E. T. is becoming a problem

E. T. is becoming a problem

No, I’m not talking about the famous movie where the people in space suits freaked me out as a kid. I’m talking about Enthusiastic Teen whose fervor in our Jiu-Jitsu classes has taken a turn.

I used to see ET sparingly, but he’s been showing up more often than not lately. Because we don’t bring out the best in each other, I try to avoid him. Thankfully, the next class after the scolding was when Jack the Black Belt volunteered to work with me. However, near the end of class, we did a musical chairs-type thing, which led me to interact with ET. I told him what happened after the “Ugh. I got ET” comment. He grabbed both my hands and said, “I am so so sorry you got in trouble.” Then he said more and tried to grab my hands again, but I wouldn’t let him.

ET is becoming a problem.

In the next class, I arrived a bit late and so lined up at the end. ET stuck his head out from farther down the line to look at me, but I averted my eyes. At a pause in instruction, he moved to stand next to me.

ET is becoming a problem.

When instruction was over, ET asked, “Want to work together?” I wasn’t prepared for how to say no, so I felt I had no choice but to agree. He’s sort of difficult to work with in that he messes around too much.

He did, however, teach me (or rather remind me of) a valuable hook technique (I forget the name) that helped me lift his leg, which is probably about half my entire body weight, so I could sneak my leg out from behind his.

“Nice, Betsy. Using the ___ hook,” Instructor said as he walked by on his rounds.

ET is sometimes not a problem.

Then, like the time ET lifted me off the ground upside down while I tried to triangle choke him, he hoisted me up yet again. I had him locked up: my ankles crossed around his back, one arm around his neck, the other trapping his arm. He simply stood, making me hang off him like a koala in a eucalyptus tree. At least all I had to do this time was put my feet down and let go.

After class, a more seasoned student suggested I sweep him so he can’t pick me up like that again. Eager to give it a try, I hooked ET’s arm, steered him onto the mat, and said, “Let’s go.”

His face lit up. “Like on a date?”

ET has become a problem.

I scrunched my face and shook my head. Thankfully, his dad showed up then to take ET home. Too bad I didn’t get a chance to attempt the sweep, though.

Pointing out to ET that I’m likely his mom’s age will hopefully solve the problem. And/or I stand next to Jack as often as possible and ask if he wouldn’t mind working with me before ET gets the chance.

What would you do?

And by the way, as I stood against the wall in my thick gi top, I thought, Man, I’m uncomfortably hot. Maybe I should shirk the shirt.

Then Instructor said, “But first, we have to practice shrimping.”

Nope, the gi top stays. I knew what came next: “Lay on the floor with your feet against the wall. Shrimp from one side of the room to the other and back again.”

On my return trip, Instructor said, “Perfect, Betsy!” and slapped me five. It felt like the good ol’ days of the small, friendly 11 a.m. classes.

So, my shoulders were spared the abuse of the vengeful shrimp.

Under the gi top, I frequently wear a rash guard, as is recommended, though I felt sorta dorky in it the first time I wore it.

Then I heard, “Cool shirt,” from the guy next to me. It was Jack the Black Belt. Now I’m okay with the rash guard. πŸ™‚

The rash guard. Sort of black widowish.

Speaking of shirts!!!!!! The results of your T-shirt votes!

Not surprisingly, this one won by five votes more than the next two:

Art of folding clothes

Tied for second place were these two:

My apologies to those of you who voted for alternate shirts, but I appreciate your diversity of style.

Now here’s the thing: Though I agree that the winning shirt is very funny, when it came down to purchasing time, I realized I had two problems with it: 1. It has a picture of two guys on it, and, as you know…

“I am no man.” ~Γ‰owyn

2. There’s too much to read. I don’t want anyone staring at my shirt for a long period of time. Weird and awkward.

And so, I hope you’ll forgive me, but I went with…

It’s girl-specific and easy to read quickly. And I went with red because I’ve been told that’s “my color.”

At the end of class, when bidding farewell to Instructor, I said, “What do you think?” then pulled my gi top apart much, though unintentionally, like Clark Kent tearing open his reporter shirt to reveal his Superman suit below.

“Very cool,” Instructor said with a nod and a big smile. “Very cool,” he repeated and gave me a fist bump.

I smiled all the way back to my car.

And finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t call your attention to this nice interview at Bossy Babe’s blog. You think of me as a snack-food munching, chicken-raising martial artist, but I’ve also authored or co-authored three books. Want to know more about Author Betsy and other random personal facts never before shared on the internet?

For instance, did you know I’ve been interviewed on television or that I’ve flown to D.C. to speak at the exclusive Congressional Country Club?

Want to know what’s been the craziest event of my author career? Believe it or not, it’s neither of the above. The answer will shock you! (Had to do it.)

Actually, first comment on this post here. Then scroll back up to click on the interview. You can leave a comment there too, if you’d like. That would be nice. πŸ™‚

61 responses »

  1. What would I do re: ET? Well, you haven’t mentioned how cute he is and how close to legal age is he? Bahaha. You DO look young and being slim, it’s possible he thinks you’re close to his age. Or maybe the other classmates are just scarier than you?

    Off to read the interview!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Love the shirt, love the color. GREAT choice. In fact… “before shirt/after shirt” πŸ™‚

    Love the interview, and the fear of monsters “down there” πŸ™‚

    On a more serious note, I would have a 1:1 chat with the instructor, explain the situation (trust your instincts on this, if you feel this is awkward, it’s gone too far) and ask not to be paired with ET ever again (unless he grows a long finger that can light up and make dead flowers come back to life,,, NOT that other kind of finger πŸ˜€ )

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So the, “no man” picture – are you going to get a sword and chainmail next? Actually I could see you charging into battle on a warhorse … I’ll go read the interview. Just remember that when you start your talk show, I’ll be your first guest.

    and cool red shirt. I’ll call the tee-shirt people to get a woman on the clothes folding shirt. It might take awhile to get them to change it, but I’ll see what I can do …

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, quite possibly what I’ll do. I’m trying to work up a game plan for various scenarios. Thanks, Mike. Maybe I should just offer him some Rootbeer Peeps, telling him they’re really good and suggest he shove an entire one in his mouth. That should teach him. πŸ˜‰


  4. Brilliantly written. I love how you progress through ET becoming a problem. I think I wouldn’t do anything. As Buddha said, “Most problems, if you give them enough time and space, will eventually wear themselves out.”

    Can’t wait to read the interview! So glad you posted that!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Not where I am. The next closest place would take 45 minutes to get to. Not ideal. My other classmates are cool. And maybe ET was just being a goof. I’m not sure. We’ll see what happens! Thanks, Rosaliene. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Feeling that you had no choice to say no to ET is a Problem. You should feel comfortable enough, and it should be fully and completely understood within the training environment, that nobody is entitled to work with anyone they are not willing to work with.

    Make it clear to your Instructor you do not wish to work with ET anymore. As the Instructor, it is his job to ensure a safe training environment and if he doesn’t know, he doesn’t know.

    While ET may be an (overly) enthusiastic teen with benign intentions and may be clueless at to the vibe he’s giving off: if you’re not comfortable working with him, then you’re not comfortable working with him.

    I’ve dealt with this, from the benign to the serious… It’s always better to cut it off early and make sure the Instructor is aware.

    Everyone on the mat “should” feel comfortable to train anyone on the mat… however, if they aren’t comfortable – for whatever reason – then they should know they absolutely have the right to say no and train with someone else.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. ET. Difficult situation. Hard to even come up with a helpful comment (I’ve rewritten this comment at least 7 times). ET may not even be fully aware of his behavior and how it comes across, or he may be aware of it and not understand how it comes across, or many different scenarios. But, you are uncomfortable and are IN a self defense class. It sounds like you aren’t certain either about his behavior. I have a feeling you will know what to do when you feel more certain one way or the other.

    Liked by 2 people

    • On one hand, sharks makes more sense than general monsters since sharks are aquatic animals. On the other hand, how would they fit in the pipes? Small sharks could still pack quite a bite on the rear, though, so I’m with you.

      I won’t be sleeping well tonight.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Aww thanks for shout-out Betsy! And I forgive you for picking the other shirt, hehe still cool! And actually, you’re right, I never noticed that the #`1 voted shirt was of two men so that totally makes sense!!! I loved reading your answers about your journey as a published author- very inspiring!!! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks for all that, BB, especially the forgiveness. I was worried I might upset someone ala, “That’s not what I voted for! You didn’t get the shirt that won! You said you’d get the shirt that won!” Fortunately, none of my readers are lunatics. πŸ˜‰ And thanks for giving me the opportunity to share about my writing on your blog. Much obliged! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Great post! The variety of suggestions on dealing with the ET situation would suggest another survey… (or maybe I’m just bummed my shirt choice came in third), but I agree with those who recommend involving Instructor. Seems to me he (she?), as an authority figure, can bring the right tone to the concern (even if ET’s parent needs to be involved). At the least, Instructor can pair you with others and perhaps settle down ET’s misperceptions. You still owe him a sweep πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

    • There certainly were a variety of suggestions, weren’t there, Dave? I’ll give an update soon. (No survey needed. πŸ˜‰ ) And, if it makes you feel better, there was a first place shirt and two shirts tied for second, so, at the very least, your shirt came in second. πŸ™‚ And, yes, ET deserves a sweep. And maybe a choke for good measure. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Hmmmmm …. ET is picked up by Dad? Goodness! Is he practicing his pick-up (oops, pun!) lines on you? Although I agree with some of your other commenters – age may have little bearing on his over-familiarity with you. Having said this, flirting in JJ class in probably inappropriate regardless of age. Is it?

    Love you in your new red T – very cool how you showed it off! I like this very Clark-kent side of you … do you think you will bruise less now.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nothing has ever been said about flirting–never been a need–but I would think it’s understood. ET is the only one who has been borderline with this. I’m starting to think he’s just a dumb kid, and I’m not taking him seriously. I basically ignore him, and that seems to be working okay.
      Nice job with the pun. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
      I’m glad you approve of the T-shirt. Sadly, no on the bruising less. Then again, I’m rather proud of these “training marks” as one commenter put it.


  10. Was it the butterfly hook? Sure sounds like it, lol.

    Anyway, I’d never put myself in a position to be hoisted up. Seen too many people lose their footing an accidentally dunk their partners on their necks. So letting go is always my #1 option, lol. Sometimes it comes quick though. Like my previous coach would just pick me off the floor and there’s nothing I can do about that, even if I let go.

    Always enjoy your BJJ stories!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly, the butterfly hook isn’t a term I’m familiar with, but, um, yes? πŸ™‚

      In this case, letting go and putting my feet down was easy. The time he had me upside down, hanging on seemed like the best option or I’d fall on my head. Thankfully, he was strong enough to hold me up. And swing me around in a circle a couple of times… Grr.


  11. Pingback: I owe you an update (and can’t think of a better subject line). | parentingisfunny

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