(This title is a throwback to “Betsy gets silly,” but since this Jiu-Jitsu post will obviously not be as pleasant, I’m adding happy pictures to take the edge off. You’re welcome. 🙂 )
At the start of class, I was standing near Jack the Black (belt) when it was time for Instructor to pair people up.
“I want Jack,” I said, sort of quietly, since demanding your partner isn’t done. But I did want to work with Jack. I hope he was flattered.
Unfortunately, at roughly the same time, Instructor was calling over Enthusiastic Teen (ET) to partner with me. He knows we’ve worked together in the past.
We also give each other a hard time for kicks, so I said, “Ugh, I got ET.”
ET didn’t even flinch as he stepped up next to me.
Instructor changed his mind and put me with someone from the old days. My first impression back then was that this guy was worse than Indifferent Man and more like Trying-To-Ignore-My-Presence-Man. Or maybe Uncomfortable Man, as in, he didn’t like me being there. But whatever. He seems more used to me now, and we got on alright, except for him being a bit Drake-like in the squashing me department. Fortunately, no lasting damage, but I did say, “Oooff,” a couple times, and some “Urggh”s, and various assorted painful groans.
I was quite surprised I hadn’t been paired with the newbie, a teenage girl, since that’s usually Instructor’s M.O.–put Betsy with the kids and the females. Instead, he assigned Lopez to her, which, not gonna lie, was a good call. (In case you’re wondering, I inquired. Lopez has been too busy at work to do daytime classes. )
After class, Instructor followed me outside to talk. In my stupidity, I thought I was about to receive good news, something along the lines of, “You’re doing so amazingly, Betsy, I’m ready to bump you up to the advanced class!” It wasn’t a fully formed thought; ie, I didn’t get a chance to realize how ridiculous that was before he said, “Please don’t say, ‘Ugh, I got ET.'”
“Oh, ET and I just like to mess with each other. He knows I was kidding.” I thought it had been obvious. I was looking right at ET and smiling when I said it. Wouldn’t others hear the smile in my voice? Apparently not, because…
“But other people heard it.”
“Okay,” I nodded. “Sorry about that.” And I was, mostly because now people think I’m a jerk. So that’s why Instructor swapped ET with the other guy. Clearly, the joke was not obvious. Dang it.
But things got worse…
“And the groaning. You were kind of freaking [New Girl] out.”
“I am so sorry,” I said sincerely. “That was totally involuntary.”
“If you’re having a hard time working with someone, let me know, and I’ll pair you with someone else.”
“Of course. And I’ll try to keep the noises to myself from now on.” I couldn’t help the grunts, but maybe now that I’m aware, I can try to keep them under wraps. But also, how do I go to Instructor in the middle of class and ask to be reassigned without totally being obvious and jerky to the person I’m working with?
Toward the end of the Drake class, Instructor had walked by when I said, “Ow,” and had swapped me with someone smaller. Maybe “Ow” is okay, but, “Urgh,” is not.
But seriously, I was shaken by the whole conversation, which was a little more extensive than the above. I’m not used to getting in trouble. I was mortified and wondered if I could show my face in the next class.
Fortunately, by the time the next class day came around, I was so excited to go, all other considerations were muted.
I walked in and looked to the right where Instructor normally stands at his desk. Empty. So I turned left toward the cubbies and heard, “What’s up, Betsy?” Instructor waved with a big smile from across the room.
“Hey!” I called back with a broad smile.
And all was right in the world.
When it was time to pair people up, Instructor was occupied by someone, so Jack said, “Let’s go, Betsy,” volunteering to partner with me.
This was an easy class. Nevertheless, I didn’t mind Jack nodding and saying, “That was legit,” after I did a move.
That happened twice. When I told Hubby about this, he said, “So what you’re saying is, you’re ‘two legit’ to quit?”
Also, part way through class, Jack said, “It’s too cold in here.” Later, after he was confident I knew the moves well enough to go full force, he wiped his brow, and said, “I’m sweating now.”
That’s right, folks. I made the black belt sweat!
Someone make a note to have that chiseled on my tombstone.
So, what would you guys have done in my situation? Wilted like a dehydrated flower? Brushed it off? Texted a friend or two for comfort? (That’s what I did.) And more importantly, which would boost your spirits more: kittens or puppies?
I know I owe you T-shirt results and a more thorough mention of this interview. Stay tuned!