It was a standoff in the park. The man stood firm, arms crossed, waiting. His dog sat ten feet away with an orange, freshly fetched Frisbee clamped tight in his jaws. Neither would budge, each waiting for the other to submit and take that first step forward.
I put my stroll on hold to watch what would happen next. After an incredibly long and awkward ten seconds, the dog made the first move. He crossed the grass and dropped the Frisbee at his master’s feet, then sat back on his haunches and thumped his tail on the ground with what I took to be obvious relief. With his position in the universe reaffirmed, the dog was free to once again relax into his role of loved and dutiful pet.
Here’s a game I play to toy with my own position in the hierarchy of the universe…
As a woman, not to mention a blonde (which has its advantages, don’t get me wrong), I’ve noticed that certain middle aged men, especially those wearing expensive suits, expect me to give them right of way when we’re walking towards each other on the same track lane of sidewalk or hallway. A few years ago I realized I was, unconsciously, nearly always shifting, albeit subtley, to give them room.
Well, not any more. I walk straight and strong without giving an inch. What happens? Most of the time they realize it’s not worth playing chicken with a girl whose gait suddenly has more in common with John Cena than Audry Hepburn. When they do take the risk, and it’s always the ones who (you just know) trim their nose hair at least twice a week, what happens next is inevitable (and oh so gratifying). I lower my shoulder, in classic football style, and drive right through. I never look back; that would imply I was concerned, or even (the horror!), somewhat apologetic.
I’m fully aware that it’s only a matter of time before this ‘inocent’ game blows up in my face. Is it worth it? Yes! I do it out of solemn responsibility to my sex, to let the world know that times have changed and the old hierarchy is dead. Of course, it’s a whole lot of fun too~wink. Now if only there was a way to break my husband’s monopoly over the remote control. All I can say is never underestimate the power of a healthy bodycheck.