us licks, and she needed to call our Mama. Sass-A-Frass! (Please note that as a good-girl,  I had never talked back to an adult (other than my Mama)! I think aliens had really taken over my brain by then because I was never the same after this incident). Lordy, lordy, I love my Mama. She also wrote a four-page letter, front and back that informed the school they were not allowed to EVER provide corporal punishment to ANY of her children.

I can almost bet that BullyBoy never told anyone about this for fear of being made fun of for getting beat up by a girl. I never told anyone at school because I was already plagued by the taunt, "Don't make her mad or she'll sit on you." REALLY!?! Obviously I should have told someone so they would all fear me for being able to knock them out! Not really!! To this day I hate confrontation. BTW, I hear BullyBoy grew up to be BullyMan. :-P 


  1. Awesome! Way to stick up for yourself! I personally never had a problem with bullies as a kid, but I know that many more have stories like yours. Nice job.

  2. Nicely recalled memory. I hate confrontation too!

  3. Nicely recalled memory. Very vivid. :)

  4. Great piece of writing! I would have smacked that bully as well with my purse!

  5. That incident should give you an inkling why I did not want you in those woods. Love you, sweet baby.

  6. This had me chuckling all the way through. It made me think of Scout in 'To Kill A Mockingbird'. Such a treat for an Aussie to read your colourful turn of phrase.

  7. I loved it Jaimee. I loved your photo too. There's something to be said about that bond between siblings when we're young. As much as they annoyed us at times, there were times when we were so protective of them. (Well for me anyway being the eldest.)

    Anne xx

  8. That is how it should be. Siblings should take up for each other and bullies should beware that when picking on someone smaller than them that they just might find a big sister or brother about to put them in their place just around the corner. Great job!

  9. The was fun to read! A real "tale of initiation". Very entertaining!

  10. I really enjoyed reading this, Jaimee. I felt oddly satisfied as I was going through your post. Plus, I was fascinated to read your mother's teaching on this. I have taught my boys not to hit or fight, Then on Friday afternoon I saw my 3 year old stand and let another boy hit him over and over and over. I asked him why he didn't do anything and he said "Well, I'm not allowed to hit people". I am proud of him for not hitting but I don't want to see him vulnerable either, I want him to protect himself! I love that your protected yourself and your sister. What a beauty of a story! x