The other day after teaching a boxing class, some friends and I were walking to our cars and someone said, “I don’t know how you do it. Teach, I mean.”
I turned to one of the women and said, “Drop down and do five push-ups.”
Me: Just do it. Do five push-ups.
Her: Seriously? Here?
Me: DO IT.
And she did. “See? That’s why I like to teach,” I said. “People do what I tell them to do. It’s not like that at my house.” Everybody rolled their eyes and groaned like I was on some kind of power trip, which I was. BUT IT’S THE TRUTH.
I read in a parenting book that part of the problem is making general requests such as CALM DOWN and GET READY and STOP TAUNTING YOUR SISTER. But Oh. Em. Dee. (Dee referring to Dysnomia, the Greek god of Lawlessness.) Can you imagine the specifics of that? STOP USING TRYING TO MAKE A SANDWICH USING THE SOFA CUSHIONS AND YOUR BROTHER! PLEASE PUT ON YOUR UNDERWEAR AND YOUR SHORTS AND YOUR SHIRT AND YOUR SOCKS AND YOUR SHOES. REALLY? IS THAT THE ONLY RED CRAYON IN THE HOUSE? Wait, it might be. The dog ate the rest of them. SHE CALLED YOU AN IDIOT BECAUSE YOU SAID YOU WISHED SHE WAS DEAD! CAN’T YOU SEE THE LOGIC IN THAT?
Hold on. I’m exhausted.
A few years ago I made the very serious mistake of getting elected president of our homeowners’ association. On the bright side, my opponent was nationally-recognized anti-abortion wacko Randall Terry, who as you may remember used his evil spirits to kill my dog, and I beat his ass at the polls. BOO-yah! Randall Terry currently considers himself running for president, and is accepting contributions. If you send him money, please be advised that he will not win the presidency, and he will probably use your money to buy himself a(nother) house in a gated community so that he can run for president of the homeowners’ association.
Where was I. Oh! Power trips! So when I was president, I began to see the advantages of a dictatorial system. Presiding over meetings felt like watching my dog poop out paper towels. HURRY UP ALREADY! SAY YOUR STUPID PIECE AND LET ME IGNORE IT! I know that just a few days ago I mentioned that dictatorships are a bad idea, but honestly, it depends on the dictator. I, for example, would be a wise and benevolent dictator, along with Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, and Saints quarterback Drew Brees.
The innate problem with that kind of empirical ruling is the inability to encourage compliance without using physical force. That’s why my role as My Left Hook Family Ruler-For-Life is so difficult. I absolutely have all the answers, can solve all of the problems, will make everyone happy, IF YOU JUST DO WHAT I SAY. If you ignore me, chaos will ensue.
When I teach fitness classes, I’ll be honest, people are a little afraid of me, what with my skull cap and Botox-less Angry Girl wrinkles between my eyebrows. It makes them want to please me, and nothing pleases me more than women doing real push-ups on their toes.Well. Not nothing. But it’s in the top 10.
C’mon, people. Just do what I say. It will improve your life, I promise.