I’ve always wanted to be in a fight.
But a fair fight. I don’t want to get jumped by several people, nor do I want to fight someone way bigger than me, or a prissy girl who wants to scratch and bite. I want a fair fight – fisticuffs if you will – I punch you, you punch me, fair is fair. But therein lies the rub, because you never know what kind of fight you will get in the real world. Fist fights are rarely planned in advance and never fair. This is a desire that I’ve had for a very long time, and whenever I mention it to people they either look at me like i’m nutso and am going to punch them in the face (which i would never do without consent), or suggest I take up boxing. But I don’t want to fake punch someone, I want to really do it.
And so, one of my new years resolutions became to start a fight club. Yes, I know. I’m not supposed to talk about fight club. But this isn’t a film, and i’m not Tyler Durden, so screw that. I put up a few posts on my twitter account to see if any of my friends were interested in getting punched in the face. Surprisingly, a few were.
Why, might you ask, would I want to hit a friend and not stranger? Do I dislike my friends? No, of course not. I felt like this whole scheme was dicey at best anyway, and the sense of trust I have with my friends would be of the utmost importance in it. If I put up an anonymous ad on craiglist announcing an underground fight club in LA , I can’t even imagine the kinds of responses I would get, even if I specified girls only. There would be safety, a sense of fun and the absurd if I fought with friends.
Which is how I came to spend last Saturday afternoon trading punches with three of my good girlfriends here in LA – Tasha, Amy and Jen. These three girls are some of the most beautiful, girly, dainty girls you will ever see, and yet all of them also harbored these feelings of violence and curiosity . We arrived at Jen’s nervous and giggly. Jen’s boyfriend, Todd, surveyed us, declared us out of our minds and skulked off to his office to write. (I did receive several requests, mostly from boys, who asked to just come and watch. They were promptly denied.) We headed out to the backyard and began jumping around, trying to drum up the courage to hit each other.
We decided starting with the arm at 30% power was a good start, and we’d work up from there. 30% was nothing, so we quickly moved up to 50% and finally 100% power on the arms. Tasha was the most tentative of the four of us, tapping me lightly with her tiny fist, then quickly looking up and searching my face to make sure I was okay. Amy, a lefty, was mostly concerned with her aim – since her first arm punch on me landed on the side of my breast instead. (ow.) Jen, a former rugby player, was a little freight train. The most petite of all of us, she packed a lot of power into her punches and followed through with no regret. In between all of these half-assed punches there was a lot of giggling and remarking on the absolute absurdity of the situation.
I was the first to ask to be hit in the face. Tasha was only too happy to oblige. But, her timidity resulted in a face tap that was more like a kiss than a punch. I had decided early on that I wanted get a black eye, so all punches were directed to my left cheekbone and eye. I discovered within the first few punches that I preferred to keep my eyes closed when being hit. That immediate flinch reaction when a fist comes at your face just made the whole situation worse. So I would keep my eyes closed and know that a punch would be coming in the next ten seconds or so, but not see it coming. Jen, not surprisingly, was the first to sock me one that i really felt. I heard a meaty “thunk” inside my head, felt my brain slosh against the back of my skull, saw stars explode across my vision and immediately felt a warmth surge through my face. I opened my eyes and saw Jen’s startled expression at the ferocity of her punch. “Oh my god, are you okay?” she cried, grasping me into a hug. I was okay. I was more than okay, I felt great. I had taken a pretty serious hit to the mug, and I felt fine. All my life I had thought getting punched in the face would be very high on my scale of pain tolerance, and it wasn’t that bad! I felt proud that I was made of tougher stuff than I had imagined.
After the initial jitters wore off, everyone started to really get into it. Each girl gayly called “Someone punch me in the face!” with a look of excitement and glee, and one of us would, of course, oblige. Jen, hardcore little minx that she is, started experimenting with stomach shots, something that the other three of us only dipped our toes into. After about an hour or so, we were sore and cold, so we headed inside for some snacks and drinks. Yes, we spent the afternoon hitting each other as hard as we could in the face, then ate weiner winks and drank lemonade. Ain’t girls strange creatures?
A discussion followed in which we all agreed that we had a much better time than we thought we would, and were slightly ashamed of the fact that we kind of wanted to do it again. Every girl mentioned a friend she thought would be into it. So will this turn into a monthly meeting? We shall see…
To me, the most interesting thing has been people’s reactions to my black eye. The general public won’t make eye contact or mention it. I think it’s pretty sad that we live in a society where everyone’s first reaction to a girl with a black eye is to immediately assumed she’s in a domestically abusive relationship. I have never been hit by a boy, and if I was I would definitely fight back and then promptly kick his ass to the curb. I feel like this black eye is a badge of pride, and want to yell out to everyone who gives me a sad glance that I’m a total bad ass.
I’ve also been told by several people that “you guys should totally film it. put it up on the internet, you’d make SO much money.” Um, no. I’m sorry, but foxy boxing was not what I had in mind when I thought this up. We’re doing it for our pleasure, not yours.
If you’re a lady who is interested in joining, let me know. I don’t know what will happen with this, whether it will continue and grow, or peter out, but I do know that you actually can learn about yourself from a fight, and that, somehow, punching my close friends in the face actually brought us closer together. Who’d a thunk it?