Her Ladyship and I went for a run tonight. There was a nice breeze, lots of toads
I live in military housing, which means all my neighbors are service members and their families. Running at night (my habit) means that I see and hear quite a bit of … humanity’s extremes. I’ve seen surprise home coming hugs, surprise home coming fights, wives holding a phone and crying, and I’ve heard all manner of conversations people have in the dark. I pretend not to hear, keeping my eyes forward; I listen always, though. I listen out of curiosity and I listen for danger. The nicer the weather, the more opportunities there are for folks to be outside.
There was a group of 7 women on a porch. I could smell the cigarette smoke long before I saw or heard them. I smiled. I waved. I heard, “I like your dog! What kind is it?”
Ask me about me dog and I’ll talk your ear off. So I stopped running and sang the praises of the local Pound Puppies. Maggie sat and smiled. Then I heard, “You know you’re too fat to be out here, right?” …laughter…loud laughter…
Okay… This came from a group circled around the carcass of an RC cola case, cigarettes, and had their plumber’s cracks shining in the lamplight. Also, I’m no barbie doll, but dang…
I said, “I’m sorry you feel that way.” and turned to go.
I heard, “Stuck up officer’s-wife-bitch! You and your pearl earrings! Keep running, dumbass!” I turned back and said, “Enjoy the spoils of your evening, ladies.” and curtsied. (yep…an honest-to-goodness curtsy that I could pull off because I happened to be wearing a running skirt.)
Maggie, to her everlasting credit, growled at them. I heard vague threats about Animal Control and pepper spray… I didn’t hear them long, though, as I happened to be going at a pretty nice little pace, if I do say so.
Why are women so mean? I wasn’t bothering them. I wasn’t trying to convert them. I was enjoying a run with my dog, thinking about an upcoming trip to the beach.
I am an officer’s wife, but I’d like to think I’m not stuck up about it. It’s his rank, not mine. I do run with pearl earrings, though. All runs. Training runs, races, trail runs, marathons… I wear them to remind me that I am a lady, I am not a quitter, I have a husband who believes in me, and I am an example to those around me. I wear my pearls for my fellow army wives…
…I wear my pearls for those mean-y faces who hurt my feelings.
My dad has a million sayings; he should write a book. The one that came to mind tonight is “Kick rocks, sweet heart. You’re burning’ daylight.”
kick rocks :get a move on; start walking; do your job.
burnin’ daylight :wasting time.
So there it is. Kick rocks.
I think about those sad, angry women and I’m glad I met them when I was sweating and smiling from effort. I’m glad I met them at mile 3.5 and my eyebrows were crunchy with salt. I’m glad I met them with my happy, healthy dog at my side.
I’m glad I met them while I was kickin’ rocks.