after a several day hiatus, i’m coming back strong with the coolest prompt EVER !!! okay, so all through my childhood, i was a die hard fan of…..

wait for it…

WRESTLING!!! i mean, rassling!! NWA mid-atlantic championship wrestling!! oh my god!!! how i loved saturdays!! wrestling came on a 1:00 in the afternoon and again at 11:30 that night…i NEVER missed it. EVER!!! i never spent the night at anyone’s house on the weekend or did anything other than go to my grandma’s house (okay, well, her house was only ten steps away from mine, but still…)

why wrestling? i’ve often wondered about that. as a matter of fact, when the nature boy came to my school with the local wrestling folk for a sheriff’s department fundraiser, i wrote myself a note on my cell phone: “with all the violence in my life during my childhood, what made me love wrestling, as violent a “sport” as can be?” violence in my childhood mainly centered around physical abuse from a “christian” man who led a double life. in public, he was a model father and had everyone around him fooled. in private, however, he was unpredictable and volatile; there was no way to know what would set off a beating.

in wrestling, though, there were “good” guys and “bad” guys. although the good guys lost occasionally, it was usually when the bad guys cheated, and there was always some kind of payback later on. i especially loved when a bad guy got into a fight with another bad-guy friend, and had to turn to a good guy to help make the fight “fair.” i had many favorites in wrestling….ric flair, of course, wahoo mcdaniel, dusty rhodes, blackjack mulligan, roddy piper…but none of them could hold a candle to the ultimate good guy: ricky steamboat!! in all the years i watched him, he never “changed sides” (a phrase my grandmother and i used). he fought who he needed to fight, but was never vindictive. he could be counted on to help out a friend, or take up for someone who was wronged, or bring a new perspective to a situation. he was always predictable. as a matter of fact, thanks to the wonder of youtube, i found a video of my favs:

i believed so strongly in these men–the play of good vs evil each week–that i was literally beaten one night (i think i was 12) for refusing to “admit” wrestling was fake. i know that’s a hard statement to read–and believe me, it’s a hard statement to write–but it’s the truth. i always felt like if those wrestlers just knew what was happening to me, my sister, and brother, then they would do something about it.

looking back at my childhood and those ten years is incredibly hard–and i don’t like to talk or think about them. however, if i had to do it over again, i’d still find refuge in my saturdays with grandma and the  NWA. i needed that time to deal with the turmoil that was my life. i had to see that even though bad things happen to good people, justice will find the bad guy some way, some how. i of course “grew up” and “grew out” of my addiction. i moved away from those childish fantasies–well, at least a little. sometimes i still have that dream that my mom, brother, sister, and i live in the “wrestling” house with all the “good” wrestlers, and they protect us. some things are hard to let go of.

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