Before her retirement, my mom worked in a male dominated job. She was Chief Technician of Nuclear Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She started in what is now known as the “Mad Men” era. I have pictures of her with a bouffant hair-do, wearing a cinched waist dress, white lab coat and 3 inch spiked heels.
She was surrounded by doctors. These weren’t just regular nice doctors who you go see when you have a cough, but Big Name, World Famous, Huge Ego Doctors. My mom, who was raised with four brothers, knew how to hold her own when those docs would try to push her around. Mom’s saying was, “The bigger they are, the harder they fall.” She didn’t let herself be intimidated but held her ground when she needed to.
When I was in grade school our “big name” was a physically imposing bully named Fred. We all played dodge ball in those days. It was the 60s, we never thought of things like dangerous games or having cushy padding under the jungle gyms. Oh, and we had jungle gyms with sharp edges too! When Fred was playing dodge ball you took your life into your hands if you entered the game. He could make the 2nd toughest kid in school cry like a baby. I tried to stay away from him but sometimes I went home with a nice big bruise from our rock hard dodge balls. Or spit balls in my hair.
Now this is the part where you are wanting me to tell you I creamed Fred one day in dodge ball and he never hurt anyone again. If you think that way you watch way too many sappy movies. It took years to exact my revenge. I had to wait until my junior year of high school. Fred really wanted to go out with me. He even tried to get my grandma, who house sat for Fred’s parents, to fix us up.
“He’s a nice boy!” said Grandma. “Why are you so picky?” So I would tell her the horror stories from elementary school. “That’s ridiculous. He’s such a handsome and polite young man. Go out with him.” Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen. No matter how hard Fred tried to persuade me, I just wouldn’t go out with him. I didn’t trust him. I knew his temper. Sorry, dude, you should have though about how gorgeous I would be in future before you held me to the ground and aimed a magnifying glass on my face at high noon in 6th grade. I felt like I had finally beaten my grade school bully. And, no, I don’t regret it.
I watched a bully get defeated today. His name is Satan & he was out for destruction (as usual). His plan got crushed by a brave person who had the guts to do the right thing and because they did, he took a dodge ball to the head. Game over. Forever. Like Mom says.
*Inspiration for today’s post came from here.