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Published on February 8th, 2012 | by BioniKate

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Aunt Bionikate’s Guide Part Three

Parts one and two of the Guide are available here and here.

My tiniest niece, Eden, reached a whopping 5lbs and was released from the hospital a few days before Christmas to the great excitement of my entire family. We’ve all been quite enamored with her…it’s not everyday you get to hold a baby that should still be swimming around in a uterus! It’s also pretty funny watching five adults jump around and go crazy whenever this tiny nugget, with the weight equivalent of a bag of sugar, makes a squeak! I was fortunate enough to spend four solid days holding her, and assuring her that #1 – she WILL grow into her pacifier, #2 – I will make sure everyone stops referring to her has “Little Edie” when she’s old enough to watch Grey Gardens (seriously watch it, you won’t regret it), and #3 – her skinny stick legs will become derby gams in a few years when I start training her. Time with my baby girls always inspires me, and since I am now caffeinated enough to organize some words, I’m going to continue on with my very important list….

AUNT BIONIKATE’S GUIDE TO BECOMING AN ORNERY, STALWART LADY BADASS: an ongoing list of odd, yet useful life lessons for the benefit of Sienna, Kaitlyn, Sophie, Olivia, Rosalie, and Eden…PART 3!!

I will not deny that you will one day come to the realization that I’m one of the weirdest people you know. I’m referring to myself as “Aunt BioniKate” for crying out loud!! Well, a lot of my odd quirks were conceived by odd life events, as most are. And in this portion of the guide I will share with you more truth bombs and observations from my past and present and allow you to infer some of your own lessons. A good parent/guardian/aunt takes their hand off the back of the bike seat at some point…

21. Every now and then, when out on random errands, I find myself trapped and annoyed in the proximity of a gaggle of teenage girls. My first reaction is to immediately freeze up and try to find another route so as not to be seen. You’d think it was because they annoy the hell out of me, which they do, but that’s not the real reason. Real reason: I actually fear their judgement. I fear walking by them and getting the “whisper ‘n glare”. And then I have to tell myself, “Your name is BioniKate. You are 30. And you have bitch seniority.” Somethings from the past will scar you for life…they pop out at the most random times. But I will tell you…in the end, those girls will end up 16 and Pregnant, and you’ll end up a derby champ.

22. Eventually, if I’ve been successful at encouraging some kind of spirit of adventure in you, you’ll probably get the itch to go to NYC…this happens to people a lot. I went once for a job interview and shouldered my way through zombie-eyed tourists blocking the sidewalk, in my ill-fitting brown suit with a brief case. I felt like a complete fraud, as I usually do when I try to act like an adult…but it was insanely fun! Going to other cities, big cities, by yourself is a liberating experience. You can try out various versions of who you really want to be. In New York I’m a successful business woman. In Nashville I’m a slacker who hoards garden gnomes.

23. Another magical time in New York, I met up with a friend and we went to Little Italy to help some mobsters launder money…a.k.a. patronized a restaurant. Whatever they say about “New York Style” pizza…the flat kind that you’re supposed to fold and NEVER use a fork on? Well, that’s all shit. I had a pizza in Little Italy that was six inches deep…with cheese. I used a knife, fork, garden hoe, and rotary saw and my bowels were stopped up for 6 days following…it was incredible. Fiber can be forgotten when mobster pizza is involved. You will thank me for this, I promise.

24. One thing that always blows my mind about derby is that most of these insanely talented super-star athletes have extremely ordinary day jobs. That doesn’t generally happen in other sports! Professional level derby is basically your home team’s All-Star team. It doesn’t really get much higher than that. It likely will one of these days, but for now, these women still have to work to pay for their own athlete gruel! You know those sections in tabloid magazines that say “Stars: They’re just like us!”. Well, I call that the “Everybody Shits Theory”…(Ask Suzy Hotrod; after being slightly taken aback, I’m sure she’ll tell you that she shits too!) Nothing thrills me more than to see very enthralling people, become completely humanized by mundane life details. Remembering this makes is very difficult to be starstruck.

25. That being said…get over your intimidation and do these girls a favor and support them in their day jobs…especially ones in the service industry. Tip them well, and tell them you’re a fan and that you love them.

26. My current day job is…well, I get paid to sit and answer a phone, thwart really irritating tourists, and play on the Internet all day long. As far as a career goes, it should be considered extremely unfulfilled and aimless, but to me it’s really not a bad gig. You can really choose to find joy in anything and choose to make your career whatever you want it to be. I might not be in the most dynamic place, but I get to wear jeans everyday, work with some of the coolest people in town, and earn enough to fund my derby obsession. What’s wrong with that?

27. Nothing, not even PMS, not even that f*cker that grabbed my ass at Kroger, not even someone kicking a puppy…Nothing makes me more homicidal that someone’s nonchalant whistling. There is something so awful about the shrill, airy pitch that makes me turn from bubbly, sweet BioniKate, to Aileen Wuornos, on a dime!! Do not under any circumstances whistle in my presence. (Note: I also extend this warning to anyone who may also choose to snap their fingers rapidly while walking, and loud drink-gulpers.) Unless it is part of a well orchestrated and accompanied tune, like by Sufjan Stevens for instance. Then I welcome it.

28. Two of my skating buddies were teasing me a few months back, saying that I have an odd knack for making someone my best friend as soon as I meet them. Apparently they both fell victim to my uncanny powers because I didn’t know them both 3 months ago and now we’re all obsessed with each other. I find that whole perception of me rather funny, being as that I was a very painfully shy, chubby kid who was made fun of mercilessly. That whole hellish childhood experience helped me develop a keen sense of observation. I try to pick out something I know this person is really good at, I compliment the hell out of them, and use self-deprecating humor to put them especially at ease. All this to really say: BE NICE TO PEOPLE AND THEY WILL LIKE YOU.

29. Truth bomb: even with all that, I sometimes find it very difficult to accept that people actually want to hang out with me. I get a special little jolt of surprise when I invite someone to do something and they say yes without me having to persuade/beg them. I think deep down I will always be that lonely fat kid that just wanted some friends. It’s a hard habit to break and something I will very likely always have to work on. However it’s better to be in a constant growth pattern, than go through stagnant dormancy…am I right?

30. I went to a fairly new microbrewery in town last weekend called Jackalope Brewery. With my feminist leanings, I like to endorse lady badass-run businesses…I also like to support beer, mostly porters and lagers, but really I don’t discriminate. Now here is a chance to surmise your own lesson…some possible suggestions: “Buy your aunt a really good beer!” or “Always support local lady-owned businesses!” or, my personal favorite, “Pace yourself on a brewery sampler, especially on an empty stomach!”

As always, to be continued…

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