Confession No. 3, my girlfriend is tough…

2 Jun

It’s a strange thing when people wish you bodily harm. What’s even stranger is when your best friends are the ones hoping to see you get your ass kicked, especially when you’ve done nothing to deserve it.

It wasn’t like I had slept with one of their girlfriends or borrowed a large sum of money from them without ever paying it back; I had simply gotten a new girlfriend. One who was training to be a mixed martial arts fighter.

“Mixed martial arts? You mean she’s training to be a cage fighter?” one of my friends asked.

“Well, yeah, I guess,” I replied.

“Dude, she could totally beat your ass! Does she have cowaflower ear and everything?”

He wasn’t alone; every friend I told had a similar reaction.

“So do you two wrestle? Has she made you tap out? Has she gotten you in an arm bar? A rear naked choke?”

And for the record, a rear naked choke is nothing like it sounds. Well, actually, the choking part is completely accurate; it’s just the naked part, which I was really looking forward to, which simply wasn’t part of the equation.

All of these questions became quite common and on top of that it seemed like I had suddenly done something deeply insulting to all of my friends, because they all seemed to be calling for my blood, as long as it was shed at the hands of my girlfriend.

My parents were simply not as thrilled as my friends were about my girlfriends hobby, although both my mom and dad made sure they pointed out to me that my girlfriend Molly was probably tougher than I was.

The longer we dated, the more my parents started to like Molly, and then one day my father called me out of the blue, sounding really upset.

“You need to talk to Molly about this fighting shit. She could get really hurt.”

I knew his call had been fueled by a recent talk I’d had with my mother. A few days earlier she asked me how Molly was doing and I told her she had been training a lot and was hoping to schedule her first fight soon. My mother was less than impressed.

“Oh, real cool,” which has always been her response to anything she thinks is stupid or dangerous. I had heard that response thousands of times before and not once did she mean it in a positive way.

“She’s not planning to fight after she had kids is she?” my mother asked.

“Probably, but at that point she’ll probably fight exclusively with her family,” I replied.

But for now I was stuck on the phone with my father—who days earlier had pointed out how tough my girlfriend was—and now he was trying to convince me to tell her, not ask her, that she couldn’t fight anymore. Yeah, that seemed like a swell idea.

“The fights are officiated really well and they don’t last as long as boxing matches,” I replied, taking a page from Molly’s talking points. I had heard her say the same thing to her parents and/or sisters on several occasions.

“Yeah, just tell her to watch “Million Dollar Baby” before she steps into the ring.”

I was so amused by this statement that I didn’t know how to respond. I immediately knew he’d been spending too much time with my mother. Growing up, if there was anything my mother didn’t want me to do, instead of telling me I couldn’t do it, she would simply try to scare me out of it. She’d swear up and down that she has just seen a special on how whatever it was that I wanted to do or try was the single most dangerous thing a person could ever do.

Snowboarding: You’ll hit a tree and die. Concerts: You’ll fall down, the crowd will trample you, and you’ll die.
“I just saw a special on kids going to concerts, and this one kid, he was really a good looking kid, was in one of those mosh pits, and he though he was being so cool, but then he fell and got trampled to death. Real cool.”

Growing up I believed that most extra curricular activities, at least any of the fun ones, were responsible for 99 percent of teenage deaths in America.

My mother would often say, “You think this is a joke? Things like this happen all of the time, buddy. This is the real world.”

This phone call, and my father’s concerns, wreaked of my mother.

When I was 28 I spent a year working at the Portland Tribune as a reporter. In order to try and plug our news stories, and get them more press, we teamed up with Fox News. We would write articles and the people at Fox would plug them on the evening news and often develop a spin-off story.

After spending 40 hours a week writing stories about hundreds of random and tragic deaths, I would then watch our news partners put a slant on the story and come up with some type of haunting story to accompany the news piece.

If I wrote an article about someone getting hit by a car on his or her way to work, Fox would feature a story on the evening news asking, “How safe are you on your morning commute? What you don’t know could kill you. Tune in at 10:00 for more details that could save your life.”

After nine months of living in this spin zone, I began to think there was a chance my mother had actually seen all of those specials, but her timing was still suspect. The chances that she had seen a special on mosh pits and crowd surfing the night before I scored Primus tickets; or saw one on the dangers of snowboarding the very week my friends and I decided to try it for the first time was very doubtful.

I know it’s only natural for parents to worry, but Molly is 28 –years –old. The longer we’re together, the less time she actually spends training for MMA. Job promotions and Muay Thai classes she teaches as a personal trainer already make for incredibly long days without the addition of MMA training. To prepare for a fight she’d realistically have to spend damn near every -free moment she has in the gym, and right now that’s just not realistic for her. I’m sure this is something that makes both of our parents very happy, but most of my friends are disappointed.

If they can’t see Molly beat me up, then they’d at least love the chance to see her use her firsts to bludgeon some woman just so they can say to me, “Man, that other chic looked tougher than you, and Molly kicked her ass! Imagine what she would’ve done to you!”

I’ve suggested she try her hand at the world of professional wrestling, offering my services as her loud-mouthed manager. I’ve watched enough wrestling in my day to make Jimmy “Mouth of the South” Heart proud, but Molly isn’t interested.

I told my parents I have no clue what the future will hold as far as Molly’s fighting career, but I am sure that Molly and I will walk off together into the sunset. Which is nice when you think about it because we live in a tough neighborhood. It’s no joke, things happen all the time. After all, this is the real world, and it’s nice to know Molly will always be there by my side, to protect me.


One Response to “Confession No. 3, my girlfriend is tough…”

  1. Chris June 2, 2009 at 11:30 pm #


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