Waiting for my stretch class to begin at the Tucson JCC I lift a few weights. I glance over to see if my waiting classmates are sitting by the Mind & Body classroom door. Yup. I keep lifting weights, not wanting to waste any time.
Then I see movement and stroll over, looking inside the glass door. Participants are clapping — what we do at the end of class — and are standing up.
I’m a bit OCDish. Coveting my space in the front right corner of the classroom before anyone else grabs it, I open the door.
“You’re not allowed to go in until the people in the class come out,” a woman sitting on the bench tells me.
“Who says so?” I blurt.
Her dark eyes bulge out at me. “Well, it would be the polite thing to do.”
“I’m going to the back of the room. I know what I’m doing,” I say, recognizing that I won’t be in anyone’s way. And WTF, I’m polite!
This woman probably has been designating herself as boss for decades. Why would you ever listen to her? Ever. Are you a sheep? Don’t be a sheep.
Do what you wanna do. Can’t we each take responsibility for our own selves?
A few people close to me know that I detest being told what to do. I’m working on not letting my anger spew out, like unwanted dark oil from a tanker.
Jump ahead to Ani Difranco singing one of my favorite songs at the Fox Tucson Theatre the other night: “I’m not angry anymore.”
Years ago when I saw Ani perform, she wore a Che Guevara bandanna around her head covering her long dreadlocks. She pounded on her guitar, yelling. She’s a bisexual feminist. The young lesbian crowd danced and screamed their approval back then and now.
The seeming difference these days is that DiFranco, now 49, has been married to a man for 12 years and is the mother of two children. Her dark eyes sparkle under her dark bouncy hair. She laughs and bounces warm jokes off the audience.
I’m not saying it’s because she’s married and a mother that she’s turned mellow. What do I know? I know that I’m less angry as I’ve aged. I wish I were less angry when my kids were young.
I’m making headway but that bossy woman sitting by the door to my stretch class still annoyed me.