I have a feeling this might be quite a convoluted story. In fact I think my husband might say it’s one of those Kumars at 42 kind of tales.
In fact I know he will but bear with me.
I have a friend and for the purpose of this exercise let’s call him Ox Man. Ox Man is big. I mean reallly big. I barely reach his belly button. And he’s tall and he’s strong and he cooks like a beast. I mean in a good way. The best possible way. If you eat the roast pork he makes you will declare your undying love to him and his family. And if you, by chance, happen to taste the pork crackling he makes you will sell your wife and children to have a piece of it again.
But this weekend just past we went to their lovely home for an Easter Egg Hunt and brunch. One of my children, I won’t say who, I’ll just say it was the birthday boy, had a conversation in the car that went something like ‘…Mum will Ox Man make crackling today? No son, it’s only 10.30am. But mum, why not? It’s the best…’. Wait why am I telling you this? Stop making me lose my train of thought!
Anyway so we stuffed our faces with bacon and eggs and birthday cake and chocolate and flopped like fat buffaloes all over the backyard. An hour later when I felt I could finally move again I decided to show off some of my new moves. No, not ‘those’ moves you filthy animal! My taekwondo moves. I’ve learnt holds and throws and jab crosses and insteps kicks and even something that looks like a proper donkey kick. (I’ve been training for about six weeks now and I’m so broken it’s taken this long for my fingers to even work again).
I asked Ox Man to grab one of my wrists, any hand, any wrist, come on Ox don’t be a wimp. So he did. I assure you he wasn’t even using 1% of his full strength. And before I could even do my cool defense move, sorry, my highest defense, he fell to the floor begging for mercy. Now I am strong, I really am, and I was pretty insulted. Dude come on, seriously, grip my wrist properly… And. He. Did.
And I could not move a muscle. No. Not an inch. Not a centimeter. Not a millimeter. Not an atom’s width. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I could not release his grip. And he wasn’t even trying…
On the way home it hit me. HARD. Here is a man I’ve know most of my adult life. He is one of the gentlest, kindest men I know. We were in a safe environment surrounded by our husbands and wives and children and there was no real danger. But what if it was not a fake, pretend, I’m so cool show me what you got, situation? What if it was in a dark alley and a man was really out to get me? What would I do? How would I escape…?
It became abundantly clear. A man really is stronger than a woman. I’m all for women’s equality and all that but there are some things you have to accept. A man really is physically stronger than a woman.
What would you do to ensure your own safety? Would you take a self defense class? I am. And I know in a REAL situation my first reaction would be to get the hell out of there. But if I was wrist locked or arm locked or neck locked, I hope I’d be able to give him something to remember me by. (Preferably private parts that ached for a year or ten, a split lip, permanent scratch marks on his face and the desire to run to the other end of the earth the next time he saw me).
It’s been on my mind. I’ve learnt a big lesson in humility and strength and in my own limitations. But one thing I haven’t learnt is how to replicate that damn crackling. Ox? Oh Ox Man, where are you?? Come on mate stop hiding, I swear I’ll go easy on you this time!