I'll never be a Calamity Jane, but sometimes I try to channel a little bit of that brave spirit when I'm faced with some unusual circumstances. I don't hang out in bar rooms or have a need to protect my self in such ways she felt necessary but often times I need to pull out the strong woman card. stand solidly on two feet poised for any action warranted.
The action I use against my adversaries is a solid straight look and a deep wide loving smile. Full of compassion and empathy. That usually does it.
One warm summer day I pulled up to my local gas station to fill the F150, on the other side of the pump was a young man probably around twenty and shirtless. What covered his entire back was a homemade tattoo of the confederate flag with a noose overlaid and the words JUSTICE underneath.
This kid of maybe twenty looked at me and sort of smiled, one front tooth gone, he looked in bad shape, skinny, unhealthy, pail. I immediately felt uncomfortable. Did I look too butch, could he tell I wasn't exactly like him, would he follow me, burn a cross on my front lawn? The fearful thoughts of what this little fellow might be capable of flooded my mind. He has hate tattooed on his back. There was no arguing the meaning.
So I did a really strange thing. I smiled back really big and said, I'm ready for winter! these 105 degrees is for the birds. Is that a border collie? I just got an English Shepherd pup, they're supposed to be good. Suddenly he wasn't 20 he was 9. He loved his little bowe best dog ever. And yea, he's hot. "Air conditioners broke". The conversation lasted 20 seconds. But I walked away in peace.
I live among a diversity of beliefs. I have been very fortunate not to have experienced any ill will waged against me. Times have changed, there are no so called "Indians" that threaten my security as I rob them of their lands and freedoms. In the new world I'm the new Indian, the threat to their ideas and beliefs. I just want to live in peace I want to live apart from man made tragedies of poverty, ignorance and malnutrition. Even if it means pulling out old Calamity Jane once in a while. But seriously, I want her outfit!