Monday, March 31, 2014

Pushy broad

My best friend's dad used to call us "broads" when we were around 9-years old. Like "How are you broads doing today?" I thought it sounded gangster and repeated it to my parents to try it on.

"That's not a nice word to call girls or women," my mom, ever the diligent feminist, responded.

Around the same time, one of my brothers (who will not be named) called me "a witch with a capital B". There wasn't much swearing in my house, so this was pretty wicked. It fast-followed an incident at my nana's house in East Vancouver when I spouted some curse word at my brothers (likely over which show to watch on TV) and got my mouth washed out with soap. 

None of this turned me into a lady. 

I took my mother's warnings and cursed strategically, marrying it to my father's ever-faithful Irish advice to "just punch the guy" to develop a definite fight response when confronted with danger.

This has been a fun quality to hone in a skinny blonde girl who was shy around all adults growing up, and let's face it, looked like a child bride most of the time.

People thought they could mess with me, and sometimes did. And it wasn't like I got all Hulk-like and pounded muscle-heads into the ground to the amazement of on-lookers. I wasn't terribly strong, but I rarely let a cat-call or an invitation to argue or fight pass me by.

The summer I turned 13 and just before I started middle school, I went camping with my cousins and met my first real bully, who was two years older than me. She spotted me and figured I was a done deal.

"I heard you girls were calling us bitches and sluts," she spat when we ran into them at the beach. "It was you!" she pointed to me.

Any wise girl who looked like this:

Would do well to avoid a girl who looked like this:

But I couldn't resist. I stepped forward and said "yeah, it was me." 

She invited me to punch her first and even pointed to the spot where I should do it. So I did. I mustered all my brute strength, reared back and landed a great motherfucking swing on the bitch's jaw. And then it was over. She was on top of me in the sand, pummeling away, while everyone looked on. Someone finally pulled her away and I had an embarrassing shiner to start grade eight.

But here's the thing. I'd do her like that again in a heartbeat, plus that homeless guy who tried to grab my BFF on a downtown street late at night, the jerk who threw the paper at me instead of placing it on my desk in grade five and the countless assholes who have yelled shitty things to me and gotten a face full of vitriol back. 

I've gotten worse as I've gotten older, but it means I ask for what I need, I don't trust authority (it doesn't always win, Mr. Cougar Mellencamp) and I'll never take the first answer on anything. It means I'm a pain in the ass sometimes, but I won't stop. I can't stop.

Pushy broads for evah.


  1. Does it make me a bad person that I giggled a little when I rembered that fight on the beach? You kicked some ass for a skinny pale girl then, and you'll kick some ass again.
    Luvs ya,
    From your much bigger cousin, that probably should have intervened in said beach skirmish, but was shocked and awed by your tenacity. Still am. Keep that shit up!

  2. This enrty made me laugh so much! Now, when I try to explain who my daughter is to those who don't know you I will direct them to this blog! Any one with the sheer strength and courage that you developed growing up is what you have today to carry on the fight. You did forget to mention that it was not actually you who originally got mouthy at the campground. It was someone you loved and you took it for them! I'm glad your my girlfriend!

  3. I also laughed when I read the blog. I so remember the camping trip and Carissa coming back from the walk with her cousin. She had been in a fight. I still remember Lawrence telling Tasha that she should have helped...but Tasha simply stood and watched as she said in her blog. So funny. What a fierce girl you were Carissa! and still are!

  4. Years ago Carissa and I camped at Gordon Bay. As we walked to the beach she paused, looked down and then at me with a great big smile and a laugh. She told me the fight story. The love of my life is some fighting broad in all the good ways there are. Suck it bullies and cancer!

  5. as always, such an entertaining are a fighter and because of that (among other things) you will be a survivor (again). fight fight FIGHT all the way; you're a winner! xo

  6. There have been many ass kicking moments that I recall. You are killer!