Today I was wrestling with Boy9. Boys like to wrestle, even into adulthood. When I was in my late teens I worked as a spy at a super secret government agency. Ok, actually I worked in glorified electronic mailroom. But it was at a super secret government agency. I can make it sound cool, but it was really a mind-numbingly boring job.
At this job, I worked mostly with men in their twenties, about a third of them in the military. There were about 8-10 people per shift, with 3 shifts for a total of 24-30 people working in the glorified electronic mail room. Including me, only four of those people were women.
There was Daphne, who was an ex-sailor and still cursed like one. If you’ve ever been a sailor, or heard one, then you know what I’m talking about. She had an explosive temper and would stomp around kicking the machinery, using the foulest language you can imagine. The guys were scared of her and would cringe when she started beating on the machinery. And that language! Wow. My momma never had a clue what sort of education I was receiving at work. And I never told her about the girly magazines the night shift hid under the floor tiles. The stash was started in the seventies and had been added to faithfully over the years. When I found the stash, someone tried to convince me that the magazines were old collector’s editions and of monetary value so they had to be kept. Snort. Even I wasn’t naive enough to believe that one.
Along with Daphne, there was Billie, who was in the army. She would wear her army fatigues and combat boots, but at 5 feet tall and 80 pounds, she looked simply adorable in her little outfit and not at all threatening.
There was Rose who looked exactly like Lynda Carter who played Wonder Woman. Most of the men who worked there had a crush on Rose, which used to drive Daphne nuts. And I had a crush on Rose’s hair. She had the best hair ever.
And there was me, who was still in my completely awkward teenage stage and was just trying to get by without embarrassing myself too much with my nerdiness.
So, other than us four women, I worked at the super secret government agency with mostly men in their twenties, who were bored-bored-bored all day long. This meant that at any given time two of them would be wrestling each other to the ground and someone would be tossing the write rings around the room.
What are write rings? Hang on, lemme see if I can find a picture. Otherwise it’ll take 1000 words to describe it.
Found one! Look at the first picture of the machines with the big round wheels inside. Those are recording devices from the dawn of time. The big round things are tapes to record information. The ones in the picture are slightly different from the ones I worked with, but you get the idea.
For the ones I worked with, if you wanted to record (write) onto the big round tapes, you inserted a big plastic ring in the center of the tape. If you didn’t want to accidentally record (write) overtop of what you’d already recorded, remove the ring. The Write Rings were about four inches in diameter and acted much like small Frisbees when thrown. A popular tactic when attacking your coworkers was to collect about 30 write rings and lob them in a mass attack at the unsuspecting victim, like a volley of arrows.
The room where we worked was great for sneak attacks. The computers in the room were built in 1970, so they were older than I was, and were the type that were the size of rooms. What that means is that each part of the computer was big box about six feet tall, four feet wide, and two feet deep with lots and lots of wires inside. And all these computers were lined up in rows, like bookcases in a library. A coworker could be sitting at a desk on one side of the computers and another coworker could attack from over the top of the computer cases. I got really good at keeping an eye on the reflections in the fluorescent light covers above my head. It was the only reliable way to spot a sneaking coworker and have time to duck and cover before the bombardment.
The only time anyone was injured was when someone sent ring after ring after ring at Billie and one caught her on the eye. Ouch! With time she recovered.
Anyway…this is supposed to be about wrestling.
Being an only child, as I was, and a girl at that, the way my coworkers would randomly wrestle with each other and roll around on the floor was baffling and somewhat disturbing. Without siblings I have never been in an actual physical fight. Ever. I’ve never been a very physical person at all. Even in solitary athletics, I was tragically lacking. During the track and field unit in gym, my supposed friend Jo-Ann told me I ran like a gazelle. Judging from all her guffawing, I don’t think she meant it as a compliment. So all this fighting among the coworkers was foreign and frightening.
And then I go and end up with two sons. And just like the guys at work, they spend a great deal of their spare time tackling each other and wresting on the ground like puppies. For the past few years, I’ve been joining in and randomly tackling one of them and pinning him down. It’s been fun, because so far, they’ve been smaller than me, and I always win.
So today, there I am wrestling Boy9 to the ground after his math lesson just for fun, and Boy7 piles on top.
When I got tired of the wrestling and having to protect my head from inadvertent head butts, I did my usual thing where I make a Rawr noise and stand up, flinging them off of me like the Incredible Hulk.
Only, I didn’t.
In the past I could always handle the two of them. No problem. Fling one off, and before he could regroup and attack again, fling off the other one. But I guess I’d been taking them on only one at a time recently, because when they teamed up against me today….they won.
I couldn’t get up. Unless I was going to fight dirty and use the head-butt move, or try to poke out their eyes, I was pinned. When they finally let me up, I weighed them and their combined weight outweighs me by almost 12 pounds.
I’ve been dreading this day for years.