Friday, October 26, 2012

Gotta know when to hold 'em and know when to fold


This is a pretty good description of my parents stances when they were raising us. My dad was determined that my sister & I would always know how to defend ourselves. My dad taught us how to correctly throw a punch and told us what body parts to go for. He had a body bag in the garage that he'd have us throw punches at occasionally. Dad's rule was never ever start something but if someone starts something with you then you damn well better finish it. I got into one fight in high school. Timing wise it was so not good. It was the second semester of my senior year. Fortunately I somehow never got in trouble for the incident. Since it took place in the hallway I'm not quite sure how I got so lucky. It's not like I wasn't a frequent flier in the detention program. A girl that had formerly been one of my closest friends came up and threw a punch at me. It got ugly quickly but suffice it to say I walked away with a couple of scratches and she was a bit of a mess. I remember being on edge the rest of the day waiting to be called into the Dean's office. When I got home that day I figured the best thing to do was immediately tell my mom what happened. It had to be better than her getting a call from the school, right? Whoa was my mom pissed at me. I then called my dad at work and told him what happened and that my mom was pissed 30 different ways. My dad asked me a few questions and he quickly figured out I did exactly what he'd taught me. I hadn't started it but I had finished it. He told me to just lay low until he got home and he'd take care of my mom and the school. I'm still not sure if the school ever contacted my parents by I was never reprimanded. I think because I grew up being taught this I've always been a bit of a fighter. Not a physical fighter. No worries there were only a few other physical fights on my record. I have always been one to fight for whatever I thought was wrong. I've always been one to call people out when I thought there was some sort of injustice. I attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through my senior year of high school. When I was in 8th grade I went to one of my sister's volleyball games. There were several girls that never got the opportunity to play even though that was against the policy. The coaches were more interested in winning than modeling good sportsmanship. It prompted me to write a letter to the coaches, the principal and the Bishop. I had my parent's approval. Good thing too since there was all kinds of ugly fall out from that one.

I've always felt a need to defend people I know. It's very hard for me to walk away from any kind of confrontation. I've got to say it's one of the hardest things for me to learn. I'm not saying that I'm a complete hothead. Quite the contrary, unless it's regarding my daughter. It usually takes a fair amount before I'll say something. Once I do though it's game on. The thing that I have discovered as I've gotten older is that sometimes the best fighting tactic is to walk away and not say a word. I also grew up knowing that if there a need to defend myself that the first step was me.  I might need someone to have my back but no one was ever going to take care of my problems for me. 

All in all I have to thank my parents for the way they raised me.  I've never been afraid to stand up for myself and I always knew how to hold my own if I ever got into a fight.  I never needed to have anyone else come in and help me out or defend me.  Thanks Dad!

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