I haven't told a derby story in a long while....
On Saturday night at HOQ, I watched a men's mashup and a WFTDA bout between our travel team (Fighting Unicorns) and the Cen-Tex Roller Girls. In case you are wondering, white won the men's bout, and WE won the match-up over Cen-Tex. Unexpectedly. By over 200 points. Look out when we become full WFTDA members! Whoot! Whoot!
My volunteer job that evening was to be a "Derby Girl in the Crowd." This means I dressed a little bit derby spectacular (platform glitter gold heels, black and gold derby skins, and black House of Quad tee with a silver sequinned belt I snagged from RNR, and black and white stripped tights). Plus, I wore a purple button that says "Ask Me". My job was to mingle with the crowd and explain the game to people who were new to derby or had questions.
I haven't done this job since we were in our old facility, but I used to do it fairly frequently. I used to get assigned this job because I am apparently friendly and approachable. Ha. These people still haven't met me.
It was a perfect job for me this time since my Derby Delinquent (basically my derby son), Side of Sausage was playing in the mashup, and his brother and some friends had come to watch derby for the first time. They needed me to 'splain the rules to them. So, I sat on the Sausage sofa and 'splained away to Rowdy and company. I enjoyed getting to meet and chat with the family of part of my derby family. :)
Late in my evening as I stood talking to Sausage, someone came up and smacked me on the butt. I don't think I even flinched because that actually happens to me fairly frequently in derby. Ya know, it's like what happens in football. Only it is usually from someone I know. And I probably wouldn't have even noticed if Sausage hadn't asked, "Do you know her?"
I didn't know her. But, you know, whatever....
Sausage and I continued our conversation about his injury to his hand, and then it was time for me to go home.
I started making my goodbyes. Round about the merch table, up pops the butt smacker. Turns out she is a friend of Sausage's brother who I hadn't met. She felt the need to apologize and explain her gesture. She didn't mean to offend me (I wasn't offended; I hardly noticed). She wasn't hitting on me. She just thought I looked great and wanted me to know (Thank you. I appreciate the compliment.). She told me she had seen me standing there all night and that she had thought to herself, "That girl is sexy, and she knows it." (Huh. Not really anywhere in my thought process. And I think she was really just picking up on my feeling comfortable in my surroundings). She just thought someone should tell me. And she decided it would have to be her.
At this point she acknowledged that the whole conversation we were having was a little weird, "maybe 15% weird".
I laughed and told her I thought she might be about 15% lesbian, too. Which is not very politically correct of me, but it was really funny considering she kept saying how hot I was.
Hysterically funny. We both laughed.
Then, she told me that she was going to go back and tell Sausage that she and I had decided to go on a date. Not sure if she told him or not. But that would have been extra hilarious. I'll have to ask him.
Here's the thing. 15% lesbian should be okay.
And don't go all nuts on me here. Listen to what I have to say first. Then, you can go nuts if you like.
I'm not talking about sexuality here. I'm talking about women expressing kind words to other women. Which was what the strange exchange between me and the butt-smacker was really all about. We should be liberal with kind words about appearance. About child rearing. About careers. About anything.
As women, we shouldn't feel like we need to explain to one another when we are offering a compliment, but we frequently do. We often feel like we have to set the compliment up to avoid looking strange or odd (which actually makes it more strange and odd).
The 15% weird girl (I'm totally kidding) made me think about women and the way we talk to one another. If we as women walking down the street or through the mall or across campus or through the aisles of the Krogert, would approach one another and simply say,
"I love your haircut."
"I saw you struggling with your kid, and I know it's hard and embarrassing for your kid to lose it in WalMart, but you really handled that well."
"You know. You carry yourself very gracefully."
Whatever it is that you see in her. Lifting each other up. Not falling into the trap of comparison. Really looking at each person as someone God made, loves, and thinks is beautiful.
If we as women all did that regularly, instead of the meowing that women sometimes do... it wouldn't be 15% weird. It would be 100% wonderful.
But if it is outside derby and comes with a smack on the butt, it might be 15% lesbian. And I can accept that compliment, too.
Question: Is this 15% offensive? Do compliments make you uncomfortable? Are you comfortable giving compliments?