Sunday, July 09, 2006

Badges of Adulthood

O.k., so remember when you were in elementary school and somehow, and you’re not really sure how you were reeled into this, all you know is you were enlisted into a scouts of some kind? And you did stuff? And remember how they gave you like badges that you wore on a sash signifying the stuff you did.

I’m not sure why I was in the girl scouts, other than that I’m convinced that my mother would rather I spend hours making lanyard key chains for no purpose whatsoever than to be in her hair at that age, but for whatever reason I was in the girl scouts. I don’t really remember the stuff I did in girl scouts. I think there was something about knots and I know we made stuff, like key chains and bracelets. And I’m pretty sure I got badges for stuff I did during those all important girl scout meetings I attended that I don’t really remember now. And I actually don’t remember any of the badges, and I’m no longer in possession of said badges because I’m pretty sure I got rid of all my girl scout stuff during my “Kurt Cobain is my co-pilot, Green Peace is my calling from God” phase (It was the Mid-Nineties and I was a rebellious spawn of hippies in a bible-belt state, what can I tell you?). I regret getting rid of them, not because I look fondly on those badges, but because, Damn It, I want some badges for stuff I’ve done and I want them NOW!

Let me explain. So today I went windsurfing, which, for me, can be awesome or my Achilles Heel depending on what day it is, what my mood is and whether or not the Windsurfing Gods have decided to spite me or not. But today? It was awesome! I did some bad-ass shit out on that water, well bad-ass for me anyway. I tackled my first non-planing jibe (Yah!) and I thought I was a plane, or sounding like one anyway.

WARNING: Long Anticdote to follow.

So there I was on the water, going faster than I normally do, which is awesome (AWESOME!). I hear this noise. I think the fact that I am going faster than I normally do is creating said noise. I think there is something on the fin of my board creating said noise. I realize there is nothing on said fin creating the noise. I really do think I am making said noise. For a split second, I’m convinced I’m breaking the speed barrier. I… realize it’s a plane flying overhead making the noise. My ego is immediately deflated. Then I realize that this whole thought process might be the single funniest, most idiotic thing I’ve ever thought and begin laughing convulsively. I get my board back to Fighting Nun, laughing the whole time and convey said story to Fighting Nun. I realize I’ve made a huge mistake because I’ve now created more fuel for the “Tease Bloody Munchkin about something she said or did” fire, which frankly needs no more fuel. Fighting Nun and I have been together just shy of a decade and within this amount of time I’ve said enough unintentionally funny and embarrassing things and done enough embarrassingly stupid stuff that Fighting Nun now has a huge artillery of embarrassing Bloody Munchkin tidbits, which now include this story. (End Anticdote) But this is not my point.

My point is, I did some pretty awesome stuff out there today. A non-planing jibe. I actually pulled off a non-planing jibe today, which I frankly thought was beyond my abilities, which makes me proud beyond belief. But do I have anything to show for it? Photographic evidence? Video footage? A cool scar even? Noooooo! And do I have anyone other than Fighting Nun to share said accomplishments with? Nooooo! I couldn’t even share this with my mom because she starts getting all gaspy any time I mention I’ve attempted a sport any more dangerous than shuffleboard. And Fighting Nun is tired of my bragging, not just because he’s done several non-planing jibes himself and is therefore a bigger bad-ass than I am, but mostly because after my fifteenth attempt at bragging about the stunt, complete with flexing my “Guns” and posing, he and I both knew it has lost its appeal.

That’s why I say I want a badge marking the occasion. I want a sash with a little iron-on badge that say “Non-Planing Jibe” on it. In fact, I think there are a lot of events that happen to us as adults that we deserve badges for, or maybe even a gold star. I mean seriously, where is the reward system for accomplishing stuff anymore? Just cause we’re out of elementary school doesn’t mean we dislike blue ribbons over here. And it’s not that accomplishing stuff isn’t it’s own reward. It is. But Damn It, some days, not everyday, but every once and awhile I want proof of reaching my milestone. I want my Girl Scouts sash back and I want to fill it with accomplishments, however small, that I find meaningful. Like the Non-Planing Jibe badge or “Didn’t flip off the guy who cut me off in traffic, even though he really deserved it” badge or “I actually made it through a day of work with out pummeling my co-workers down ruthlessly with my words” badge. I want to wear this sash complete with badges around all the time and point them out like I did back when I was a girl scout, even though I can’t remember what those badges were.

So I propose we as adults start a new scout troop, complete with sashes and badges that mean something to us now. We’ll call it the Bloody Munchkin Adult Show-Off Scouts of America! Who’s with me? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller? Fry? Fine. I’ll just be over here in the corner, sewing on my Windsurfing Badass badge onto my sash and polishing my “I’m smarter than you” medal. If you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.

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